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Sissyl wrote:
Nale did win. He got out of Tarquin's shadow, which was a core conflict of the character. It killed him, but there is no denying that he proved his competence, surprised his dad, and showed he was his own man. Dying to prove that, which he really had to have known it would come to, only reinforces this.

nice.

One could argue that he was killed because he was competent in a way his father did not wished him to be.

Shadow Lodge

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Tacticslion wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
EDIT 2: Wait, did or didn't I just ninja TOZ's post out of existence? Did I hallucinate that? Probably. I never ninja people, so I'm going to bed. :)
*lurks under TL's bed for silent vengence*

... er... sorry about all the noise.

EDIT: You, uh. You okay under there? Need any water or anything?

Geez, this is awkward. Um. Oh, and, uh, don't mind the mess. I think all the hastily-shoved-under laundry is clean. I think.

...I could use a soda.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Freehold DM wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Nale did win. He got out of Tarquin's shadow, which was a core conflict of the character. It killed him, but there is no denying that he proved his competence, surprised his dad, and showed he was his own man. Dying to prove that, which he really had to have known it would come to, only reinforces this.

nice.

One could argue that he was killed because he was competent in a way his father did not wished him to be.

That might also explain Tarquin's unexpected behavior. Nale was not supporting his narrative vision.

Dark Archive

hehe, Tarquin is just showing off his evil side

Grand Lodge

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Anyone get the feeling that Tarquin is very similar to a railroading GM?

Dark Archive

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It's going to get really awkward at the wedding.

If the plot thickened any more we could make fruitcake.

Grand Lodge

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

It's going to get really awkward at the wedding.

If the plot thickened any more we could make fruitcake.

We're certainly already making plot waffles.

Also, I don't think he's going to be around for the wedding.

Sovereign Court

Oh goodie. Another 50+ comic sidequest coming up. Looks like our theories about this ramping up towards the endgame were wrong..

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope Rich does a series about the history of Tarquin and his team after OotS is over, the guy is wicked!


Atrocious wrote:
I hope Rich does a series about the history of Tarquin and his team after OotS is over, the guy is wicked!

I would like to say that the handsome poster I quote is absolutely right. ;)

Silver Crusade

Tarquin just went from likeable villain of the "magnificent bastard" variety to just being a jerk. Going after Haley's dad was a low blow.

And I still want to know why V isn't back yet.


Arg, the only thing I know is that every time I predict something about the narrative, I get it wrong.

I can't quite figure out why Rich has gone to so much trouble to tie up so many loose ends just to create a new, unrelated, narrative thread. (Update: And one involving a character I totally don't care about to boot.)

I give up. I'm just gonna read it from now on.

Liberty's Edge

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Tarquin is making many ladies quite angry at him. Not the best tactic for survival.


TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
EDIT 2: Wait, did or didn't I just ninja TOZ's post out of existence? Did I hallucinate that? Probably. I never ninja people, so I'm going to bed. :)
*lurks under TL's bed for silent vengence*

... er... sorry about all the noise.

EDIT: You, uh. You okay under there? Need any water or anything?

Geez, this is awkward. Um. Oh, and, uh, don't mind the mess. I think all the hastily-shoved-under laundry is clean. I think.

...I could use a soda.

Cherry Dr. Pepper okay? It's all we've got right now.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Arg, the only thing I know is that every time I predict something about the narrative, I get it wrong.

I can't quite figure out why Rich has gone to so much trouble to tie up so many loose ends just to create a new, unrelated, narrative thread. (Update: And one involving a character I totally don't care about to boot.)

I give up. I'm just gonna read it from now on.

I, for one, like it when people speculate, regardless of their accuracy. Gives us all something to talk about while we wait. :)

The Exchange

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The black raven wrote:
Tarquin is making many ladies quite angry at him. Not the best tactic for survival.

Yeah, Tarquin had better watch it. Haley's been known to steal from the Cast page... there's no knowing when she might decide to make a sneak attack there, too.


