A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    It doesn't sound like MitD 15 years later, and more damningly, it doesn't sound like MitD then either. MitD does not haunt the darkness, it wants out. It is not made of darkness at all, nor has anyone ever suggested he might. And he most definitely does not seek out prey, does not try to destroy victims and has not so much as fetched the mail for Xykon.

    GW
    Let's be fair and look at all the contenders together:

    Glabrezu tempt victims into ruin, but they lure their prey with power or wealth rather than passion.

    Hagunemnons, also known as Proteans, are a species constantly in fluid motion- even from birth they are constantly changing shape and taking on attributes of that which they imagine and those around them. They are the penultimate shapeshifters, fused with chaos so that they have no true form. A protean is a hateful being for this reason, scouring the cosmos for new forms to take.

    A death slaad that survives for more than a century retreats into isolation for at least a year. It returns as a larger, stronger form of Slaad -- the white -- and devotes most of its time and attention to the study of yet more lethal art.

    A white slaad that survives for more than a century retreats into isolation for at least a year. It returns as a larger, stronger form of Slaad -- the black. The power of a black Slaad eclipses that of some abominations and many of the oldest wyrms.

    Uvuudaums were malevolent creatures from an alien plane. These were strange and malevolent creatures. They took delight in revealing the existence of their horrifying, madness-inducing homeplace to more structured realities

    Sages believe that xenocrysths have slipped from a lucid dream of the Dark Plea[...] the Dark Pleaís progeny continue to squirm forth, birthed from the foulest nightmares of powerful psionic creatures

    Hunting Horrors haunt the dark places of the universe, from which they are called up at the whim of their lord to hunt down any who have offended him. Some maintain that they are actually made of incarnate darkness

    And remember the scenario is Rich looking for a good monster to have come out of the shadows, and Rich isn't big on game mechanics, so this may be all he sees of a monster before moving on.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    What kind of argument would I have to make to counter, "it's incredibly on-the-nose," as an objection?
    I would characterize it as too on the nose, to the point that I would roll my eyes at a reveal essentially being "the monster in the darkness is really a monster in the darkness!" That being the case, there's not much you could do to counter it, as it's personal taste. But that shouldn't be a terribly big concern for you, since I only brought that up because as I said originally:
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    All other issues aside
    The creature in the darkness really being a creature in the darkness makes me roll my eyes and be dissatisfied, but it's far from my only issue with it, which others have already expressed.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Havran View Post
    I would like to join the guessing crew. Put me down for Protean club, please
    Welcome to the Protean People! Platoon? Party? Partnership? Patrol? Pack?

    I'm thinking "Pack" but I'm open to suggestions.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Let's be fair and look at all the contenders together:
    I suspect you think you have made a point, but if so I'm not seeing it. For one, I would disagree with the relevance of those particular characterizations as they apply to MitD. For another, even if I were to agree they are relevant (and I bothered to confirm they are accurate, which I have not and will not), all those still would present fewer issues, AFAICT. You're the one that brought it up as a defence of the HH. I merely pointed out that if that's the arena you want to play in, it is a really poor evidence in HH's favour.

    But more importantly, I intensely dislike the approach of arguing not by defending your own pick or addressing any objections but by instead switching to "whataboutisms" about other candidates. That is not in any way "fair", it is changing the topic.

    Grey Wolf
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2022-12-08 at 09:42 PM.
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    Deep in the corners of your mind
    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    I have three minor suggestions/nitpicks to the original posts:
    - Section 1c misspells "their" in the section on Miracle.
    - Section 2d misspells "templates" in the section on Bingosaurus.

    But more productive:
    - Section 1e suggests he is confused by the word "gate" as meaning the spell gate. I believe this is debunked by #1264, where he does not recognize the spell, and should be amended or removed.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacky720 View Post
    I have three minor suggestions/nitpicks to the original posts:
    - Section 1c misspells "their" in the section on Miracle.
    - Section 2d misspells "templates" in the section on Bingosaurus.
    Found the latter; you'll need to tell me how the former is mispelled, since a quick check & a search for common mispelling of their has produced no results.
    Fixed both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacky720 View Post
    But more productive:
    - Section 1e suggests he is confused by the word "gate" as meaning the spell gate. I believe this is debunked by #1264, where he does not recognize the spell, and should be amended or removed.
    Gate has (at least) three meanings: physical door; hole in reality; & name (and in OotS verbal component) of a spell. The argument is that MitD is familiar not with the spell but with the result of that spell (and a number of others): a hole in reality (for example, because his dad once took him through one). Him expecting a hole in reality and being pointed to a big wooden thing against a wall is related to, but distinct from, the latest "oh, you were pointing at a spell all along".

    GW
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2022-12-08 at 09:56 PM.
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    Deep in the corners of your mind
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Thanks for the clarification.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusher View Post
    Welcome to the Protean People! Platoon? Party? Partnership? Patrol? Pack?

