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  1. - Top - End - #661
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    As others have pointed out, this is a ludicrously bad analogy. What you want is more like storing top secret information on your personal phone, such as the location of secret bases and research facilities, alongside ample documentation on the defenses of each, before heading out on a globe-trotting trip making yourself a relatively easy target.
    Except the information is heavily encrypted, and also there is virtually no documentation on the defenses (as explicitly shown in comic), and virtually nobody knew about the phone or the person carrying it, and the person is one of the single most capable security experts in the world.

    Yes, it was a quick and dirty analogy and was not entirely representative, but you're really stretching here to make it not fit. I can't help but note that another part that does not fit has been ignored by every person who has argued against - namely that Serini is not famous, and the Gate information is not only obscure but is in an active information blackout by the gods themselves.

    It would take extraordinary circumstances for her to be a target, let alone a "relatively easy" one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I certainly don't think it's clear that breaking up was the only thing that saved them from murderous violence.
    Given that Girard set up murderous violence immediately after breaking up anyway, I can't imagine how or why you could possibly hold this idea. Most other disagreememts we have, I can at least understand your point of view, even if I do not share it. This one I cannot. Girard was very clearly out for blood.
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  2. - Top - End - #662
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Extraordinary circumstances, like anyone who'd want to get to the Gate for whatever reason? The Scribblers already fought one army of TDO's.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Extraordinary circumstances, like anyone who'd want to get to the Gate for whatever reason? The Scribblers already fought one army of TDO's.
    Extraordinary to know about the Gates, another extraordinary to know about the Scribblers, and another extraordinary to know about Serini's diary.

    Just because you read a story about a waitress winning the powerball from a tip someone gave her does not mean that the odds of her winning were not astronomical.

    But hey, she really annoyed you, so it's gotta be her fault.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Why did Serini keep the diary:

    Serini was young and naive when she joined the Scribblers. She starts a diary of her first adventure, not realizing how important and dangerous the information she was recording would be.

    Later, the group tells her to write down the coordinates of the Gates in code. Still being naive, she writes them down in her diary alongside her other not secure secrets.

    After building her dungeon and deciding to return to adventuring, she probably knows a bit more about security. More important though she loves her friends. So despite the risks she keeps her diary with her as a memento of the good times they had together.

  5. - Top - End - #665
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    That's a shame. I would never use a debit card. All the risks of cash without the benefits, and all the risks of credit cards without the benefits.
    That's the big difference. Where I come from we don't get benefits from credit and we do get benefits from debit.
    Explanation:
    In the US you have credit scores, which is a number based on how many loans you have paid off that is used to determine your eligibility for a loan.
    Here such system is not present, but we have a. stores that for security and health purposes only accept debit, b. "interest" on our debit scores(not that relevant anymore, due to low interest in general), c. everywhere we pay there is a contact less payment making small transactions easy and d. there are serious risks involved if someone gets access to your credit card number which is openly written on your credit card and unique to everyone, while debit payment requires a secret pin code and access to the card or access to an 2FA identifier.
    The closest I get to clear and consise:
    Quote Originally Posted by Justanotherhero View Post
    Interesting read! Thanks for the post!

  6. - Top - End - #666
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Except the information is heavily encrypted,
    The diary itself is not encrypted, and since Xykon had no difficulty finding the encrypted coordinates, it is very likely that only these coordinates themselves have been encrypted. Not to mention that "heavily encrypted" is a pure conjecture on your part.

    and also there is virtually no documentation on the defenses (as explicitly shown in comic),
    About the exact nature of the defenses? No, there isn't. The diary would appear to contain a fair amount of useful clues for the would-be Gate-owners, through blabbing on about the defenders themselves. For instance, Redcloak knows Girard was a powerful illusionist and Dorukan was a mighty wizard (v. SoD, p. 97–98). That's valuable intel and Serini had no good excuse for carrying it around.

    and virtually nobody knew about the phone or the person carrying it,
    I wonder. Serini spent years wandering about as an adventurer after the Gates were established.

    and the person is one of the single most capable security experts in the world.
    "I store sensitive, classified information on my personal phone" doesn't scream "capable security expert" for me (nor does "my defenses are impenetrable – unless, of course, you have a highish level rogue; in that case they really aren't" but I digress).

    Yes, it was a quick and dirty analogy and was not entirely representative, but you're really stretching here to make it not fit.
    An analogy that describes something that's not analogous with whatever it describes is not an analogy, and pointing that out is not "stretching" anything. To use another analogy, stashing an invaluable museum artifact (of doom!) in your car's trunk and then going on a road trip is irresponsible and ypu'll be liable for its loss if it is lost.