I don't think this will be a huge side derailment from the main story. Again, it is another loose end that Rich needs to tie up. The whole justification for Haley's greed has been getting enough money to ransom her father. It would be weird for me to see her leave the continent for the next gate when her the resolution of her personal quest is so close at hand.

I'm going to hazard a guess and say they find him (with a returned V's help) and he declines to go with them, insisting he wants to lead a resistance against Tarquin. Then either Haley will commit to returning to help the resistance (because she knows a few things about that now), or Tarquin and his psion appear, kill Ian Starshine (ending the rebellion before it starts), only to have Haley and Elan kill him as a result. Then on to the next gate.


Mark, well, in retrospect it is true that one of the longest running plot points in the strip has been Haley's "greed" being truly an attempt to gain enough treasure to ransom her father.

I suppose it is possible that this is actually another loose end tying up, which would support my previous contention that Rich is bringing things to a conclusion.

But it still feels like a pointless additional plot complication...


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

Over the course of 915 strips, we have seen almost* every member of the Order confront something about him or herself, and grow because of it. That's not a plot complication, that's character development. In Haley's case, she joined the Order to save her father. In the process, she not only found the courage to be honest with herself and others, but she discovered that she is much more than she ever believed she could be. She's outgrown Ian, quite frankly, but she still loves him and she is still going to save him if she can.

And from a narrative standpoint: yes, it is tying up a loose thread. As I said, she joined the Order for a specific reason. She stays because they're pretty much her family now, but she has to see her mission through so she can focus everything on saving the world. That's why Roy had to resolve his Eugene issues, why Elan had to face the truth about Nale and Tarquin, and why the Linear Guild had to be destroyed except for the member most vital to the plot.

*-- the exception being Durkon, and I have a feeling that's going to change very soon.


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Evan Tarlton wrote:

... and why the Linear Guild had to be destroyed except for the member most vital to the plot.

Thog, obviously.

Shadow Lodge

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flamethrower49 wrote:
Evan Tarlton wrote:

... and why the Linear Guild had to be destroyed except for the member most vital to the plot.

Thog, obviously.

Thog has plot point! It on top of helmet. It spiky.

Silver Crusade

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flamethrower49 wrote:
Evan Tarlton wrote:

... and why the Linear Guild had to be destroyed except for the member most vital to the plot.

Thog, obviously.

Ok, thinking about Thog, I'm going to make a completely out there prediction.

My prediction is that when this whole thing is over, all the stories are told, and the Order of the Stick comic comes to an end, Thog will be the one loose end that's intentionally unresolved. There will be the big ending scene, a declaration that all the enemies have been dealt with, and even something melodramatic like the words "THE END" at the end of the strip, maybe even a couple of blank pages, and then Thog will get his "after the credits" scene, where he's still wandering around free, wondering where Nale went or something. Or maybe he'll get a puppy and get his own happy ending that way.

The Exchange

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Ah, yes. TVTropes refers to it as a "Brick Joke." I think it's a pretty good one. We'll have to wait and see...

Silver Crusade

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Lincoln Hills wrote:
Ah, yes. TVTropes refers to it as a "Brick Joke." I think it's a pretty good one. We'll have to wait and see...

Yup. Had to look that one up, and that's pretty much exactly what I was thinking of. Let the audience forget about Thog altogether, then suddenly have him appear after the "closing credits" as a gag.

He's an unimportant enough villain, from a plot perspective, that leaving him as a loose end won't matter, yet major enough that bringing him back at the end that way would resonate with readers.

In fact, now that I think about, the only other characters in the entire series that I think are both unimportant enough and memorable enough to work for this type of joke would be the flumphs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On members of the Linear Guild that might still be alive I think Hilgya could still be out there somewhere.


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Ultimate Brick Joke: The Entire 8-Bit Theatre Story.

Also what ever happened to the Paladin Samurai Roy flirted with?


Azaelas Fayth wrote:

Ultimate Brick Joke: The Entire 8-Bit Theatre Story.

Also what ever happened to the Paladin Samurai Roy flirted with?