    I'm thinking "Pack" but I'm open to suggestions.
    Protean Pack is the best name as long as no-one crosses the scenes.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I suspect you think you have made a point, but if so I'm not seeing it. For one, I would disagree with the relevance of those particular characterizations as they apply to MitD. For another, even if I were to agree they are relevant (and I bothered to confirm they are accurate, which I have not and will not), all those still would present fewer issues, AFAICT. You're the one that brought it up as a defence of the HH. I merely pointed out that if that's the arena you want to play in, it is a really poor evidence in HH's favour.

    But more importantly, I intensely dislike the approach of arguing not by defending your own pick or addressing any objections but by instead switching to "whataboutisms" about other candidates. That is not in any way "fair", it is changing the topic.

    Grey Wolf
    Itís a gag comic, all the monsters are topsy turvy. Do you think Sunny is not a beholder because it isnít obsessed with the imperfections of lesser creatures?

    Richís excuse for claiming something satisfying is going to come out of this is that heís been tailoring every hint to the MitD for the past 15 years. That means none of the scenes that hint at the MitD were conceived of at the time Rich chose it, and Rich was prepared to write completely different scenes if a different monster caught his eye.

    So what monster caught Richís eye is independent of its abilities. This is confirmed when Rich tells us that he decides to use a monster first, then looks up its abilities.

    Therefore, fitting the big scenes is not a complete argument that a creature is the MitD. Itís support. It says, ďThis option is not disqualified by the big scenes.Ē

    The keystone of any argument that a creature is the MitD has to be that it appealed to Rich at the time he was choosing the MitD, without referring to the monsterís stats, closely enough that he was willing to wing the personality, just like he wings it for every other monster in the series.

    Weíre not going to find a monster manual entry that says, ďLives in darkness, hates it.Ē Rich wings it when it comes to personality. Because of this ďwing itĒ factor, there is no way to judge any of the candidates except in contrast to each other.

    The HHís argument is that it lives in the darkness until its master calls it forth to kill people. Thatís what caught Richís eye, thatís what made him look up stats, thatís what made him start spackling over the flaws.

    I used online references for the other contenders. Is there a book version of any of them with a better hook for Rich?
    Last edited by Tubercular Ox; 2022-12-09 at 10:13 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    And remember the scenario is Rich looking for a good monster to have come out of the shadows, and Rich isn't big on game mechanics, so this may be all he sees of a monster before moving on.
    I believe that what Rich actually said -- although a look through the Index of the Giant's Comments and I have been unable to find it -- was along the lines of: some time around strip #100 when he decided there would be an overarching storyline and planned the whole thing out, he decided on MitD's identity as part of that. His decision does not belong with the earlier, no overarching plot, phase of the comic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    But more importantly, I intensely dislike the approach of arguing not by defending your own pick or addressing any objections but by instead switching to "whataboutisms" about other candidates. That is not in any way "fair", it is changing the topic.
    But whatabout -- to layer one whataboutism inside another -- when the Protean Essay does the same thing, you're okay with that? :P

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Norbert View Post
    I believe that what Rich actually said -- although a look through the Index of the Giant's Comments and I have been unable to find it -- was along the lines of: some time around strip #100 when he decided there would be an overarching storyline and planned the whole thing out, he decided on MitD's identity as part of that. His decision does not belong with the earlier, no overarching plot, phase of the comic.
    It's in the OP's first post right near the top - War & XPs was the source.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Section 1a: Directly from Rich
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    Rich's Words on MitD
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Burlew, in War and XPs c.368
    So, just so everyone is clear: I know exactly what the Monster in the Darkness is. I have (almost) always known. Its first two or three appearances were before I had worked out much of the plot's details, so at that point, I just figured it was a mystery I would never answer. Once I started developing the real story that I was telling, around strip #100, I figured out what the monster really was and have been dropping hints ever since. (Note that nothing from before strip #100 actually contradicts the truth of what it is, either.) [...]I now know exactly when and why the monster will reveal itself, too ... don't expect it any time soon, though. Sorry. There's a lot of story left, and that little tidbit will need to wait to close to the end.
    I will say this much: It is possible to guess.
    That is, it isn't something I just made up for the story. It wouldn't be any fun for the answer to a mystery to be something I invented just for one purpose, would it? I won't finally throw back the darkness and have someone say, "Look! It was a therblewurkersaurus the entire time!" or some other made-up monster.
    I realize that the line between something I made up and something someone else made up is a pretty fine one, but I trust that someone will figure it out eventually.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Itís a gag comic, all the monsters are topsy turvy. Do you think Sunny is not a beholder because it isnít obsessed with the imperfections of lesser creatures?
    Again: I'm not the one that claimed that
    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    This is my whole argument. The MitD is the HH because the HH has the nature and purpose of the MitD at the time Rich was looking for a base monster.
    That was you. You claimed that the HH description of its "nature and purpose" was "your whole argument". And, if I am to take you at your word, it is an extremely poor argument. It does not match MitD back when Rich decided what MitD was, and it does not match MitD today. That's the entirety of my counter argument.

