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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Precure View Post
    Xykon belittles Vaarsuvius because they're using borrowed power.
    More because they're using magic they don't have the power to keep.

    As he says, it's not *your* power if you can lose it forever by failing a couple of saves.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    More because they're using magic they don't have the power to keep.

    As he says, it's not *your* power if you can lose it forever by failing a couple of saves.
    Not magic, as such, but more like one single expendable resource Xykon also had and V only had for the occasion. Xykon actively contrasts this to O-Chul, who's just takes his poor Reflex saves, walks up against him without his usual toys, and basically naked and stonewalls several rounds of hard blasting like that's just a thing one does. In that way, Xykon's speech is quite notably similar to ABD's earlier "I'm still a dragon".

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    It's part of the "power is power, it doesn't matter what type of power" point, and serves to continue the "you seem to think arcane power is greater. I used to think the same, but I know better now" line of thought.

    It's also a joke about game balance.
    And his conclusion is that the most immediately relevant power is the +8 to Listen checks from the lich template--something that no wizard contemplating "optimizing" by becoming a lich would ever acknowledge as possibly significant.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Synesthesy View Post
    If I lose, I get to be a king. If I win, I get to be a legend.
    This. This was my favorite villain speech of the story. it's hard to think of a better anyplace.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Provengreil View Post
    IMO his best was the brutal one he delivered to RC at the end of Start of Darkness.
    Thirded on this one. This was pure evil in its form and the one that had the most impact on the entire story
    Spoiler: start of darkness
    Show

    Redcloak kills his brother because he is about to interrupt the fight between Xykon and Dorukan trying to kill Xykon.

    Xykon gives Redcloak a speech in which he tells him his brother's attempt would be futile since he is already protected from it but he wanted to see if Redcloak would do it and forces Redcloak to zombify his own brother.

    The speech is Xykon showing off the difference between his evil for evil sake and Redcloak's "the end justify the means" as well as forcing Redcloak into the infinite sunk hole fallacy that he is still in today.


  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    And his conclusion is that the most immediately relevant power is the +8 to Listen checks from the lich template--something that no wizard contemplating "optimizing" by becoming a lich would ever acknowledge as possibly significant.
    That is ultimately imaterial. The point is not "pump your Listen", the point is "fancy pants academic training is worth nothing against pragmatic ruthlessness – it doesn't matter what form it takes: the ability to spam the same powerful spell 'till kingdom comes, blunt force trauma to the head or even some skill bonus any sane Wizard optimizer would just laugh off… Flashy tricks and simple brute force are both power, but only insofar one can and will leverage them as such."

    Notably, Xykon didn't defeat Darth V with a Listen check. He beat them through suddenly paying attention to his "lackeys", a flashy trick (Superb Dispelling), a piece of wall to the face and only then the ability to just no-sell Invisibility without even using magic.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Synesthesy View Post
    If I lose, I get to be a king. If I win, I get to be a legend.
    Tarquin's speech is my favorite too, but it needs to be cited correctly:

    If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    For me, Tarquin's speech there completely fails it's purpose because its a hollow sentiment that he doesn't even believe. If he fails in the incredibly specific way he wants to, he gets to be a king.

    Tarquin framed it as win/win, and as his final appearance to date shows, he very much lost.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Heh, I vote for villain speeches mostly for style, because most of them fall on their face at the end. If you want to go for substance, even Xykon's "power is power" speech lacks punch : He's schooling V about unreliable external power sources "that were never really yours", when his own bid for Ultimate Unlimited Powerrrr!!! (ahem, sorry) relies entirely on Redcloak's plan and the Snarl, 2 "assets" he doesn't understand and probably won't be able to control at the end.
    But he gets a lot of "style" points in the delivery of the speech.


