New Order of the Stick Strip Up


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Dark Archive

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I am half expecting Malack to appear in the Ewok village at the end of Return of the Jedi.

I actually liked the albino undead lizard.*

*Thank you Rich Burlew, (and Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson) for not only giving me the opportunity for saying those words but for giving a means that fellow enthusiasts can fully understand those words.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

John Woodford wrote:
No matter how big he gets, though, he's still restricted to 20' per round.

He's close enough to charge.

He's also got a staff charged with who knows what.

He's got his own cleric spells which have various ranges, and he's a high level cleric.

In all these cases, I don't think his slow movement speed is a big deal.

Worse comes to worse he can, assuming he is a full vampire, shapechange into a dire bat to get a fly speed of 40, use that to catch up, then change back into fighting form.


DeathQuaker wrote:
He's also got a staff charged with who knows what.

We know about protection from sunlight and hasten vampiric transformation (or maybe just fine-tuned create greater undead) but there is probably a handful of other (un)death-related spells.

Quote:
He's got his own cleric spells which have various ranges, and he's a high level cleric.

Looking from the fight with Malack he is mostly depleted of higher level combat-focused spells.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Drejk wrote:


Looking from the fight with Malack he is mostly depleted of higher level combat-focused spells.

Someone noted he still has righteous might left.

He also doesn't necessarily need higher level spells. Nale's got a lousy Will save, even something relatively low level could probably affect him, and the nice thing about being a high level caster is you have a ton of low level spells. Plus there are spells he wouldn't bother to have tried to cast versus an undead opponent which might just work fine on Nale.

Liberty's Edge

I was very happily surprised by this unexpected turn of events.

Undoubtedly, Malack did count as one of Nale's most hated enemies after all.

"I don't know that life gets better than this... Beautiful day, don't you think ?" :-)))

I never really bought Nale being a total dunce. After all, he got enough drama-awareness to get out of the illusion by realizing that the heroes were still his suffering prisoners after an hour of his gloating. So he does share some of Elan and Tarquin's genre-savviness.

Concerning Durkon's choice, I realized that being enlarged through Righteous Might just might be the thing to put him on par with the rather enormous elemental currently pounding on his friends.


I'm actually a little fuzzy on the vampire rules and what happens to a "thrall" when the vampire that vamped them dies. Looking at Malack it does appear that in that case at least the previous personality reasserted itself, so to maintain continuity it appears that should also happen with Durkula.

But if that's the case, i would expect Nale and the rest of the Linear Guild to know that too, in which case Durkula is in pretty grave danger himself.

Through the course of several panels we've seen quite a bit of apparently successful hits against the sand elemental. If those hits were damaging, the elemental may not be around much longer.

And don't forget the real wild card in this. How much longer can V be held before he's back in his protected body? V should have plenty of high level spells left.

If anyone "saves the day" I would expect it to be V. Especially since V has spent the last several hours of game time and well over a month of strip time doing nothing but agonizing over his/her past actions. The dramatic opportunities for V to reassert his/her presence are far more compelling than Durkon's.


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haha, grave danger. I see what you did there. :)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
If anyone "saves the day" I would expect it to be V. Especially since V has spent the last several hours of game time and well over a month of strip time doing nothing but agonizing over his/her past actions. The dramatic opportunities for V to reassert his/her presence are far more compelling than Durkon's.

... and the Elf has been Unable to deplete his/her spells, unlike the others.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Aww, damn it. Malak was such a great character.

So how long will Malak's custom spell last for Durkon, do you think? What'll the Linear Guild do with him when they can't travel with him during the daytime anymore? Leave him behind? Destroy him?

He's got to go home posthumously sometime...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'm actually a little fuzzy on the vampire rules and what happens to a "thrall" when the vampire that vamped them dies. Looking at Malack it does appear that in that case at least the previous personality reasserted itself, so to maintain continuity it appears that should also happen with Durkula.

The best answer is "sorta".

While Durkon is no longer enthralled to Malak (thus is free), and thus could be partially returned to some his former personality, by game rules, unless something very strange happens, he's still evil.