    I can't help but note that another part that does not fit has been ignored by every person who has argued against - namely that Serini is not famous,
    As said above, she kept a profile nowhere near as low as the others.

    and the Gate information is not only obscure but is in an active information blackout by the gods themselves.
    It wasn't always like that. The Scribblers and their previous sets of enemies have all found the Rifts somehow, and unless Serini was actively spying on Soon all that time, she couldn't have known someone's going around plugging the holes.

    let alone a "relatively easy" one.
    By relatively, I've meant that she made herself an easy target as compared to the other Scribblers who did not stay out in the open and hid behind layers upon layers of defensive measures.
    The Order beat Serini in her own lair, despite her having one powerful and many cunningly used lesser allies and despite her having the element of surprise and taking out their leader in the first round of combat. As shown in the flashback with Xykon, she had none of those advantages during her late adventuring days.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2022-01-23 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Â.

  7. - Top - End - #667
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    And, just to flatly get to the broader point, I think it's ludicrous to try to blame Serini for the Scribble fracturing.
    It was fracturing and she tried to apply some glue. Not the greatest patch job ever but it kinda worked for stopping a lethal brawl.
    Quote Originally Posted by hungrycrow View Post
    Why did Serini keep the diary:

    Serini was young and naive when she joined the Scribblers. She starts a diary of her first adventure, not realizing how important and dangerous the information she was recording would be.

    Later, the group tells her to write down the coordinates of the Gates in code. Still being naive, she writes them down in her diary alongside her other not secure secrets.

    After building her dungeon and deciding to return to adventuring, she probably knows a bit more about security. More important though she loves her friends. So despite the risks she keeps her diary with her as a memento of the good times they had together.
    That makes good sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    since Xykon had no difficulty finding the encrypted coordinates
    Not sure this is accurate. I think either in SoD or in the main strip he mentions that it took him some time to decrypt it and knowing where Lirian's gate was helped.
    I wonder. Serini spent years wandering about as an adventurer after the Gates were established.
    That was my impression as well.
    "I store sensitive, classified information on my personal phone" doesn't scream "capable security expert"
    To me it screams fool and worse. (I am among many people whose personal info was compromised by some lap tops carelessly handled over a decade ago, but that's getting a bit RL and off topic).
    To use another analogy, stashing an invaluable museum artifact (of doom!) in your car's trunk and then going on a road trip is irresponsible and ypu'll be liable for its loss if it is lost.
    A better analogy.

    By relatively, I've meant that she made herself an easy target as compared to the other Scribblers who did not stay out in the open and hid behind layers upon layers of defensive measures.
    The Order beat Serini in her own lair, despite her having one powerful and many cunningly used lesser allies and despite her having the element of surprise and taking out their leader in the first round of combat. As shown in the flashback with Xykon, she had none of those advantages during her late adventuring days.
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  8. - Top - End - #668
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Let's try another analogy: first aid.

    Stop bleeding,
    Start breathing,
    Treat for shock.

    Only then can the patient be assesed for the treatments that will be necessary for healing.

    The Scribblers performed first aid and kept the patient, (the universe,) alive. They didn't have a permanent solution. They knew that. Their best option was to maintain the bandages on the wounds.

    But they could not preclude the possibility that a more permanent fix might become available at a later time. Possibly after their death.

    Each of the Scribblers had trusted associates they could pass their secrets down to. Except Serini. She had to have a backup plan.

    Knowing that her best effort was a bandage that might be ripped off, it would have been irresponsible to not record what she knew in a form that would survive her.

    That Xykon got the diary was a problem. By itself that should not have lead to three more gates falling. I can envision scenarios where him gaining control of one might have lead to future adventurers devising a method of repairing the rifts. Having the diary in their hands might have proven a benefit.

    Serini did nothing wrong or irrational in recording the coordinates. If Eugene hadn't had then abandoned his blood oath Dorukon's gate would not have been blown up. If Elan's mother had not run away with one of her sons, Nale would have killed Elan long before he pushed the self destruct rune.

    Every character could have done otherwise. Personally, I choose to blame Xykon for wanting more power even when he has no idea what he would do with it and Redcloak for pursuing vengeance even when he has committed far greater crimes against his own people than the deeds for which he seeks revenge.

  9. - Top - End - #669
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    ... treatments that will be necessary for healing.

    The Scribblers performed first aid and kept the patient, (the universe,) alive. They didn't have a permanent solution. They knew that. Their best option was to maintain the bandages on the wounds.

    But they could not preclude the possibility that a more permanent fix might become available at a later time.
    Or they were too cheap to pay for the corrective surgery despite having the wealth level of epic characters, because one of their major flaws (Rich writes flawed characters) was that of being selfish.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2022-01-23 at 04:16 PM.
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    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!

  10. - Top - End - #670
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Or they were too cheap to pay for the corrective surgery despite having the wealth level of epic characters, because one of their major flaws (Rich writes flawed characters) was that of being selfish.
    I'm getting confused with all the analogies here. What would "corrective surgery" be here? Something they actually buy with money?

  11. - Top - End - #671
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Or they were too cheap to pay for the corrective surgery despite having the wealth level of epic characters, because one of their major flaws (Rich writes flawed characters) was that of being selfish.
    They did their best, and their best was a patch that needed protecting. But their lifetimes are finite. For a repair that fixes the problem in such a way that it is no longer vulnerable requires more than money.