    Another speech that really made an impression on me is RC's "undead are tools". Again, on substance, it could be seen as just a frustrated rant from someone trying to convince himself that all is going according to plan. But the delivery... The way he denies Xykon any form of agency or even true sentience. The gratuitous cruelty to Tsukiko, crushing her feelings as he kills her. And that silence at the end, when everything is said, and he just watches. *Chills*
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2024-06-11 at 02:54 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    Heh, I vote for villain speeches mostly for style, because most of them fall on their face at the end.
    I didn't say it falls on its face. I said Tarquin doesn't even believe it. It's him lying to himself, trying to rationalize a way that he could still be happy with defeat. Speaking solely for myself, if a villain can't even buy their own speech, it doesn't much matter if they're a poor salesman or have an inferior product; either way, I'm not impressed.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    See, I don't think Tarquin is lying to himself and doesnt believe his story stuff at all? He's presenting a false dichotomy sure, but he very much buys into his own stories and narrative hypes over and over, and thoroughly believes that's the way things must be. Like, the whole thing in his last scene is him getting more frantic and scared, ranting at the sunset as he realises that the story isnt how he thinks it is as Elan rejects his narratives and ditches him in the desert to go and deal with the real problem.
    Last edited by Bacon Elemental; 2024-06-11 at 03:37 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ActionReplay View Post
    Why does D&D have no Gollum? Why it does. You just can't see him. He is wearing his precious at the moment.
    There is a lot of very bizarre nonsense being talked on this forum. I shall now remain silent and logoff until my points are vindicated.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    I dunno, I doubt Tarquin was any more aware than Redcloak of just how full of crap he was when he said that. Just because you're lying to yourself that doesn't mean you don't buy it.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    I think Tarquin believes in his speech, at least at the time he makes it. The man is getting at an age where you start to think about your way out. He knows that his conspiracy will fall apart and get him killed at some point, and enjoys it while it lasts. He's pleased when he understands that Elan gives him another possible ending. Of course, he has no real desire to get killed and will drag it as long as he can, but he now has a silver lining to sweeten the inevitable.

    Tarquin kinda falls to pieces under pressure later and gets increasingly desperate at the end, but even during the final fight on the Mechane, he's still trying to shape Elan into the tool he needs. He still clings to The Plan, and wastes a lot of ressources in the process.
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2024-06-11 at 03:56 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    The final fight on the Mechane happened because, when Tarquin had exactly what he wanted--Elan leaving to deal with "Zyklon" and swearing to come back for Tarquin afterward--Elan wasn't looking at it exactly the way Tarquin wanted him to.

    That said, I do not think being deluded and self-defeating are traits that should disqualify a villain speech. It's more of a necessary quality to be a villain speech, I would think. "This, and no less, is the price of threatening my family (which I am at this moment alienating by demonstrating that I care far more for my ego than for them)." "I can't let anyone hurt the goblin people (goblin I am murdering to protect someone who has already killed more goblins than any adventurer could dream of)."

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Tarquin is, at his core, a self-aggrandizing control freak.

    I've no doubt he believes the "if I lose I'll be a legend" speech at the moment he's making it, because that's the only way he can rationalize the possibility of defeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    That said, I do not think being deluded and self-defeating are traits that should disqualify a villain speech. It's more of a necessary quality to be a villain speech, I would think.
    IMO it's not disqualifying at all, but it's not a required quality either.

    Part of what makes Xykon's various speeches stand out is that he's extremely self-aware, for example.

    Another great villain speech, if short and delivered to another villain, is Grubwiggler's, calling out Bozzok in a fairly non-deluded, non-self-defeating way.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2024-06-11 at 08:03 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by hroşila View Post
    I dunno, I doubt Tarquin was any more aware than Redcloak of just how full of crap he was when he said that. Just because you're lying to yourself that doesn't mean you don't buy it.
    So, two options here, as i see it. Either
    A.) He is fully aware that his "good" outcome for defeat only works if it happens in an incredibly specific way, and is thus aware it could happen in a different way that does not satisfy him, and ignores this because it's inconvenient, or
    2.) He is so gullible that he genuinely fell for his own con.