In 3.0 he's still chaotic evil. In 3.5 (which I think Rich is using for the webcomic now) whatever bent toward law or chaos he had in life, but still entirely evil.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
But if that's the case, i would expect Nale and the rest of the Linear Guild to know that too, in which case Durkula is in pretty grave danger himself.

Quite possibly, maybe even probably. This is Nale, however, so this could be the point where Nale shoots himself in the foot (which often happens with Nale's plans).

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Through the course of several panels we've seen quite a bit of apparently successful hits against the sand elemental. If those hits were damaging, the elemental may not be around much longer.

I'm not so sure the elemental is taking much damage. He looks highly resistant to most of their attacks to me. (They seem to be struggling to do much that it notices at all.) It could just be the art, though.

In any event, summoned creatures only stay for a round per level, so, at most, I'd suggest that it's got a 19-21 round (about two-minute) timer. I'm not sure how much has happened/how much time has passed during this whole thing, so... I don't know, it could be there for a while, or it could pop soon.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

And don't forget the real wild card in this. How much longer can V be held before he's back in his protected body? V should have plenty of high level spells left.

If anyone "saves the day" I would expect it to be V. Especially since V has spent the last several hours of game time and well over a month of strip time doing nothing but agonizing over his/her past actions. The dramatic opportunities for V to reassert his/her presence are far more compelling than Durkon's.

It tend to agree with this.

Here's the thing about Durkon going home "posthumously". He also brings disaster to his people.

These are two ironclad prophecies about him and about what he holds for his future.

On another forum I frequent someone commented that it makes so much sense for Durkon to go home and unleash a vampire plague on his people that it probably won't happen.

That got me thinking. What if the last gate is in (or near enough) his home town? That's certainly another way for disaster to strike at his home town. And if Durkon inadvertently causes it...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's entirely possible. We know it's in a mountainous region, as is Durkon's home. OTOH, Rich has unleashed many surprises upon the readership. It's entirely possible that Durkon could rejoin the Order, since it looks more and more like they will need a token Evil member*. I can see Roy putting everything on hold to save his best friend, and for all we know, Durkon's home is closer.

*-- Belkar is undergoing a lot of changes, and he's not long for the world.

Liberty's Edge

Tacticslion wrote:

Here's the thing about Durkon going home "posthumously". He also brings disaster to his people.

These are two ironclad prophecies about him and about what he holds for his future.

On another forum I frequent someone commented that it makes so much sense for Durkon to go home and unleash a vampire plague on his people that it probably won't happen.

That got me thinking. What if the last gate is in (or near enough) his home town? That's certainly another way for disaster to strike at his home town. And if Durkon inadvertently causes it...

Durkon is specifically prophesied to bring "death and destruction." While I can't find anything Ironclad, I remember someone on the Giantip forums saying Nergal's domains included Death and Destruction.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Ty Marston wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Here's the thing about Durkon going home "posthumously". He also brings disaster to his people.

These are two ironclad prophecies about him and about what he holds for his future.

On another forum I frequent someone commented that it makes so much sense for Durkon to go home and unleash a vampire plague on his people that it probably won't happen.

That got me thinking. What if the last gate is in (or near enough) his home town? That's certainly another way for disaster to strike at his home town. And if Durkon inadvertently causes it...

Durkon is specifically prophecies to bring "death and destruction." While I can't find anything Ironclad, I remember someone on the Giantip forums saying Nergal's domains included Death and Destruction.

But, if he still follows the Northern Pantheon, would he not now worship Hel?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It does seem like Nale finally got smart. He also had to have a lot of things go right for what happened to occur, and there was a decent chance for things to turn south there. A steal attempt goes wrong or the dispel check doesn't happen and it turns ugly for both of them. The conditions and timing also had to be pretty fortuitous for him. I doubt Nale planned it exactly like that.

Still if Nale felt that he was getting killed by Malack in the near future he had to do something and that was probably as good of a time as any considering the situation.

I do wonder however if it would have been much more tactically sound for Malack to order Durkon to attack them and hold them off while he ran for the staff. That would have had a chance of working. I suppose in the heat of battle where seconds matter things like that are easily overlooked.