She was brutally killed while redeeming herself after falling and then wasn't turned into undead at the last minute.

Shadow Lodge

Her corpse was probably exploded with much of the rest of Azure City.


Orthos wrote:
Her corpse was probably exploded with much of the rest of Azure City.

Sounds likely.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
Azaelas Fayth wrote:

Ultimate Brick Joke: The Entire 8-Bit Theatre Story.

Also what ever happened to the Paladin Samurai Roy flirted with?

She was brutally killed while redeeming herself after falling and then wasn't turned into undead at the last minute.

Actually, I don't consider that Miko redeemed herself. She continually pursued the first option that presented itself that validated her personal worldview, rather than ever even attempt to determine if there might be another, more valid view point.


IIRC, the second to last thing said to her was that there was more to being a paladin than smashing evil stuff. The last thing was that her former mount might get to visit her occasionally. Certainly doesn't sound to me like she was redeemed.


Well, not exactly "redeeming herself", then, but certainly trying. It had been a while.

Two comics later, for the curious.

Certainly, though, she is not condemned, per se (and though Windstriker has to visit, it seems that he can visit and would be willing to, meaning it's very likely Miko is lawful neutral rather than good or evil).

Also, she wasn't turned into an undead.

Orthos, was there a different explosion you meant? As of right now, I'm not specifically recalling one...

It had been so long that I'd kind of forgotten the exact chronology of events in my head a little off.

Also, given that Roy's corpse decomposed into a skeleton by the end of that arc, I find it highly likely that Miko's did as well, and probably less than that, too.

Shadow Lodge

Pretty sure there was another big kaboom in the city somewhere, but I don't recall where specifically, in location or in the comic's timeline. I could just be remembering wrong.


Okay then seems I missed some of it.


Tacticslion wrote:

Well, not exactly "redeeming herself", then, but certainly trying. It had been a while.

Two comics later, for the curious.

Certainly, though, she is not condemned, per se (and though Windstriker has to visit, it seems that he can visit and would be willing to, meaning it's very likely Miko is lawful neutral rather than good or evil).

Also, she wasn't turned into an undead.

Orthos, was there a different explosion you meant? As of right now, I'm not specifically recalling one...

It had been so long that I'd kind of forgotten the exact chronology of events in my head a little off.

Also, given that Roy's corpse decomposed into a skeleton by the end of that arc, I find it highly likely that Miko's did as well, and probably less than that, too.

I found that scene to be a turnoff. It brought back a lot of bad memories for me re:paladins/redemption.


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Freehold DM wrote:
I found that scene to be a turnoff. It brought back a lot of bad memories for me re:paladins/redemption.

I can see that.

However, if I may defend it, I think the idea wasn't that Paladins couldn't/shouldn't be redeemed, it's that Miko was still wrong. The reason it doesn't sting me so much is because, frankly, Miko was awful, and no one else was. While I didn't always agree with the Paladins, I don't always agree with the Order, or Lord Shojo, or really anyone. They've all made bad choices. But they're fundamentally good people. Miko refused to see that and was the purposeful incarnation of every bad Paladin and Monk stereotype.

That, and I think Rich was playing with the "expectations" based on tropes. He does that sometimes. :)

Regardless, I can certainly see the problems such a scene might engender to those with history.


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Well, Miko's fall doesn't seem to be the usual technicality or GM trap/no-win situation. To quote Belkar "She fell so hard, I think she left cracks in the floor."

She had opportunities to atone, but was secure in her self-righteousness. Even faced with the evidence of the loss of her paladinhood, she refused to accept she'd done anything wrong. It was always someone else's fault.

The real problem is that she's so much a parody of the worst depictions of paladins. It's hard to imagine how she managed to become one in the first place.


thejeff wrote:

Well, Miko's fall doesn't seem to be the usual technicality or GM trap/no-win situation. To quote Belkar "She fell so hard, I think she left cracks in the floor."