    Neither possibility makes the villain speech particularly compelling for me, and both weaken it IMO. Tarquin, as you diplomatically put it, was full of crap. Redcloak was just wrong.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    So, two options here, as i see it. Either
    A.) He is fully aware that his "good" outcome for defeat only works if it happens in an incredibly specific way, and is thus aware it could happen in a different way that does not satisfy him, and ignores this because it's inconvenient, or
    2.) He is so gullible that he genuinely fell for his own con.
    There is a third category here, people who read their own news clippings and believe everything in them. Tarquin seems to be that kind of guy.
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    A.) He is fully aware that his "good" outcome for defeat only works if it happens in an incredibly specific way, and is thus aware it could happen in a different way that does not satisfy him, and ignores this because it's inconvenient, or
    He knows it can happen. He says he expected "some random peasant schmuck taking me out" as the ultimate price he would pay for his years of villainy, and he accepted that deal.
    Elan is just a twist to the original lifeplan, his way to game the system and get a prize out of his inevitable defeat.

    Is his plan overcomplicated and too reliant on narrative conventions, and disregarding obvious flaws (like getting killed by another villain, a very likely results of doing politics in the western continent)? Of course. He IS the father of Nale and Elan.

    But I'm convinced he honestly believes his plan has a good chance to work. He is too (over)confident in his worldview and his capabilities to feel doubt until his plans start falling apart.
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2024-06-11 at 09:39 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    For me, Tarquin's speech there completely fails it's purpose because its a hollow sentiment that he doesn't even believe. If he fails in the incredibly specific way he wants to, he gets to be a king.

    Tarquin framed it as win/win, and as his final appearance to date shows, he very much lost.
    I found it an effective villain speech even considering his self-delusion, because it was effective on its audience -- Elan. It freaked Elan out because it challenged his (and our) internal Win Condition for heroic narratives: it made him realize that good old-fashioned heroics wouldn't be enough to take this particular villain down. I don't think Tarquin's level of self-delusion affects that.

    On the "is Tarquin lying to himself" debate -- I do believe that Tarquin believes what he's saying. If Elan came back and took him down in the narratively satisfying way, exactly as Tarquin wanted, I believe Tarquin would be satisfied. Of course, like any other narcissist, Tarquin would never be perfectly satisfied with the actual execution of that plan. Some little detail would inevitably go wrong and he would demand it be fixed, and Elan wouldn't play along unless completely under his thumb. Tarquin is a control freak who sees everybody else as puppets who are only useful when doing what he wants them to.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    He knows it can happen. He says he expected "some random peasant schmuck taking me out" as the ultimate price he would pay for his years of villainy, and he accepted that deal.
    Ignoring that the comic makes it clear that accepts the "random peasant schmuck" would be a hero character which still fits into his preconceived narrative, what he claims and what he believes are almost certainly different. Just a minute before, he claimed that "good and evil are just words. Words with many possible capitalizations". In a world where Good and Evil not only objectively exist but are fundamental forces in the universe. That same strip also has him be, surprisingly, drop one bit of honesty on us - he believes procedure is important. Procedure is the entire crux of his planned downfall possibility. He is clearly aware that procedure can be not adhered to, since that's his entire issue with Nale. He just assumes it will be, despite nobody except for him and his cohorts adhering to any such procedure.

    He chooses to believe that everything will happen exactly as he has forseen. Which, given that his entire plan hinges on knowledge of narrative convention, is quite the bold choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I found it an effective villain speech even considering his self-delusion, because it was effective on its audience -- Elan. It freaked Elan out because it challenged his (and our) internal Win Condition for heroic narratives: it made him realize that good old-fashioned heroics wouldn't be enough to take this particular villain down. I don't think Tarquin's level of self-delusion affects that.
    That's fair. I was only considering myself as the audience, not Elan, which is a great point.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2024-06-11 at 10:03 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Worth noting that while Elan was freaked out at the moment, Tarquin explaining his absolute new Perfect Play of his was also a pretty blatant "explaining your schemes to your enemy" moment, and it contained what Elan needed to dismantle Tarquin, after some more character development.

