A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #961
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    That's sort of where I was going, yeah. If you asked Klaus up-front, he'd probably say that he *could* conquer all of Europa if he needed to, but it's fine as-is and doing so would be such an utterly miserable headache above and beyond his current one. He voluntarily imposes limits upon himself, which plenty of lesser Sparks lack the self-control to do. The arrogance is in assuming that no one, even The Heterodyne backed by a resurgent Mechanicsburg, is really capable of withstanding him if he puts an effort into it. He respects her/the Other as a dangerous opponent, but doesn't question his ability to eventually defeat her any more than Professor Aeroape questioned his destiny to rule the Empire.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; Yesterday at 07:18 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #962
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Klaus's whole mindset is basically the classic "Benevolent Dictator" with a mix of being the Ultimate Pragmatist. Nobody else is capable of keeping Europa in check, so he must do it. He doesn't WANT to do evil things, but he holds that it may be necessary. For example, Agatha SEEMS to be a heroic heir to his best friend's legacy, but she's potentially The Other, and even if she's not, she's an independent-minded heterodyne, she threatens the peace, and must be destroyed.

    His Moral system is such that he employs Bangladesh Dupree, because, despite the considerable collateral damage that comes from sending her in, she's a useful enough tool to keep around.



    Which brings us to his experiments. His passion is to discover the nature of The Spark, he pursues this by torturing Sparks. He's a Pragmatist, so he limits his actions to torturing DANGEROUS sparks like Dr. Dimm and OTHAR TRYGVASSEN, Gentleman Adventurer. Just like employing Dupree or destroying Mechanisburg, it's a calculus he makes that the benefit of discovering the nature of the Spark is worth the damage and pain he's inflicting on, what he sees as very dangerous people. He'd probably be executing them on the spot otherwise, so if you ask him he'd probably say that this is only a little more evil than just shooting them in the brain, and that the moral difference in the two approaches is justified by the knowledge he stands to gain.

    He's not a Good Person, and he doesn't see himself as such. He sees himself as a lid keeping the boiling chaos of sparky Europa from boiling over into absolute anarchy.

    Which is to say, he's not Humble, his behavior is not that of a Humble man. The key is that he's not AMBITIOUS either, at least not in the standard "Power and glory" sense.


    It might be most accurate to say that he views himself as extremely capable, but he doesn't see that capability as translating into him desiring or deserving power.
    The first time we meet him, he's going to take Dr. Beetle prisoner and drill into his head, which prompts Beetle to try to kill Agatha. And Beetle seems to have been fond of Agatha; he's killing her to save her from Klaus. Dr. Beetle was a disobedient minion, and of course messing about with a hive engine is dangerous, but Beetle was not going to start any wars of conquest or attempt to murder every other Spark on the planet. In short, I think it's at best an assumption that he only experiments on "bad" Sparks; more likely, he experiments on any Spark that gets in his way or annoys him.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    That's sort of where I was going, yeah. If you asked Klaus up-front, he'd probably say that he *could* conquer all of Europa if he needed to, but it's fine as-is and doing so would be such an utterly miserable headache above and beyond his current one. He voluntarily imposes limits upon himself, which plenty of lesser Sparks lack the self-control to do. The arrogance is in assuming that no one, even The Heterodyne backed by a resurgent Mechanicsburg, is really capable of withstanding him if he puts an effort into it. He respects her/the Other as a dangerous opponent, but doesn't question his ability to eventually defeat her any more than Professor Aeroape questioned his destiny to rule the Empire.
    I'll agree that Klaus has some self-control, but I think he believes he could rule the whole world, he just lacks sufficient quantity and quality of minions to do so. He just can't get good help.

    And again, the "use unwilling human beings as experimental subjects to further your research, which involves destroying portions of their brain" is not something found this side of sociopathy. He really has to believe that satisfying his curiosity (which he will pretend is to help the world, but every Spark says that, no?) justifies torturing humans and rendering intelligent, capable people drooling idiots.

    Albia is shocked by what has been done to Vapnoodle, whom she has good reason to hate. She refrains from destroying Gil only when he assures her he's not involved in his father's research. And Albia is probably not a goody-two-shoes entity of pure benevolence and innocence. If Albia, who is capable of Not Nice, thinks Klaus is a monster, maybe we should assume that Team Foglio also think that Klaus is a monster - just a useful one to have around. Klaus is Bang writ large.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

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  3. - Top - End - #963
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    The first time we meet him, he's going to take Dr. Beetle prisoner and drill into his head, which prompts Beetle to try to kill Agatha. And Beetle seems to have been fond of Agatha; he's killing her to save her from Klaus.
    We don't actually know what Klaus was planning to do to Beetle. I assumed he was sending him to Castle Heterodyne, really.