  12. - Top - End - #672
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    For the first two, these things are laid out for us in-comic (albeit print-only):
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The diary itself is not encrypted, and since Xykon had no difficulty finding the encrypted coordinates, it is very likely that only these coordinates themselves have been encrypted. Not to mention that "heavily encrypted" is a pure conjecture on your part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    As said above, she kept a profile nowhere near as low as the others.
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    It took Xykon 18 years to learn about her existence, find her, get the diary, and crack the cipher.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    About the exact nature of the defenses? No, there isn't. The diary would appear to contain a fair amount of useful clues for the would-be Gate-owners, through blabbing on about the defenders themselves. For instance, Redcloak knows Girard was a powerful illusionist and Dorukan was a mighty wizard (v. SoD, p. 97–98). That's valuable intel and Serini had no good excuse for carrying it around.
    This is hardly classified information. Regardless, your claim was about the defenses, which you yourself admit is demonstrably false.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    An analogy that describes something that's not analogous with whatever it describes is not an analogy, and pointing that out is not "stretching" anything. To use another analogy, stashing an invaluable museum artifact (of doom!) in your car's trunk and then going on a road trip is irresponsible and ypu'll be liable for its loss if it is lost.
    This is one of the worst analogies I've ever read, and doesn't line up with anything at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    It wasn't always like that. The Scribblers and their previous sets of enemies have all found the Rifts somehow, and unless Serini was actively spying on Soon all that time, she couldn't have known someone's going around plugging the holes.
    So let me make sure I have your argument correct. You're saying that it was stupid of her to record the location of the Gates for security reasons, because plenty of other people who already knew about the Gates and their locations existed.

    That's certainly a bold take, I'll give you that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    As said above, she kept a profile nowhere near as low as the others.
    And, unsurprisingly, we get to the heart of the matter: "it wasn't good enough by my vague and subjective standards!"

    In order to learn about Serini and her diary, let alone get it, an epic level sorcerer had to zombify and trap the soul of an epic level druid and then spend two decades trying to find and acquire the diary. This, of course, was only possible because the epic level sorcerer's high level cleric had a major artifact crafted by one of the gods themselves.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2022-01-23 at 07:06 PM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    They did their best
    No, they did not. Their best was saving the world in the first place. For the next part they mailed it in due to being selfish. Why? Because they are flawed. Rich writes flawed characters. (And without their flaws there is no story). see also Book 4 of OoTS.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2022-01-23 at 08:51 PM.
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    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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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    In order to learn about Serini and her diary, let alone get it, an epic level sorcerer had to zombify and trap the soul of an epic level druid and then spend two decades trying to find and acquire the diary. This, of course, was only possible because the epic level sorcerer's high level cleric had a major artifact crafted by one of the gods themselves.
    And because the druid decided to disclose for no reason at all that other gates existed.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Yes, it was a quick and dirty analogy and was not entirely representative, but you're really stretching here to make it not fit. I can't help but note that another part that does not fit has been ignored by every person who has argued against - namely that Serini is not famous, and the Gate information is not only obscure but is in an active information blackout by the gods themselves.
    The analogy was poor because the actress was the victim of her nude photos being taken, which allowed you to draw on the societal sentiment against holding victims responsible for crimes that befall them. But Serini is not the victim of Xykon learning the location of the gates any more than any other person in the world.

    Your setting up as Serini as some sort of victim who is therefore not responsible for making mistakes in protecting important secrets is in stark contrast to you calling her "one of the single most capable security experts in the world".

    I've suggested a couple of better ones.

    Given that Girard set up murderous violence immediately after breaking up anyway, I can't imagine how or why you could possibly hold this idea. Most other disagreememts we have, I can at least understand your point of view, even if I do not share it. This one I cannot. Girard was very clearly out for blood.
    I've pointed out a couple of times that the Order had some pretty similar instances of potentially deadly violence between them. If you don't agree, although you haven't said why, then it's unlikely we will agree on this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Extraordinary to know about the Gates, another extraordinary to know about the Scribblers, and another extraordinary to know about Serini's diary.

    Just because you read a story about a waitress winning the powerball from a tip someone gave her does not mean that the odds of her winning were not astronomical.

    But hey, she really annoyed you, so it's gotta be her fault.
    As I mentioned on the previous page, it is not only in extraordinary circumstances where the diary could be a danger.

    All it takes is for Serini to die during her adventures and someone to find her diary. Any adventurers worth their salt would decode another adventurers diary to see if it a side quest.

    If we put our mind to it, there are probably hundreds of ways the secrets in Serini's diary could have become known. Just because it happened a particular way in the story doesn't mean it's the only way it could have happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The Order beat Serini in her own lair, despite her having one powerful and many cunningly used lesser allies and despite her having the element of surprise and taking out their leader in the first round of combat. As shown in the flashback with Xykon, she had none of those advantages during her late adventuring days.
    This is true. This point hadn't occurred to me. Everything was in Serini's favour in that fight - she had allies (Sunny is possibly more powerful than Serini herself), it was a well designed ambush, it was on her home territory, the rolls went her way. It kind of destroys the theory that Serini is so powerful that only Xykon or some other epic level super villain could have taken the diary from her.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-23 at 09:56 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #676
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    The analogy I'd use for Serini's diary is having a great secure password with some 21 letters, with numbers and symbols, and random capitals letters. And then writing that password down on a sticky note near the computer.