    That the descriptions plucked out from gods-knows-where for other random suggestions don't much fit either (but in some cases fit better) is neither here nor there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Richís excuse for claiming something satisfying is going to come out of this is that heís been tailoring every hint to the MitD for the past 15 years. That means none of the scenes that hint at the MitD were conceived of at the time Rich chose it, and Rich was prepared to write completely different scenes if a different monster caught his eye.
    This is in fact not true, as hamishspence helpfully quoted. The story came first, then Rich picked a monster that would fit that story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Therefore, fitting the big scenes is not a complete argument that a creature is the MitD. Itís support. It says, ďThis option is not disqualified by the big scenes.Ē
    It is neither of those. It is a classification scheme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    The HHís argument is that it lives in the darkness until its master calls it forth to kill people. Thatís what caught Richís eye, thatís what made him look up stats, thatís what made him start spackling over the flaws.
    Then, again, it is a poor argument. It is "he saw a random description that didn't fit MitD so far, and decided to change it entirely to make it fit". It is poor because it literally applies to every creature. You can literally pick any description that doesn't fit, and say "oh, it caught Rich's eye, who then proceeded to wholesale abandon it to make the underlying creature fit."

    Now, if that's what you want to go for, I can't stop you. But it is a poor argument. Which is what I said at the start.

    Grey Wolf
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2022-12-09 at 01:31 PM.
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    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Richís excuse for claiming something satisfying is going to come out of this is that heís been tailoring every hint to the MitD for the past 15 years. That means none of the scenes that hint at the MitD were conceived of at the time Rich chose it, and Rich was prepared to write completely different scenes if a different monster caught his eye.

    So what monster caught Richís eye is independent of its abilities. This is confirmed when Rich tells us that he decides to use a monster first, then looks up its abilities.

    Therefore, fitting the big scenes is not a complete argument that a creature is the MitD. Itís support. It says, ďThis option is not disqualified by the big scenes.Ē

    The keystone of any argument that a creature is the MitD has to be that it appealed to Rich at the time he was choosing the MitD, without referring to the monsterís stats, closely enough that he was willing to wing the personality, just like he wings it for every other monster in the series.

    Weíre not going to find a monster manual entry that says, ďLives in darkness, hates it.Ē Rich wings it when it comes to personality. Because of this ďwing itĒ factor, there is no way to judge any of the candidates except in contrast to each other.

    The HHís argument is that it lives in the darkness until its master calls it forth to kill people. Thatís what caught Richís eye, thatís what made him look up stats, thatís what made him start spackling over the flaws.
    But this argument could be used for any monster. "What caught Rich's eye about the Protean is that he wanted to write a story about a monster who changes and fights for good, so he picked a monster capable of changing physical form to parallel that change."

    (Given all the references to MitD's immense power, and that he's supposed to be something even Xykon would consider a secret weapon, I don't see how you can confidently say "independent of its abilities" either.)

    The essence of your argument seems to be that "The HHís argument is that it lives in the darkness until its master calls it forth to kill people," but I think that's a thin bit of characterization to hang the whole thing on (plus, as Grey Wolf has said, the MitD doesn't actually enjoy or prefer living in the darkness).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Norbert View Post
    But whatabout -- to layer one whataboutism inside another -- when the Protean Essay does the same thing, you're okay with that? :P
    What "whataboutism" are you talking about there?

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    But this argument could be used for any monster. "What caught Rich's eye about the Protean is that he wanted to write a story about a monster who changes and fights for good, so he picked a monster capable of changing physical form to parallel that change."
    Yes it could. I highly recommend it. Then we could compare them, like this:
    ďThe monster in the dark is a monster in the dark, waiting for an order to kill from its master.Ē
    ďThe monster in the dark is an infinite shapeshifter, symbolizing a monster who changes from evil to good.Ē

    I do want to stress that these quotes should be relative to strip #100 MitD. And then you have to go through the shopping metaphor and picture Rich deciding the MitD is going to be his outlet for that, instead of using the protean as a separate character. Maybe Belkar is a protean?

    Iím clearly filled with sunk costs, if you want to write snippets for other monsters Iíll collect them.

    PS: The Hunting Horror doesnít have a listed alignment.

    PPS: The shopping metaphor. You have an idea in your head, you go looking, you find something you like, and then you either commit to its flaws or move on. Try watching your thoughts the next time you're looking for a parking spot, there's a moment when "that spot" becomes "your spot" and it's weird. Rich went through that.

    (Given all the references to MitD's immense power, and that he's supposed to be something even Xykon would consider a secret weapon, I don't see how you can confidently say "independent of its abilities" either.)
    Okay, yes, some monsters are more expensive than others and Rich probably couldn't afford to put them in the plot.

    The essence of your argument seems to be that "The HHís argument is that it lives in the darkness until its master calls it forth to kill people," but I think that's a thin bit of characterization to hang the whole thing on (plus, as Grey Wolf has said, the MitD doesn't actually enjoy or prefer living in the darkness).
    Thatís the keystone, which is sort of a synonym for essence. There is a lot of support for the Hunting Horror, like not having an alignment, fitting the big scenes and being a plausible reason for a number of throwaway gags, and the keystone doesn't exist without support. But the support collapses without the keystone.