    A pretty classic blunder, and one that Tarquin is unable to recognize himself as doing (which is different from villains who realize it's traditional to do it and do so anyway).
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2024-06-11 at 11:00 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    A pretty classic blunder
    Elan is Sicilian?!?
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Elan is Sicilian?!?
    Not unless death was on the line!

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Not unless death was on the line!
    I thought turning Sicilian when death was on the line was the capstone class feature for Dashing Swordsman.
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Ignoring that the comic makes it clear that accepts the "random peasant schmuck" would be a hero character which still fits into his preconceived narrative, what he claims and what he believes are almost certainly different. Just a minute before, he claimed that "good and evil are just words. Words with many possible capitalizations". In a world where Good and Evil not only objectively exist but are fundamental forces in the universe. That same strip also has him be, surprisingly, drop one bit of honesty on us - he believes procedure is important. Procedure is the entire crux of his planned downfall possibility. He is clearly aware that procedure can be not adhered to, since that's his entire issue with Nale. He just assumes it will be, despite nobody except for him and his cohorts adhering to any such procedure.

    He chooses to believe that everything will happen exactly as he has forseen. Which, given that his entire plan hinges on knowledge of narrative convention, is quite the bold choice.
    So here's the thing, as I understand it: Stickworld actually, literally does run on narrative tropes, and Tarquin knows this. Tarquin even pulled tactically relevant information at a couple points (for instance, the Order knew of Malack's malaise, and may have time to appropriately prepare) just by paying attention to them.

    However, just because he knows that doesn't mean his grasp on the matter is perfect. He thought that because those conventions would be followed, the ways in which he'd be defeated would make a good story, and so he decided to redefine one avenue of winning as living on as the villain of such a tale: the definition of win-win, if you accept it that way. And so the universe arranged for a defeat anyway, by denying him any sort of recognition, closure, or fame at all.

    He had to hide behind the figureheads, never really known to the general public in any meaningful way. His defeat was just getting left standing in the desert, with the only people to tell the tale his allies who don't talk, and his enemies who don't care. He'll sulk back to his city and likely be overthrown completely offscreen. All he'll ever be known as is a series of generals, running their armies and eventually losing. Few if any historians will have the ability to recognize they were all him, and it's doubtful if any of those will have the records to see it.

    And thus we see the only lasting impact he'll have: a string of failures.
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I thought turning Sicilian when death was on the line was the capstone class feature for Dashing Swordsman.
    Time for a reality check: how many actual Sicilians have you met in real life?
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Time for a reality check: how many actual Sicilians have you met in real life?
    A.) we're referencing Thea Princess Bride and the post you quoted there was joking on the potential interpretation of the phrasing Ionathus used because English is weird (read: "fun").
    2.) Have i ever told you the lasagna story? That was made by a Sicilian. An immigrant, from Sicily, who came to America and whose family were friends with my family (husband also from Sicily, IIRC, and the other set of grandparents were similarly southern Italian immigrants, unsure if actually from Sicily. I think so, but i can't remember.

    Also probs some others too. Why, do i get points for each one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provengreil View Post
    So here's the thing, as I understand it: Stickworld actually, literally does run on narrative tropes, and Tarquin knows this. Tarquin even pulled tactically relevant information at a couple points (for instance, the Order knew of Malack's malaise, and may have time to appropriately prepare) just by paying attention to them.

    However, just because he knows that doesn't mean his grasp on the matter is perfect. He thought that because those conventions would be followed, the ways in which he'd be defeated would make a good story, and so he decided to redefine one avenue of winning as living on as the villain of such a tale: the definition of win-win, if you accept it that way. And so the universe arranged for a defeat anyway, by denying him any sort of recognition, closure, or fame at all.