She had opportunities to atone, but was secure in her self-righteousness. Even faced with the evidence of the loss of her paladinhood, she refused to accept she'd done anything wrong. It was always someone else's fault.

The real problem is that she's so much a parody of the worst depictions of paladins. It's hard to imagine how she managed to become one in the first place.

One of the interesting things is that it seems clear, to me, that she became worse over time.

I think this is for two reasons:
1) Everyone treated her as special, and so she came to believe it to her own downfall.
2) She was tempered in a monastery, but not by genuine real life (from what I recall). This means that she didn't have the understanding or warmth of the other paladins. When it came time to genuinely prove herself, though, she chose violence and hatred over compassion and truth.
3) She was such a zealot in her own interpretation of her gods that she ignored them. She chose to believe things that made no sense by using technically "true" logic that ignored the qualities and character of her deities and exploiting the weakest justifications. She made a mockery of her own faith by doing so.


Since its written by one man, I find it does fall into a no win situation because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece. I also really didn't like the redemption is a rare and special thing for special people only for personal/ethical/spiritual reasons.


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Miko was meant to be a caricature of the 'bad paladin' people moan about. She could have been redeemed, but that would have involved her realizing that she was wrong in the first place, which isn't something the character was capable of. Miko was straight from the 'Spanish Inquisition' school of paladinhood, and I think her falling because of it is exactly the lesson the author wished to empart.

'Do NOT play your paladin like this!'

But I am going to take issue with this.....

Freehold DM wrote:
Since its written by one man, I find it does fall into a no win situation because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece

If she had been redeemed, this logic means it was a 'no lose' scenario because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece. In any work of fiction the outcome is decided from on high. Miko being redeemed or not, Roy defeating Xykon or not, Nale digging his own grave or not, every plot point is subject to the same rules.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Since its written by one man, I find it does fall into a no win situation because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece. I also really didn't like the redemption is a rare and special thing for special people only for personal/ethical/spiritual reasons.

I... what? I'm sorry, but I don't really see this one.

Miko was never a PC-type character. She was always an NPC. In this way, the GM can do anything they want.

Redemption is rare and special, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. And that doesn't mean it's only for "special" people. It can be special without being for the special. "Not being for everyone" doesn't equate to being withheld arbitrarily.

I think Rich genuinely did show the "good" way and "good" reasons not to grant redemption.

Miko was, frankly, wrong, and she never admitted it. And continually jumped to incorrect conclusions for all the wrong reasons. Most of them weren't even reasonable. The one - and only one - reasonable conclusion she came to was a direct result of ignoring her superiors and choosing to destroy what she'd sworn to protect.

As I said. I can understand your personal reasons (or at least that you have them), but in truth I don't and I can't agree that Rich "did it wrong", unlike many GMs handle it.

Her faith, though nominally in her gods, was really in her interpretation of them. She didn't really know or understand them as well as she thought they did, and her pride blinded her.

Even though she had several chances, she refused to acknowledge any sort of reason. She threw a tantrum and demanded that she was correct, even when she wasn't and had clear indication that she wasn't. It was, in short, her pride that caused her fall and ensured she wasn't redeemed.

I love redemption - love it. It's a theme of most every character I play. Heck, I may well recruit and redeem almost as many (if not more) bad guys as I slay at later levels (and I'm not slouch at lower levels). It's a thing I love to do and something that's great in-game.

As a GM, I encourage that as a possibility within the game itself, too, allowing most of my villains (and allies, for that matter) to be finite and mutable, able to be persuaded under the appropriate circumstances. However, they usually don't just agree because doe-eyes, and it's a process and does, in fact, take time. Becoming someone different than you were isn't fast or easy. And I'm okay with that, because it is special and hard. "Take up your cross" and all that.

And "Redemption" means different things to different people, besides, so there's always that. But just wanting to be better doesn't always make it so, and Miko didn't even want to be "better", she wanted to be "right", regardless of what anyone else said. "Pride goes before the fall" to continue with the Bible quotes.