    If Rich had no reason to check the price tag and try it on, he didn't.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Your thought processes remain unrecognizable to me.

    Crusher, you've mislisted the ox's vote as Haunting Horror, not Hunting Horror.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Yes it could. I highly recommend it. Then we could compare them, like this:
    ďThe monster in the dark is a monster in the dark, waiting for an order to kill from its master.Ē
    ďThe monster in the dark is an infinite shapeshifter, symbolizing a monster who changes from evil to good.Ē
    OK... we could, but does that get us any closer to what it really is without understanding the rest of the choices Rich has made for the character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    I do want to stress that these quotes should be relative to strip #100 MitD. And then you have to go through the shopping metaphor and picture Rich deciding the MitD is going to be his outlet for that, instead of using the protean as a separate character. Maybe Belkar is a protean?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    PPS: The shopping metaphor. You have an idea in your head, you go looking, you find something you like, and then you either commit to its flaws or move on. Try watching your thoughts the next time you're looking for a parking spot, there's a moment when "that spot" becomes "your spot" and it's weird. Rich went through that.
    I'm not really following your thought process here. Rich laid out how the story would go years ago, and what the MITD is is part of that story. I don't understand what the parking spot metaphor has to do with the choices that best fit for the story he wants to tell. I really don't understand this sentence or what it means in terms of describing the choices Rich has made:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    And then you have to go through the shopping metaphor and picture Rich deciding the MitD is going to be his outlet for that, instead of using the protean as a separate character.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Okay, yes, some monsters are more expensive than others and Rich probably couldn't afford to put them in the plot.
    I don't understand what you mean by this at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Thatís the keystone, which is sort of a synonym for essence. There is a lot of support for the Hunting Horror, like not having an alignment, fitting the big scenes and being a plausible reason for a number of throwaway gags, and the keystone doesn't exist without support. But the support collapses without the keystone.

    If Rich had no reason to check the price tag and try it on, he didn't.
    I think there are a number of reasons in the big scenes it does not fit very well, as covered in the FBS roundup at the top of the thread. And, again, if the keystone of your argument is "The monster is already in the darkness, so it's going to be a monster that lives in the darkness" without regard to how the rest of the story fits or whether that fits Rich's intentions for the character, that seems pretty weak to me.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    OK... we could, but does that get us any closer to what it really is without understanding the rest of the choices Rich has made for the character?
    Yes and no. It brings us closer, but we do have to try and understand the rest of the choices Rich made. Thereís a tendency for all of us, anywhere, not just Order of the Stick fans, to discount a lot of evidence by dismissing one detail at a time. Itís a lot like https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0029.html except people have mildly interesting arguments instead of naked bluffs. (And Iím not suggesting that strip is evidence of anything other than a gag thatís convenient for me to look at again.)

    I don't understand what you mean by this at all.
    I had a lot to say, realized it was bloviating, tried to cut it down, and really, really shouldíve just started over. Iím sorry. The bottom line is Iím a Rich-centric person. What makes me happiest is when I can tell a story in my head about how Rich went from whatever was on the character sheet to whatever scenario he put on paper. For picking the MitD, I think Rich started out by shopping for a monster. Once he picked out a monster and committed to its flaws, then he started analyzing the stats for stories he could tell. And I think he went back to the well several times, started to feel the limits of the source material (thereís not a lot of it), then quietly snuck things in to expand it, rules as written, like the Shock Wave feat and an Escape spell. I think now heís at the point where heís having to read the original fiction to get more ideas for the HH.

    Of course I could be wrong, but writing with limits is so much easier than writing from a blank canvas. We need more Rich-centric thinking. Rich needed a monster as a writing prompt, not a puzzle solution.

    I think there are a number of reasons in the big scenes it does not fit very well, as covered in the FBS roundup at the top of the thread. And, again, if the keystone of your argument is "The monster is already in the darkness, so it's going to be a monster that lives in the darkness" without regard to how the rest of the story fits or whether that fits Rich's intentions for the character, that seems pretty weak to me.
    People are going to think Iím kidding, but I genuinely and truly am appreciative of the stat block for the HH at the top of the thread. Eight years ago was not a good moment for me and people took me as seriously as they could.

    That being said, it tries to harmonize the Chaosium Hunting Horror with the d20 Hunting Horror and Iím stuck on the d20 Hunting Horror. If I were to cut it down:

    Pros:
    CR 20 - powerful enough to be MitD.
    Strength of 34 - on the lower side, but within acceptable bounds for the tower scene.
    Hideous form - looks like a "black ropy worm or serpent, rather like a legless dragon... with a single wing rising from the middle of the back and a long sinuous tail trailing behind," but are also "mutable, as some have reported them with two wings instead of one, or two eyes instead of a single three-lobed yellow eye."
    Accompanied by a permanent foul stench that causes Nausea.
    Has a Roar ability, but that causes damage, so perhaps that doesn't explain the "STOP" after all.
    Has a suggestion at will as an SLA, but that doesnít shake the panel, so perhaps that doesnít explain the ďSTOPĒ after all.
    Can understand speech, but "rarely speaks," according to the D20 version. *1
    Has a Swallow Whole ability, so more than capable of devouring Redcloak.
    Has a tail that it can use as an appendage, allowing him to smack the ground and "punch" Miko and Windstriker through a wall, but making pulling things or holding small objects difficult. *2
    Rare to see it on Earth at all, let alone in a rainforest in the middle of the day.