    Yeah, it's not your fault the hacker broke into your computer. But you made it unnecessarily easy for them to do so. In Serini's case, it doesn't matter what the best place for her diary was or what measures she took. She shouldn't have had the locations of the Gates written down at all.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    [QUOTE=Liquor Box;25343250]The analogy was poor becaus
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I've pointed out a couple of times that the Order had some pretty similar instances of potentially deadly violence between them. If you don't agree, although you haven't said why, then it's unlikely we will agree on this point.
    Oh, we certainly won't agree on this, because for some unfathomable reason you decide to ignore that Girard's murderous intentions were unswayable, as we have explicitly seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    As I mentioned on the previous page, it is not only in extraordinary circumstances where the diary could be a danger.

    All it takes is for Serini to die during her adventures and someone to find her diary. Any adventurers worth their salt would decode another adventurers diary to see if it a side quest.
    Assuming facts not in evidence. We don't know if she had any plans or contingencies with the diary that would take effect on or after her death.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    If we put our mind to it, there are probably hundreds of ways the secrets in Serini's diary could have become known. Just because it happened a particular way in the story doesn't mean it's the only way it could have happened.
    This is true of practically any possibility in the comic, so you'll forgive me if I don't think that is particularly compelling.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    [QUOTE=Peelee;25343352]
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    The analogy was poor becaus

    Oh, we certainly won't agree on this, because for some unfathomable reason you decide to ignore that Girard's murderous intentions were unswayable, as we have explicitly seen.
    Why do you think it was unswayable. Because he actually made an attempt? So did Belkar on Elan. Why does that mean that Girard was unswayable?

    Assuming facts not in evidence. We don't know if she had any plans or contingencies with the diary that would take effect on or after her death.
    Well, I'm really just saying these things are possible. To be clearer I could say that scenario for the secrets in Serini's diary to be revealed is possible (and not really that unlikely) based on what we know

    To assume facts would be to say that the diary secrets could be revealed in only extraordinary circumstances. That there are several possible ways that, as far as we know, might have seen the secrets revealed means we cannot make that assumption that it would be revealed in those unusual circumstances.

    This is true of practically any possibility in the comic, so you'll forgive me if I don't think that is particularly compelling.
    Yes, and for precisely that reason, in practically every possibility in the comic it would be wrong to say "this could only have happened in these extraordinary circumstances".

    To be clear here, the only reason I'm suggesting that as far as we know there were lots of other ways the secrets of Serini's diary could have been revealed, is to stand as a counter-example to any suggestion that the revelation of the secrets in Serini's diary was incredibly unlikely. There is simply no basis in the comic for that conclusion.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-24 at 01:25 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Why do you think it was unswayable. Because he actually made an attempt? So did Belkar on Elan. Why does that mean that Girard was unswayable?
    Belkar tried to kill Elan, and the situation was resolved, and Belkar no longer tried to kill Elan. Girard tried to kill Soon, and the situation was resolved, and Girard immediately set up a trap to kill Soon, and went to his grave without ever dismantling it.

    Let's turn the tables, why do you think this was swayable, when nothing in the comic about Girard points to this? You cannot extrapolate how Girard would act based on how Belkar would act, because Girard is not Belkar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Yes, and for precisely that reason, in practically every possibility in the comic it would be wrong to say "this could only have happened in these extraordinary circumstances".
    Except for the vast majority of the comic, yes.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Belkar tried to kill Elan, and the situation was resolved, and Belkar no longer tried to kill Elan. Girard tried to kill Soon, and the situation was resolved, and Girard immediately set up a trap to kill Soon, and went to his grave without ever dismantling it.
    I don't think that's quite accurate. In the Origins of PCs Belkar says he intends to stab Elan, and they move past it by V, Roy and Durkon threatening to kill Belkar if he does so. Then in 125 Belkar actually tries to kill Elan and they move past it by the same people (plus Hayley) saying they'll kill him if he does so. So you had pretty much the same situation occurring twice. In both cases we see Belkar's thought bubbles indicating the matter wasn't 'resolved' satisfactorily. To the extent it is resolved now, that occurred by the party persevering and adventuring together.

    I struggle to see the difference between the above and Girard's perspective on Soon, except that instead of the party saying they'd kill Girard if he killed Soon, they decided to split up instead - leading to Girard's attitude to Soon remaining unchanged.

    I see nothing in the comic that tells us wheter Girard and Belkar would have acted the same of differently had their parties' reactions been reversed.