    He had to hide behind the figureheads, never really known to the general public in any meaningful way. His defeat was just getting left standing in the desert, with the only people to tell the tale his allies who don't talk, and his enemies who don't care. He'll sulk back to his city and likely be overthrown completely offscreen. All he'll ever be known as is a series of generals, running their armies and eventually losing. Few if any historians will have the ability to recognize they were all him, and it's doubtful if any of those will have the records to see it.

    And thus we see the only lasting impact he'll have: a string of failures.
    Well, also, the problem is that, while Tarquin is genre savvy, he is frequently savvy to the WRONG genre. He's an old man, and the fantasy genre has changed a lot since his day, the day when, to use a possibly charged example, the one White guy in a diverse group would be the leader and main hero by default.

    Either way, personally, I do think it's Tarquin's speech. Sure, his plan has a lot of workarounds when you think about it. But, especially for a story as meta as OOTS tends to be, it's a very fascinating plan just in concept. A villian who noticed the fact that "the good guys always win", and, conversely, that the bad guys always come CLOSE to winning to create tension, and built his plan specifically around the EXPECTATION that he will be defeated, because he's willing to take the last 10 minutes sucking to live like a God for 30 years, and becoming a legend is even better. It's a hard problem to solve because it essentially means that you can't defeat him in the traditional way, because being defeated IS what he wants! How do you defeat him without really defeating him? Answer: As it turns out, Elan ignores his traditional "hero" role, coldly lets Tarquin fall (he has the HP to live) and leaves Tarquin sputtering in the sand bereft of closure. I don't know, I like the idea of a villain who noticed that "the good guys always win" and, thus, built his plan on the assumption they will kill him.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    A.) we're referencing Thea Princess Bride a
    I am very familiar with the movie, and I had that line memorized back in the late 80's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    2.) Have i ever told you the lasagna story?
    No need to. The reason I ask is that I met a few Sicilians in Italy (I didn't live in Sicily at the time) and I met a few Sicilian immigrants in the tri state area. Most of the Italian immigrant/ancestry folks I've met have come from somewhere else in Italy, though. Our neighbor across the street in Connecticut was from Frosinone, originally.

    When we spent a week in Sicily as a family, I found the folks there to be less warm and engaging than the people in the Campania region where we lived. Not sure what was behind that, but my boss (who had been assigned to Sigonella for two different tours) had the same 'feel'.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2024-06-12 at 08:02 AM.
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    Default Re: What if it was a competition?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I am very familiar with the movie, and I had that line memorized back in the late 80's.
    No need to. The reason I ask is that I met a few Sicilians in Italy (I didn't live in Sicily at the time) and I met a few Sicilian immigrants in the tri state area. Most of the Italian immigrant/ancestry folks I've met have come from somewhere else in Italy, though. Our neighbor across the street in Connecticut was from Frosinone, originally.

    When we spent a week in Sicily as a family, I found the folks there to be less warm and engaging than the people in the Campania region where we lived. Not sure what was behind that, but my boss (who had been assigned to Sigonella for two different tours) had the same 'feel'.
    Ciao :)

    Stereotypically, Southern Italian are more friendly and warm then Northern. This is not always true, of course, but it's easy to see happy smiling faces with strangers in Campania or Sicily then in Piedmont where I live. Then the most warm place after Campania is Romagna, for my experience. And immigrants to the states are all from Sicily just in the movie: I had a grand-uncle that went to Detroit from Turin ;)

    BUT I need to say, Sigonella here is not always seen as a good thing. There are many prejudice, expecially in some part of the societ: I won't get political here, let's just say the ones that liked the big M don't like american people. And this is a lot less common in Campania or in the North West where I live.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    New suggestion: the MitD is an Italian Protean. Mamma mia!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Eyyy, I'm-a shiftin' da shapes and-a helping my amico Signore Stiffliano escape! Easyducio! Bada bing!

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