    Cons:
    Defences not that great: AC of 19, plus DR 5/+1, fast healing of 10 *3
    Access to teleportation a bit dodgy -
    Damaged by light - explanations vary as to whether it can tolerate a few hours worth of light or if light damages it outright, but a problem either way *4
    Too big to fit under either umbrella or box.
    The total lack of non-wing limbs in the official description doesn't fit the art clues. It's of variable form, though, so it might have limbs.

    And then some quibbles:

    *1 rarely speaks can mean that any individual HH rarely speaks, or it can mean that most HH donít speak but rarely one does.

    *2 I stand by the ice cream cone argument, but some people are persuaded by it being listed as a Tail-Tentacle. Itís hard to have multiple arguments for something because people tend to pick off the one they donít like then ignore the rest.

    I mentioned earlier the bit about finding it difficult to pull. Itís fine to pull the rope. The holding and moving joke is an allusion to its SLAís, not a contract that itís using its SLAís to pull the rope, just like the ďeat redcloak and spit the amulet outĒ is an allusion to its swallow whole and vomit abilities, just like ďSorry about the smellĒ is an allusion to its aura of nausea.

    *3 It has a smoke form. ďWhy would it use a smoke form?Ē came up, but my thinking is, ďIf itís a HH and Rich can see it has a smoke form, how would he contrive to represent it without showing anyone its form?Ē Five whiffs in a row and a tickling comment to show Miko didnít just miss is a short path from the character sheet to the comic, and I realize thatís not conclusive, but there are a lot of short paths from the HH to the comic and it adds up.

    *4 Fast healing 10, 1d6 damage from torchlight. Mostly we see it wanting to reveal itself in torchlight, which literally does no damage to it, it just makes it slightly easier to kill if youíre dedicated to it.

    3d6 damage from sunlight, and it can cast darkness at will. 230 hp, so 460 rounds, 2760 seconds, 46 minutes of direct sunlight on average before it has to cast Darkness to protect itself.

    I really could go on about this one. The bottom line is itís only a con if you need it to be, and it can even be a pro if you want it to be.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Your thought processes remain unrecognizable to me.

    Crusher, you've mislisted the ox's vote as Haunting Horror, not Hunting Horror.
    Oops, thanks!
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    Yes and no. It brings us closer, but we do have to try and understand the rest of the choices Rich made. Thereís a tendency for all of us, anywhere, not just Order of the Stick fans, to discount a lot of evidence by dismissing one detail at a time. Itís a lot like https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0029.html except people have mildly interesting arguments instead of naked bluffs. (And Iím not suggesting that strip is evidence of anything other than a gag thatís convenient for me to look at again.)


    I had a lot to say, realized it was bloviating, tried to cut it down, and really, really shouldíve just started over. Iím sorry. The bottom line is Iím a Rich-centric person. What makes me happiest is when I can tell a story in my head about how Rich went from whatever was on the character sheet to whatever scenario he put on paper. For picking the MitD, I think Rich started out by shopping for a monster. Once he picked out a monster and committed to its flaws, then he started analyzing the stats for stories he could tell. And I think he went back to the well several times, started to feel the limits of the source material (thereís not a lot of it), then quietly snuck things in to expand it, rules as written, like the Shock Wave feat and an Escape spell. I think now heís at the point where heís having to read the original fiction to get more ideas for the HH.

    Of course I could be wrong, but writing with limits is so much easier than writing from a blank canvas. We need more Rich-centric thinking. Rich needed a monster as a writing prompt, not a puzzle solution.



    People are going to think Iím kidding, but I genuinely and truly am appreciative of the stat block for the HH at the top of the thread. Eight years ago was not a good moment for me and people took me as seriously as they could.

    That being said, it tries to harmonize the Chaosium Hunting Horror with the d20 Hunting Horror and Iím stuck on the d20 Hunting Horror. If I were to cut it down:

    Pros:
    CR 20 - powerful enough to be MitD.
    Strength of 34 - on the lower side, but within acceptable bounds for the tower scene.
    Hideous form - looks like a "black ropy worm or serpent, rather like a legless dragon... with a single wing rising from the middle of the back and a long sinuous tail trailing behind," but are also "mutable, as some have reported them with two wings instead of one, or two eyes instead of a single three-lobed yellow eye."
    Accompanied by a permanent foul stench that causes Nausea.
    Has a Roar ability, but that causes damage, so perhaps that doesn't explain the "STOP" after all.
    Has a suggestion at will as an SLA, but that doesnít shake the panel, so perhaps that doesnít explain the ďSTOPĒ after all.
    Can understand speech, but "rarely speaks," according to the D20 version. *1
    Has a Swallow Whole ability, so more than capable of devouring Redcloak.
    Has a tail that it can use as an appendage, allowing him to smack the ground and "punch" Miko and Windstriker through a wall, but making pulling things or holding small objects difficult. *2
    Rare to see it on Earth at all, let alone in a rainforest in the middle of the day.