    Let's turn the tables, why do you think this was swayable, when nothing in the comic about Girard points to this? You cannot extrapolate how Girard would act based on how Belkar would act, because Girard is not Belkar.
    I don't think that. I just think it's an open question, rather than the answer being obvious like you said. Both parties seemed to be in a similar situation, both handled it differently. I don't think we have much to go on as to whether the Scribble would been able remain functional if they had tried to address the matter similarly to how the Order did. Maybe yes, maybe no, but in my opinion not clear or obvious.

    Except for the vast majority of the comic, yes.
    I don't understand this reply in the context of what I was saying. What happens except for in the vast majority of the comic.

    Or, to go back to the original point - do you still think that the secrets of Serini's diary could only have been revealed following the sequence of particular events you outlined? Or do you think that there might have been other possible ways for them to be revealed, as far as we know?
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-24 at 02:59 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    For the first two, these things are laid out for us in-comic (albeit print-only):

    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
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    "It took me forever to translate."
    Okay. I didn't remember that line, so fair enough. I retract the bit about "purely your conjecture". Still, the same speech balloon
    Spoiler: SoD?
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    implies that the encrypted coordinates themselves were not difficult to find, which means that the approximate location of the Gates could likely be inferred from context
    (and before you'd object that I'm makking this up, the only excerpt we see from Serini's diary mentions landmarks and directions they took).

    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
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    It took Xykon 18 years to learn about her existence, find her, get the diary, and crack the cipher.
    So? He did it and things snowballed from there.

    This is hardly classified information.
    Funny. Once you say nobody knew nothin' about the Scribblers, and the next moment suddenly Girard having been capable of casting the most powerful illusions ever is public knowledge.

    Regardless, your claim was about the defenses, which you yourself admit is demonstrably false.
    Not quite. If you know enough about the person who created the defenses, you have excellent quality clues on what the defences most likely look like in broad strokes. (Not to mention that the defenders themselves are part of the defenses themselves.)

    This is one of the worst analogies I've ever read, and doesn't line up with anything at all.
    That's a good one, after what your analogy looked like, but I'll leave it at that. Think what you will.

    So let me make sure I have your argument correct. You're saying that it was stupid of her to record the location of the Gates for security reasons, because plenty of other people who already knew about the Gates and their locations existed.
    Ah, I see! Suddenly, The Life and Times of Serini Toormuck is an excellent means of protecting the coordinates via recording them in the unencrypted and very useful (for wannabe interlopers) context of the Scribblers' (mis)adventures! It was created and lugged around for security reasons!
    Also, the best remedy for snippets of information being available on something that should really be kept hidden is not making better and more complete information more accessible.

    And, unsurprisingly, we get to the heart of the matter: "it wasn't good enough by my vague and subjective standards!"
    I seriously considered not dignifying this with an answer, but you know what? I'll bite.
    The others have retreated into well protected, and mostly obscure and hidden strongholds, surrounding themselves with small armies and other defensive measures. Serini, in the meantime, picked up all she knew about the Gate business in a compact, portable form and went out all alone roaming the lands and socializing with people.
    If for you this is just as safe and no more risky than what the others did, I'm afraid the standards of one of us are indeed vague and subjective, and (a quick hint!) probably not mine.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Ah, I see! Suddenly, The Life and Times of Serini Toormuck is an excellent means of protecting the coordinates via recording them in the unencrypted and very useful (for wannabe interlopers) context of the Scribblers' (mis)adventures!
    They were not unencrypted.

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    The adventures weren’t though.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    And because the druid decided to disclose for no reason at all that other gates existed.
    To understate the case, this was an OPSEC violation.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    So? He did it and things snowballed from there.
    I apologize. I thought that when you said she didn't keep a low profile, that you meant she didn't keep a low profile.

    If it takes two decades to so much as find someone, especially when you have the corpse and mind of one of her closest compatriots, then I fail to see how she was stupidly adventuring around. Hell, Xykon was adventuring around quite a bit Eugene couldn't find him despite Xykon making zero effort to keep a low profile, so we know for a fact that this isn't an uncommon thing.

    Further, what do you mean by "encrypted coordinates themselves were not difficult to find, which means that the approximate location"? Do you mean the location itself? Because of course it wouldn't be difficulty to find, he has the coordinates! Do you mean the encrypted section? Of course it wasn't difficult to find, nothing else in the diary was encrypted! Do you mean cracking the code? Because he flat out said it took forever.

    If you meant something completely different, please let me know, because of the options that I can think of, none make any sense at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Funny. Once you say nobody knew nothin' about the Scribblers, and the next moment suddenly Girard having been capable of casting the most powerful illusions ever is public knowledge.
    Please, feel free to quote any time I said it was public knowledge.