    Beetle's attitude could have been derived from a misunderstanding. We don't know the details, but apparently Barry made some sort of accusation that made Dr. Beetle, Punch, and Judy see him as a traitor. Klaus expressed confusion over the accusation, not knowing where it came from, but acknowledging that this accusation made it entirely understandable Dr. Beetle would oppose him. Perhaps Lucrezia framed him, or maybe they saw him under slaverwasp control through a time window without knowing a slaverwasp was involved. Ultimately though, our information on this subject is too ambiguous to draw conclusions.

  4. - Top - End - #964
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaScribe View Post
    We don't actually know what Klaus was planning to do to Beetle. I assumed he was sending him to Castle Heterodyne, really.

    Beetle's attitude could have been derived from a misunderstanding. We don't know the details, but apparently Barry made some sort of accusation that made Dr. Beetle, Punch, and Judy see him as a traitor. Klaus expressed confusion over the accusation, not knowing where it came from, but acknowledging that this accusation made it entirely understandable Dr. Beetle would oppose him. Perhaps Lucrezia framed him, or maybe they saw him under slaverwasp control through a time window without knowing a slaverwasp was involved. Ultimately though, our information on this subject is too ambiguous to draw conclusions.
    His reaction was not fear, but horror. I don't think Der Kestle would provoke "I'll never submit to that! Never!" followed by "You won't get me! You won't get any of us!" and an attempt to kill the only other not-Wulfenbach Spark in the room. And then Klaus wants to know how his head fared in the explosion.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

  5. - Top - End - #965
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    His reaction was not fear, but horror. I don't think Der Kestle would provoke "I'll never submit to that! Never!" followed by "You won't get me! You won't get any of us!" and an attempt to kill the only other not-Wulfenbach Spark in the room. And then Klaus wants to know how his head fared in the explosion.
    It's pretty clear Beetle was afraid of having his head carved open. Whether or not the Baron intended to do so is less clear. He is furious with Merlot for prompting the conflict despite knowing about the hive engine, and states that without Merlot he might have been able to salvage Beetle. He's shocked at Agatha's suggestion that Beetle will be killed. He orders a hero's funeral for Beetle as well.

    That to me does not indicate that Beetle was going back merely to be inspected. He likely intended to keep Beetle on Castle Wulfenbach as an advisor, much like the other powerful sparks he has working for him.

    As for Beetle's head, that's not because he wants to inspect Beetle's brain. It's because he can be resurrected. Beetle with only his head surviving would still make a good advisor, or he could be put into a clank body.

    I'm in agreement that we don't know enough to draw a conclusion. Beetle's reaction means he knows what might happen, and is exaggerated by the fact that he's hiding Agatha from the Baron. We know nothing about what the Baron would have actually done.

  6. - Top - End - #966
    Titan in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    His reaction was not fear, but horror. I don't think Der Kestle would provoke "I'll never submit to that! Never!" followed by "You won't get me! You won't get any of us!" and an attempt to kill the only other not-Wulfenbach Spark in the room. And then Klaus wants to know how his head fared in the explosion.
    Eh, the state of a brain is a common question since Resurrection is a thing. Klaus can extract a lot of information from a functional brain, and Beetle had plenty of information Klaus wanted.


    Which isn't to say that Klaus WASN'T planning to experiment on Beetle. If he experiments on any sparks he would execute, then Beetle, being a powerful and respected spark who broke Klaus's #1 rule, might have qualified as being too dangerous to leave on the board.

    Like, I could see it being the following flowchart

    You ARE A SPARK, you have COMMITTED A CRIME AGAINST WULFENBACH

    1) Are you willing/trustworthy enough to follow orders?
    If Yes, Welcome to the service of The Baron Wulfenbach! Disobedience will see you handed over to Captain Dupree.

    If No, proceed

    2) Are you dangerous or powerful enough that Klaus decides he cannot afford the risk of you being out there to work against him?

    If Yes! Welcome to the Labs of the Baron Wulfenbach. If you lie still, the agonizing pain will be over shortly and you'll either die, or start a new life as a lobotomized janitor. Either way, The Baron appreciates your contributions to science.

    If No? Off to Der Kestle.
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  7. - Top - End - #967
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Girl Genius XXXI: Letís look at it from farther away!

    Klaus has no interest in ruling the world, in fact he HATES being in charge. He laments that he would like nothing more than to just do his research in peace but he cant. Europa fell apart while he was gone, and he felt responsible for fixing it. So he did, his way. And it more or less worked. He calmed europa down big time. He kept a tight lid on incipient war and if he had a few more years to establish his son it might have even worked past his direct rule. Im sure there would have been unrest either way, but it would have likely been smaller as gil would already be handling most of it before the official turnover and so be a known quantity not to be messed with.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

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