    Cons:
    Defences not that great: AC of 19, plus DR 5/+1, fast healing of 10 *3
    Access to teleportation a bit dodgy -
    Damaged by light - explanations vary as to whether it can tolerate a few hours worth of light or if light damages it outright, but a problem either way *4
    Too big to fit under either umbrella or box.
    The total lack of non-wing limbs in the official description doesn't fit the art clues. It's of variable form, though, so it might have limbs.

    And then some quibbles:

    *1 rarely speaks can mean that any individual HH rarely speaks, or it can mean that most HH donít speak but rarely one does.

    *2 I stand by the ice cream cone argument, but some people are persuaded by it being listed as a Tail-Tentacle. Itís hard to have multiple arguments for something because people tend to pick off the one they donít like then ignore the rest.

    I mentioned earlier the bit about finding it difficult to pull. Itís fine to pull the rope. The holding and moving joke is an allusion to its SLAís, not a contract that itís using its SLAís to pull the rope, just like the ďeat redcloak and spit the amulet outĒ is an allusion to its swallow whole and vomit abilities, just like ďSorry about the smellĒ is an allusion to its aura of nausea.

    *3 It has a smoke form. ďWhy would it use a smoke form?Ē came up, but my thinking is, ďIf itís a HH and Rich can see it has a smoke form, how would he contrive to represent it without showing anyone its form?Ē Five whiffs in a row and a tickling comment to show Miko didnít just miss is a short path from the character sheet to the comic, and I realize thatís not conclusive, but there are a lot of short paths from the HH to the comic and it adds up.

    *4 Fast healing 10, 1d6 damage from torchlight. Mostly we see it wanting to reveal itself in torchlight, which literally does no damage to it, it just makes it slightly easier to kill if youíre dedicated to it.

    3d6 damage from sunlight, and it can cast darkness at will. 230 hp, so 460 rounds, 2760 seconds, 46 minutes of direct sunlight on average before it has to cast Darkness to protect itself.

    I really could go on about this one. The bottom line is itís only a con if you need it to be, and it can even be a pro if you want it to be.
    At the risk of being a bit blunt: Man, you don't know Rich. Rich is not your friend, you don't know his thought processes just because you read a comic he wrote. As someone who aspires to be an author myself, this kinda ssumption that you can somehow know that author on some deep level by reading their work is just...Ugh. No. The suggestion itself seems fine, although i'd suggest its acess to teleportation is less "a bit dodgy" and more "entirely unsupported".

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    I had a lot to say, realized it was bloviating, tried to cut it down, and really, really shouldíve just started over. Iím sorry. The bottom line is Iím a Rich-centric person. What makes me happiest is when I can tell a story in my head about how Rich went from whatever was on the character sheet to whatever scenario he put on paper. For picking the MitD, I think Rich started out by shopping for a monster. Once he picked out a monster and committed to its flaws, then he started analyzing the stats for stories he could tell. And I think he went back to the well several times, started to feel the limits of the source material (thereís not a lot of it), then quietly snuck things in to expand it, rules as written, like the Shock Wave feat and an Escape spell. I think now heís at the point where heís having to read the original fiction to get more ideas for the HH.

    Of course I could be wrong, but writing with limits is so much easier than writing from a blank canvas. We need more Rich-centric thinking. Rich needed a monster as a writing prompt, not a puzzle solution.
    I think Rich's process is important, certainly, but I think he went about it in pretty much the opposite method you have done here. I think he decided what kind of character he wanted the MitD to be and what kind of story he wanted to tell about the MitD, then he went and picked a monster species that was the best thematic fit for that story.

    It seems you think he picked the monster first and wrote the story to fit the monster. I think he decided on the story first and picked the monster to fit the story.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    At the risk of being a bit blunt: Man, you don't know Rich.
    Iím basing it more on the Q&A he gives to MitD fans, not what heís actually written.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I think Rich's process is important, certainly, but I think he went about it in pretty much the opposite method you have done here. I think he decided what kind of character he wanted the MitD to be and what kind of story he wanted to tell about the MitD, then he went and picked a monster species that was the best thematic fit for that story.

    It seems you think he picked the monster first and wrote the story to fit the monster. I think he decided on the story first and picked the monster to fit the story.
    I agree this is the big disagreement.

    My view is he writes a gaming comic. Gaming material is a bunch of writing prompts. We have to assume he enjoys writing to prompts or he wouldnít be writing a gaming comic. For example, the very first comic is all about the update to 3.5, and after that a joke about how rangers got nerfed. The update prompted the comic. This is common for many authors. Anyone entering any kind of writing contest is expecting to be given a prompt, and writing well to prompts is a sign of expertise.