    Now, if you want to talk about what I actually said, it was that their identities were hardly secret. Hell, Soon was personal samurai to the Lord of the City of one of the biggest city-states in the South! Dorukan built a dungeon with completely unrelated treasure (ie the amulet of old monster control) which would be a magnet for adventurers. These were not "low profile" people. However, that doesn't mean anyone and everyone knows their names. Xykon was hardly secretive his whole life and even now, in a quest to take over the entire world, almost nobody who hasn't encountered him and lived knows who he is (and of those, only the named characters in comic even know his goal), despite his making no effort to keep his head down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Not quite. If you know enough about the person who created the defenses, you have excellent quality clues on what the defences most likely look like in broad strokes. (Not to mention that the defenders themselves are part of the defenses themselves.)
    "Excellent quality clues"? Dude, he knew Soon was a paladin. Thats it. Hell, he would have been killed then and there if it weren't for an unhinged person who thought the gods themselves wanted her to break the world. Tell you what, there's a campaign my friends are running. The villain is a wizard. Please, venture a guess from this "excellent quality clue" to determine anything you can about how to overcome his defenses and defeat him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    That's a good one, after what your analogy looked like, but I'll leave it at that. Think what you will.
    Assume, for the minute, I agree mine was bad. I did not realize that meant it was impossible for yours to be bad. My mistake.

    And I make quite a bit out of your complete lack of any justifaction for it other than "no u".
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Ah, I see! Suddenly, The Life and Times of Serini Toormuck is an excellent means of protecting the coordinates via recording them in the unencrypted and very useful (for wannabe interlopers) context of the Scribblers' (mis)adventures! It was created and lugged around for security reasons!
    Also, the best remedy for snippets of information being available on something that should really be kept hidden is not making better and more complete information more accessible.
    So I was right, and you are indeed saying that it was stupid of her to record the location of the Gates for security reasons, because plenty of other people who already knew about the Gates and their locations existed.

    Just, ya know, nice to know where you stand, apparently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I seriously considered not dignifying this with an answer, but you know what? I'll bite.
    The others have retreated into well protected, and mostly obscure and hidden strongholds, surrounding themselves with small armies and other defensive measures. Serini, in the meantime, picked up all she knew about the Gate business in a compact, portable form and went out all alone roaming the lands and socializing with people.
    If for you this is just as safe and no more risky than what the others did, I'm afraid the standards of one of us are indeed vague and subjective, and (a quick hint!) probably not mine.
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
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    Lirian tied hers to trees which could move (and thus break it), who also weren't warded against fire.
    Dorukan built a literal self-destruct mechanism into his. Soon maneuvered to make his in danger of being destroyed by a simple assassination attempt on the Lord of the City, which we know happened just all the time.

    I find your claims unconvincing.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2022-01-24 at 02:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I apologize. I thought that when you said she didn't keep a low profile, that you meant she didn't keep a low profile.
    How much profile do epic level adventurers have?

    Whatever her profile, she would certainly seem to have been an easier target than Girard, Soon or Dorukon - each of whom spent most of their time in a fortress with a host, while Serini wandered alone.

    Unless we know that Xykon spent 18 years trying to track her down, I don't think we can assume that. Following Lirian's gate, Xykon presumably spent time on gather information checks to learn Lirian adventured with Serini, Girard, Soon and Dorukon and we don't know how long it took before that information came to light (how much profile to epic parties have?) Then we don't know if he spent the rest of the time diligently trying to track down Serini, he may have tried to track down one of the others first but not been able to find them, or thought they'd be difficult to attack, so switched to her.


    Edit: I see you hinted that Xykon might have found out who Serini and the others were by interrogating Lirian's soul - Wouldn't she have to be willing to divulge information?
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-24 at 05:13 PM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    Now, let me start with a little general note that has less to do with the content of this little exchange of ideas and more with its form, or, if you want, style. You see, Mr. Lee, I've been thinking and came to the conclusion that this is getting out of hand. I like to consider myself a reasonable adult and I know that you are one. We are talking about an online comic that we both quite evidently like a lot and we agree on a great many things even regarding the fictional character whose actions we endeavoured to assess here (she's not Evil, she's not stupid, she has reason to be wary of the Order, her effort at salvaging what the Scribblers achieved may have led to an arrangement that may not have been ideal, but was the lesser of two evils, so to say, at the time etc.).
    And yet, the tone of any discussion of this particular sunject seems to be bound to devolve into some frankly baffling hostility. I do recognize my role in escalating this discussion, and I sincerely apologize if my output of unnecessary vitriol was offputting or otherwise offensive. At this point, all I can do is try and cut back on that and hope that we can all calm down a bit. If that fails (and again, I must admit that due to various factors I am fairly irritable and impatient these days) for whatever reason, however, I see little merit in debating the issue at hand any further.
    With that out of the way,

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I apologize. I thought that when you said she didn't keep a low profile, that you meant she didn't keep a low profile.

    If it takes two decades to so much as find someone, especially when you have the corpse and mind of one of her closest compatriots, then I fail to see how she was stupidly adventuring around. Hell, Xykon was adventuring around quite a bit Eugene couldn't find him despite Xykon making zero effort to keep a low profile, so we know for a fact that this isn't an uncommon thing.
    I have two observations to make here:
    1. I specifically checked the wording of Soul Bind and found nothing there that would hint at the spell giving access to the mind or memories of the bound soul. Am I forgetting something again (it happened before, as we both know)? And if so, why did Xykon even need the diary?
    2. As far as I am concerned, that someone who didn't keep a low profile proved hard to find does not refute the notion that someone who proved hard to find didn't keep a low profile.