Can someone remind me how Zykon knew exactly where to teleport to to get to Girard's gate? If I recall, it wasn't exactly common knowledge.

Shadow Lodge

I believe he'd already researched the location, he was just waiting for all of the prep work to get done so he could move his goons out. It's been a long time since he was on-screen though, so I could be wrong.

Dark Archive

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I believe Zykon has the diary of one of the protectors that had the location of all the gates

Shadow Lodge

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Yeah, the halfling girl.


While I appreciate the discussion of potential tactical setbacks in Nale's recently executed plan, I'm afraid that I don't think that's really relevant since this is a story, not an actual game. In game terms Rich rolls ALL the dice for ALL the characters and knows in advance which dice rolls he wants to succeed or fail in order to advance his narrative. Somehow I suspect that Rich doesn't draw a panel, then roll the dice to see the result and draw the next panel based on the dice roll he gets.

I am always somewhat bemused by the level of detail people have about the comic's history, background and plot details. I admit that I don't have nearly that much interest to dig that deeply into each character's individual history and/or foreshadowing. I frankly don't know whether I should be impressed by how much detail people have worked out, or whether I should be concerned. :)

In any event, I view the whole thing more from a story arc perspective than a game rules perspective. In the past Rich has had the OOTS cast routinely make reference to replacing the cog in their team that might get removed, so if Durkon has permanently become Durkula, I suspect we'll see the team add another member to the team soon.

I am not real clear on what it would take to remove vampirism from a slain and vamped character. I assume that the "real" Durkon is actually dead and has joined Thor in the afterlife. Even if they can remove the curse, they'd still have to raise dead or otherwise return Durkon's soul to his curse-free body. Beyond "Miracle" or "Wish" I'm not sure exactly how they would accomplish that.

My guess for the next few strips is that the sand elemental will go down, Durkula will turn on Nale and V will arrive just in time to send Nale and the remaining Guild members running. When or if Elan's father returns is unclear to me. And what happens with Durkula is equally unclear. I will say that Rich rarely foreshadows anything about magical items or spells without a purpose so I would be very surprised if Durkula doesn't end up needing the Greater Protection spell Malack telegraphed was still in the staff.

Silver Crusade

I'm thinking Durkong goes against Nale and sides with the Order. As a vampire. I mean, sure he's evil now, but does that necessarily change that he's Roy's best friend? And I believe Durkon was LG, so that'd make him LE now, which I think fits as well. Could be an interesting twist.


Whether or not sentient undead retain their souls is a little ambiguous, but best as I recall in 3.X sentient undead that are templates do keep their souls.

Also, a "simple" resurrection spell (7th lvl spell and hecka-expensive to boot) would suffice.

Also, one reason people focus on the game rules of things so much is that Rich does himself. He's set rules, limitations, and strictures on himself for the express purpose of allowing people to do that. It's a fun feature of the comics. Thus, it's entirely valid to point out the likelihood of success or failure based on rules - rules, I'll note, that the characters themselves are aware of - as that's the basis that Rich builds the world off of. Whether he rolls dice or not is irrelevant.

There was still a "chance" in Nale's perspective that the plan would fail spectacularly based on rolls. Fortuitously, however, Nale caught Malak flatfooted, denying him his DEX modifier, and since Malak was USED to Nale threatening him in practically everything, Nale likely lulled him into a false sense of security with it (intentionally or not): helping overcome Malak's suspicion by displaying his hatred openly. Clever.

Sovereign Court

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Always hiring

Swing, batterbatterbatter, swing!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Awwww yeaaaaah.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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If the drow doesn't have a mouth full of bling when he makes his next appearance, I will be disappoint.

Dark Archive

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i love the expresion of the imp


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Durkon always had good Strength score (judging from his handling of melee combat) but with that +6 increase to Strength score from vampire template that *wonk* had to really hurt.

Also, the Dexterity increase and vampire's bonus feats seem perfectly suited to cover old Durkon's weak points.