    ďI barely even reference the 3.5 rules anymore, using them just to determine what sort of spells or class abilities a character might have and then ignoring them the rest of the time,Ē is an admission that he uses gaming material for writing prompts and is not a simulationist.

    ďRather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?Ē shows that, however distant he is from simulationism, he feels bound by his prompts, which is how prompts work. Writing outside the prompt is a faux pas.

    ďThereís no answer thatís better than what he is because everything written for the last 15 years has been written with that answer in mind,Ē implies that he had no scenes in mind while shopping for the monster, because any scene he had in mind prior to picking the monster wasnít tailored to the monster. IOW, all of the MitDís scenes are prompted. Maybe not always by its statblock, but it has to figure.

    So the best contrast for this idea and the idea that he had his plans first, then picked a monster, is the Protean. My version of the story has to be that, first, Rich was attracted to the Protean in some way. We can keep using it as a metaphor for change. Then he had to try the monster out, see what work it does for him as an author, and it doesnít. Itís almost unique in that every scene you want to write to it starts with yet another round of monster shopping, making the MitD exponentially more difficult to write for than any other character. Maybe for a main character that could happen, but for the villainís comic relief itís a chore.

    On the other hand, if Rich decided in advance that the MitD was going to switch sides, if he knew there was going to be a tower scene and an escape scene, and that the monster was going to have to beat up Miko and help O-Chul escape, then yeah, the Protean is great. It can slide through any hoop you pass over it, and it can never be disproven because it can slide through any hoop you pass over it.

    But itís still a pain to write for Rich, because choosing the Protean still means he has to shop for monsters for as many of the scenes as heís picked out in his head. The Protean is not an out for Rich, itís U-turn straight into the monster manuals to look for a real out.

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    although i'd suggest its acess to teleportation is less "a bit dodgy" and more "entirely unsupported".
    CoC spells are not dependent on class, level, feats, attributes, or other features. Anyone can learn one, even a level 1 commoner with a few weeks on his hands. Thereís an explicit rule that says monsters can learn them too, with the same rules as PCs, from books, from teachers (maybe the father he remembers seeing), or from plot intervention. The HH has a few hooks that would justify plot intervention. Weíve already seen the MitD be strangely familiar with high level magic when it recognized Tsukikoís half ritual. And then you have everything else Iíve already written: CoC spells are not allowed, by the rules, to be exactly whatís in the book, they have to be strange and mysterious, and they canít seem easy, mundane, mechanical, or safe, all of which the spell commits to.

    I think the spell is grounded firmly in the rules and not dodgy in the least, I left the word in because of sentiment on the board.

    But with that out of my system: Whatís your definition of supported? And Iím not asking you to represent the thread on this, just speak for yourself. Can you give me a few examples of things you think would be supported vs unsupported to help clarify?
    Last edited by Tubercular Ox; 2022-12-11 at 12:56 PM.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I think Rich's process is important, certainly, but I think he went about it in pretty much the opposite method you have done here. I think he decided what kind of character he wanted the MitD to be and what kind of story he wanted to tell about the MitD, then he went and picked a monster species that was the best thematic fit for that story.

    It seems you think he picked the monster first and wrote the story to fit the monster. I think he decided on the story first and picked the monster to fit the story.
    That seems kind of implausible to me except in the broadest strokes possible. As evidenced by, well, this thread, finding a specific monster that meets all these criteria is actually really freaking hard. He may have decided on some of the emotional beats of the MITD's story beforehand, but those are almost entirely separate from the actual, specific monster type under there, so he doesnt need to pick one to "fit" that part of the story, anything with free will works.
    ďEvil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.Ē

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    ďI barely even reference the 3.5 rules anymore, using them just to determine what sort of spells or class abilities a character might have and then ignoring them the rest of the time,Ē is an admission that he uses gaming material for writing prompts and is not a simulationist.
    When he chose MITD it was before this. He was either still or recently working on D&D projects = or just playing the game - so the body of work as a whole would be fresh in his mind. And the general feeling is that if there's one creature he'd try to maintain as 'correct' by the rules is the MITD; otherwise the 'can be guessed' could fall to the wayside.

    Personally, I think he picked an interesting (to him) creature that had some abilities he could use as dramatic beats. Obviously only an opinion, but look at the flumphs and displacer beasts. Granted they are both generally in mostly comic situations. The flumphs of course were just to mock the flumphs themselves and grew into a running gag but the displacer beasts also serve as a general commentary on the concept of wandering monsters.

    For a serious example see the whatever-it-was Mr. Scruffy hung out with in his story. It was a creature few non-experts would recognize but written in a way that could be followed and enjoyed by pretty much anyone.

    Or, heck, look at Celia. Rich took her from a one-off character but weaved her into the story. He ability to spontaneously generate lighting became a major deus-ex-machina psych-out with Roy's death. While it's obvious he planned that when he introduced the talisman he clearly didn't when she was introduced. He went down her list of abilities versus the story beats he had in mind and figured out a way to tie them together.