    Further, what do you mean by "encrypted coordinates themselves were not difficult to find, which means that the approximate location"? Do you mean the location itself? Because of course it wouldn't be difficulty to find, he has the coordinates! Do you mean the encrypted section? Of course it wasn't difficult to find, nothing else in the diary was encrypted!
    What I mean is that even without the exact coordinates deciphered the diary isn't exactly useless, since the approximate location of the Rifts/Gates can be inferred from the unencrypted context of these encrypted coordinates. I brought up the only pages we see from the diary to reinforce this point, since these pages make mention of landmarks and directions-

    Do you mean cracking the code? Because he flat out said it took forever.
    Eh, I respect canon, especially hard canon. You may have noticed that (not that I would mind if you hadn't; not giving a mod good reasons to pay close attention to what I say, especially when we are not interacting with each other, is not a bad deal). If the text states breaking the code was hard, then I'll accept without hesitation that it was, especially if the source of information has no reason to lie which is the case here.
    Nonetheless, forever is a common hyperbole. It may mean hours or days or months or a decade. The apparent simplicity of the task of understanding a concise bundle of information (and coordinates are by definition that) might be frustrating, even if appearences are very deceiving (as it happened here) and frustration can easily make the time required to complete a task look longer than it really is.
    Anyhow, what I meant by the comment in question is not this, but since you brought it up, I saw no reason not to address this as well.

    Please, feel free to quote any time I said it was public knowledge.
    I did quote what I took to mean something like that ("[t]his is hardly classified information"). Apologies in case I misunderstood.

    Now, if you want to talk about what I actually said, it was that their identities were hardly secret. Hell, Soon was personal samurai to the Lord of the City of one of the biggest city-states in the South! Dorukan built a dungeon with completely unrelated treasure (ie the amulet of old monster control) which would be a magnet for adventurers. These were not "low profile" people. However, that doesn't mean anyone and everyone knows their names.
    Dorukan's Dungeon is not a really good example. We don't know how often adventurers tried to crack his dungeon (unless, again, I'm missing something) and if I remember correctly, the Order wasn't even sure Dorukan's a(n actual) person. As for Soon, that's fair, but after he returned from the Rift quest, even he went a bit underground with the Guard (secret order and whatnot).

    "Excellent quality clues"? Dude, he knew Soon was a paladin. Thats it. Hell, he would have been killed then and there if it weren't for an unhinged person who thought the gods themselves wanted her to break the world. Tell you what, there's a campaign my friends are running. The villain is a wizard. Please, venture a guess from this "excellent quality clue" to determine anything you can about how to overcome his defenses and defeat him.
    Come now. The diary documented the Scribblers' adventures. I find it hard to believe that it did not record the interesting bits of those. Besides pranks, one-liners and relationship statuses, that would include instances of the Order's members solving problems (through combat and otherwise), which would in turn give valuable insight into their respective capabilities. To use your intended counterexample, if you and your friends (I don't know who the DM is, so please do ignore any mistaken assumptions) repeatedly fight the wizard or see him fight or interact with people who fought him before (etc.), you'll likely have an easier time defeating him when it comes to that.
    That's not all, however! One thing that we know to have been at the very least alluded to in Serini's diary is the Lirian/Dorukan relationship. And Dorukan's feelings for Lirian were that exact thing Xykon used to draw the wizard out in the open from the safety of his lair which facilitated Xykon's defeating him greatly.

    And I make quite a bit out of your complete lack of any justifaction for it other than "no u".
    Well, to be fair, you gave zero justification for your dismissing it as "the worst analogy ever", so that seemed appropriate at the time. Notwithstanding that, I'll hereby explain my analogy: the guy doing the road trip is Serini; the museum artifact (of doom!) is the information she swore to protect and keep secret and which wasn't hers to risk; the car is her diary; and the road trip is adventuring alone.

    So I was right, and you are indeed saying that it was stupid of her to record the location of the Gates for security reasons, because plenty of other people who already knew about the Gates and their locations existed.
    Not at all. I challenged the claim that she had to record the coordinates in her diary, in the context of information useful for the exact people she should have strived to hide them from for security reasons and then lug this diary around while roaming the world alone looking for trouble (i.e. adventuring).
    Also, whether many knew about the Gates or not, I cannot really tell. That many knew where they are is something the comic tells us, which is problem enough. Now, further aggravating the problem of possible leaks by setting up a more extensive and hazardous leak is hardly a good idea. Honestly, I find that self-evident.

    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
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    Lirian tied hers to trees which could move (and thus break it), who also weren't warded against fire.
    Dorukan built a literal self-destruct mechanism into his. Soon maneuvered to make his in danger of being destroyed by a simple assassination attempt on the Lord of the City, which we know happened just all the time.