Spoiler:
And Durkon's fear of trees? Perfectly rational now!


But, does Durkula still fear the trees?

Dark Archive

probably more so than ever


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Yee-ouch! Those missing teeth may make spellcasting a bit diffcult for a time.


My teef!


Itchy wrote:
Yee-ouch! Those missing teeth may make spellcasting a bit diffcult for a time.

I thought that at first, but doesn't that drow specialize in casting silently? Or are just his speech bubbles weird?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
But, does Durkula still fear the trees?

Considering they can stake him through the heart now he has a good reason...


First, This Is Awesome.

Second, although this is one comic too late, I finally figured out what theme music Nale was likely listening to in his head during his speech.

It's basically his theme, really.


That made me think (ouch)... Do you remember Tarquin speech to Elan when he discovered that his son is a good hero? About becoming a legend by falling to good guys?

We also learned from Malack that Tarquin was willing to pass the rulership to necromantic theocracy. Which won't happen unless Durkula takes up the mantle of Nergal's priest.

Is it possible that Tarquin has even grander plan somewhere behind?

Is it possible that Tarquin's not being here, when the circumstances were perfect for destruction of Malack was not a coincidence?

Will Tarquin criticize Nale when he learns about that or will he congratulate his son for success while at the same time berate him for flaws and shed a symbolic tear for his long time companion.

EDIT: Or I might be overestimating Tarquin.

Dark Archive

I've been a fan of male Drow Magic Users since Vault of the Drow but I've got 50 gp on the newly emancipated Dwarf Cleric Vampire!

Liberty's Edge

I must say that I did not expect the recruitment drive.

Nice to see that Lawful still stands for something even after Good is gone.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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The black raven wrote:

I must say that I did not expect the recruitment drive.

Nice to see that Lawful still stands for something even after Good is gone.

It doesn't even have to be that. Evil never has to like or join forces with other evil. Evil never has to like anybody, that's part of the freedom of being evil. Durkon, now freed from mental domination, still remembers everything from his life, remembers what jerks the Guild members were. He can now get his vengeance upon them, and potentially more cruelly and thoroughly now that he is largely freed from having a conscience.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Oops - sorry about that energy drain!

Another death I didn't see coming, either.


Seems a bit too easy to kill the drow wizard. I suppose the poor planning on Nale's part in this case was killing Malack before getting his party healed up from the exploding pyramid. First rule of party betrayal is to get healed up before betraying the healer.


We need to start a list of dead characters. There have been quite a few recently.


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"You're not evil?"

"Not any more'n Belkar, I'd wager."

"That...is a really good point."


"... I also haf potions."


It took me a bit to remember that Clerics can spontaneously cast Cure/Inflict wounds. However the spell came out as Inflict even though he meant to use Cure, interesting bit of theories behind his spellcasting.

Dark Archive

Is that Daemon is collecting the Drow's soul?


baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Is that Daemon is collecting the Drow's soul?

I believe he summoned it a few comics back.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

A Ninja wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Is that Daemon is collecting the Drow's soul?
I believe he summoned it a few comics back.

Nope. The demons were summoned by the vampires.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Looks like the glabrezu (I think that's what it is) IS doing something to Zzdtri (I may have spelled that wrong). Possibly related to the fact that the imp convinced the drow he was his familiar.


Does not look like glabrezu to me...

Did you meant gelugon?

Still not seem quite right... Someone on this thread identified it as something else a few pages ago.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Is that Daemon is collecting the Drow's soul?
A Ninja wrote:
I believe he summoned it a few comics back.

Correct.

Strip 883: Drow and Durkon Cast Summon Monster

Given that the daemon seems to be fading, his current claw gesture and the history of how things work in Rich's comic; my guess is that he's saying something along the lines of, "Screw this! I'm going home."


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Lord Fyre wrote:
A Ninja wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Is that Daemon is collecting the Drow's soul?
I believe he summoned it a few comics back.
Nope. The demons were summoned by the vampires.

Actually it was Z who summoned the sea-food fiend (identified here as piscoloth).

EDIT: Ninja'ed by scratchy one... *sigh*

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