    I think he did something similar with MITD. None of the abilities he's shown so far were essential to the story. Miko could have had another way to escape. The stomp-confrontation could have been handled multiple ways. V. could have had a one-time teleport object for emergencies. I'm not going to get into exact replacements for all of them. The point I'm hoping to make is that I feel once the MITD was chosen Rich tailored certain scenes to his abilities that made sense - he didn't come up with the scenes and then choose the MITD. I expect for the majority of readers the interesting part of the reveal will be the creature going against 'type' to do what's right - not what it actually is.

    TLDR: (IMO) The big scenes were as written specifically to showcase the MITDs abilities. They could have all been written differently and still worked so the MITD shouldn't need much, if any, shoehorning into them.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    On the issue of "Did Rich pick the MitD's identity before or after writing the story", I think the answer is likely to be that the question is wrong. I would bet that Rich came up a at least somewhat inchoate outline of how he imagined the story to go, then picked a monster to be MitD based on whatever criteria he felt like using, then fleshed out the MitD's scenes based on the abilities of the creature he picked. So when he was picking the MitD, he wasn't trying to match a creature to the tower scene and the stomp scene and the escape scene, but rather to the scene where MitD does something impressive while interacting with Miko, the scene where MitD forces Haley to abandon O-Chul, and the scene where MitD helps O-Chul escape from Xykon.
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    On the issue of "Did Rich pick the MitD's identity before or after writing the story", I think the answer is likely to be that the question is wrong. I would bet that Rich came up a at least somewhat inchoate outline of how he imagined the story to go, then picked a monster to be MitD based on whatever criteria he felt like using, then fleshed out the MitD's scenes based on the abilities of the creature he picked. So when he was picking the MitD, he wasn't trying to match a creature to the tower scene and the stomp scene and the escape scene, but rather to the scene where MitD does something impressive while interacting with Miko, the scene where MitD forces Haley to abandon O-Chul, and the scene where MitD helps O-Chul escape from Xykon.
    Right. When I say "the story" I mean the general overall arc of MitD-- a member of Team Evil who's not really committed to Evil but just follows Xykon and Redcloak around because he thinks they're his friends and thinks it's easier to follow orders and let them do the thinking than to think for himself, and how he is shaken out of that view and starts to make his own decisions, which I presume will ultimately lead to him flipping to held the good guys.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Right. When I say "the story" I mean the general overall arc of MitD-- a member of Team Evil who's not really committed to Evil but just follows Xykon and Redcloak around because he thinks they're his friends and thinks it's easier to follow orders and let them do the thinking than to think for himself, and how he is shaken out of that view and starts to make his own decisions, which I presume will ultimately lead to him flipping to held the good guys.
    I think the MitD got a juvenile personality because the HH was too big, and Rich thinks children are smaller than adults even when there are no rules to support it. If Rich found a decent monster that was Small, he would not have made it a child and instead would find some way to size it up.

    I think he was tempted into the redemption arc when he went to check if the HH was Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil, and found it had no printed alignment. It's not a force, he had to like the idea of a redemption arc, but it is a prompt available to him.

    The two prompts combine into a story arc about coming of age and learning to think for yourself.
    Last edited by Tubercular Ox; 2022-12-12 at 10:49 AM.

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    I think the MitD got a juvenile personality because the HH was too big, and Rich thinks children are smaller than adults even when there are no rules to support it. If Rich found a decent monster that was Small, he would not have made it a child and instead would find some way to size it up.

    I think he was tempted into the redemption arc when he went to check if the HH was Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil, and found it had no printed alignment. It's not a force, he had to like the idea of a redemption arc, but it is a prompt available to him.

    The two prompts combine into a story arc about coming of age and learning to think for yourself.
    Goblins, which are Small, are presented as Medium in the comic with absolutely zero explanation.

    I do not think the author particularly cares about listed size requirements.
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Goblins, which are Small, are presented as Medium in the comic with absolutely zero explanation.

    I do not think the author particularly cares about listed size requirements.
    So the HH can be Huge and I donít have to explain why it fits under the umbrella?

    Or do you mean the HH can be Large and I donít have to explain how it got there?

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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    So the HH can be Huge and I donít have to explain why it fits under the umbrella?

    Or do you mean the HH can be Large and I donít have to explain how it got there?
    Dealers choice. I currently don't think size is an important facet to consider for MitD. Others might. Don't ask me what you should consider important.

    I just wanted to point out a comic/RAW size discrepancy that was never brought up in-comic as notable in any way.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2022-12-12 at 11:33 AM.
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    Default Re: MitD XVII: [Y]ou were quite clear. I was just being pedantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubercular Ox View Post
    So the HH can be Huge and I donít have to explain why it fits under the umbrella?

    Or do you mean the HH can be Large and I donít have to explain how it got there?
    I believe he means that the MITD will be whatever size is convenient to consistently fit on the page, regardless of what the statblock says.

    Especially considering that the size was one of the only things decided on before he picked a monster.
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