    I find your claims unconvincing.
    It is true, of course, that all the Scribblers made mistakes. I find it baffling to see this as an argument for why we must consider Serini blameless, but no matter. But even then, Lirian's and Dorukan's Gates had layered defenses. Reaching those
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    poor planties (who, I might add didn't need to move much in order to live long and prosper (it's a planty thing))
    or the self-destruct mechanism was, by design, no easy feat to achieve. It is also implied that the self-destruct button was a layer of defense itself, albeit a last resort kind of one and
    Spoiler: SoD
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    the only explanation for the treants provided we do not assume Lirian was a total moron would be that they had a similar function.
    The thing about Soon's choice being questionable is fair again, but then, there's the thing that none of these three (not even Lirian) has compromised the security of the other Gates as seriously as Serini did and they were themselves harder to actually reach than Serini herself (which was the gist of my point), since they all had a castle or an army or a castle and an army around themselves.


    (Man, this took forever to write!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I don't think that's quite accurate. In the Origins of PCs Belkar says he intends to stab Elan, and they move past it by V, Roy and Durkon threatening to kill Belkar if he does so. Then in 125 Belkar actually tries to kill Elan and they move past it by the same people (plus Hayley) saying they'll kill him if he does so. So you had pretty much the same situation occurring twice. In both cases we see Belkar's thought bubbles indicating the matter wasn't 'resolved' satisfactorily. To the extent it is resolved now, that occurred by the party persevering and adventuring together.

    I struggle to see the difference between the above and Girard's perspective on Soon, except that instead of the party saying they'd kill Girard if he killed Soon, they decided to split up instead - leading to Girard's attitude to Soon remaining unchanged.

    I see nothing in the comic that tells us wheter Girard and Belkar would have acted the same of differently had their parties' reactions been reversed.



    I don't think that. I just think it's an open question, rather than the answer being obvious like you said. Both parties seemed to be in a similar situation, both handled it differently. I don't think we have much to go on as to whether the Scribble would been able remain functional if they had tried to address the matter similarly to how the Order did. Maybe yes, maybe no, but in my opinion not clear or obvious.



    I don't understand this reply in the context of what I was saying. What happens except for in the vast majority of the comic.

    Or, to go back to the original point - do you still think that the secrets of Serini's diary could only have been revealed following the sequence of particular events you outlined? Or do you think that there might have been other possible ways for them to be revealed, as far as we know?
    It's totally different

    Stickers: ONE party member, Belkar, want to kill another, Elan. Elan doesn't want to kill Belkar and doesn't even defend himself. And the rest of the party stop Belkar.

    Scriblers: 2 party members, Dorukan and Girard, want to kill Soon, and Soon want to kill them too, and only ONE party member stops them.

    It's almost the opposite. The order can "control" Belkar's hostility cause is only one person and there are at least four against him. The Scribblers had 3 party members with hostility and only one against that.




    On other subject:
    We don't know yet how Xykon learned about the existence of that diary. And we know that he knew about it because he went right after it, leaving the rest of Serini, body and epic magic items.
    That's weird.
    Last edited by Vikenlugaid; 2022-01-25 at 04:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vikenlugaid View Post
    It's totally different

    Stickers: ONE party member, Belkar, want to kill another, Elan. Elan doesn't want to kill Belkar and doesn't even defend himself. And the rest of the party stop Belkar.

    Scriblers: 2 party members, Dorukan and Girard, want to kill Soon, and Soon want to kill them too, and only ONE party member stops them.

    It's almost the opposite. The order can "control" Belkar's hostility cause is only one person and there are at least four against him. The Scribblers had 3 party members with hostility and only one against that.
    I'm not sure that's really a difference. It is not just Belkar. V has cast spells on Belkar in anger, and Hayley, Roy and Durkon have threatened to kill Belkar. And all this has happened more than once. Elan is the only member of the Order from whom we see no hint of wanting to kill another member.

    To me, there are more similarities than differences. But, as I said, I'm not sure what would have happened if they'd stayed together. Even if we discover somehow that breaking up was a mistake, I don't blame Serini for that - they all agreed with her suggestion (so joint responsibility) and it was not obviously wrong.

    On other subject:
    We don't know yet how Xykon learned about the existence of that diary. And we know that he knew about it because he went right after it, leaving the rest of Serini, body and epic magic items.
    That's weird.
    We don't know how he learned about the diary. But I think the best guess is that he didn't know about it until he found it on Serini. I think the most likely scenario was that he found out who Lirian used to adventure with, tracked down Serini, and attacked her as someone who might have relevant knowledge. He found and then checked her diary, saw some stuff that was written in some sort of code, guessed that was what he was after so decoded it, and the secret was out.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2022-01-25 at 05:10 AM.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1251 - The Discussion Thread

    I also think it's possible Xykon's original intent was to capture and interrogate Serini, but he thought he'd one-shot-killed her but had a lucky break with the diary, hence why he left her.
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