And, hey: Rich doesn't hate Paladins, Monks, or anything else of that nature. O-Chul (and pretty much everyone else in the Sapphire Guard) is proof of that.

As I said, though, I can understand if it causes bad memories of in-game stuff. That happens. I just don't find fault with Rich so much as those who did it wrong in the first place.

EDIT: What Grey said.
EDIT 2: Changing "Ochuul" to "O-Chul".


So. Undead Party Member projected well in advance?

EDIT: I especially like the gasp at the idea of a vampire. That's pretty classy.


I didn't take what Rich played out as redemption is rare for ANYONE so much as it was rare for fallen PALADINS.

I also concur that Miko was an NPC, not a PC so her part in the story should be viewed as an NPC. So her fate shouldn't be taken as an example of how Rich or anyone else views PC paladins.


Rich on mortals and fallability shortly thereafter.


Grey Lensman wrote:

Miko was meant to be a caricature of the 'bad paladin' people moan about. She could have been redeemed, but that would have involved her realizing that she was wrong in the first place, which isn't something the character was capable of. Miko was straight from the 'Spanish Inquisition' school of paladinhood, and I think her falling because of it is exactly the lesson the author wished to empart.

'Do NOT play your paladin like this!'

But I am going to take issue with this.....

Freehold DM wrote:
Since its written by one man, I find it does fall into a no win situation because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece

If she had been redeemed, this logic means it was a 'no lose' scenario because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece. In any work of fiction the outcome is decided from on high. Miko being redeemed or not, Roy defeating Xykon or not, Nale digging his own grave or not, every plot point is subject to the same rules.

meh. I know my opinion is an unpopular one, but to me, redemption is for those who have failed, not those who haven't messed up. If roy was a paladin, I'd buy it, but he isn't.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:

Miko was meant to be a caricature of the 'bad paladin' people moan about. She could have been redeemed, but that would have involved her realizing that she was wrong in the first place, which isn't something the character was capable of. Miko was straight from the 'Spanish Inquisition' school of paladinhood, and I think her falling because of it is exactly the lesson the author wished to empart.

'Do NOT play your paladin like this!'

But I am going to take issue with this.....

Freehold DM wrote:
Since its written by one man, I find it does fall into a no win situation because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece

If she had been redeemed, this logic means it was a 'no lose' scenario because the character was meant to be a mouthpiece. In any work of fiction the outcome is decided from on high. Miko being redeemed or not, Roy defeating Xykon or not, Nale digging his own grave or not, every plot point is subject to the same rules.

meh. I know my opinion is an unpopular one, but to me, redemption is for those who have failed, not those who haven't messed up. If roy was a paladin, I'd buy it, but he isn't.

Of course, but redemption does require you to acknowledge that you've messed up and make efforts to atone and change to avoid making the same mistakes again. Miko didn't. She was offered the chance. Hinjo even mentioned the Atonement spell and suggested surrendering would give her the chance to pray to her gods about her actions. She attacked him instead.

So yeah, redemption is possible, but you've got to try for it. Not keep doing what got you in trouble in the first place.

Also, note that none of the other paladins fell or behaved like the stereotypical Lawful Stupid paladin. Nor did he take Miko down the Blackguard route. Which was refreshing. Just because she fell, and fell hard, doesn't mean she went full blown evil.


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

And Tarquin keeps on being himself.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evan Tarlton wrote:
And Tarquin keeps on being himself.

Then we shall fight in the shade!


What a zagnut.


I think Durkons about to get his very own vampire army.

DR 10 silver and magic should protect him from just about everything, its still 3.5 so he's immune to crits, and the soldiers are probably topping out near 1d8 +2. And he can do dominate person all day.

Now would be a good time for V to disintegrate Tarquin so Prince Elan can call off the army...


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That's bad.

But it could be worse. Belkar took out an army on his own in the Battle for Azure City. Remember the "I am a sexy shoeless god of war!" comic?

There's 3 PC's plus a summoned beastie there. It'll hurt, but I think they could do it, espicially if V turns up...

-Aaron

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