Jump to content

All Tomorrow's Slarties

Global Moderator
  • Content count

    14,413
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by All Tomorrow's Slarties

  1. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Every Spiderweb Character Ranked: Top 20 Worst Characters

    Okay, I have to give you credit for that last link. Still, in before somebody invokes RiB.
  2. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Name Cameos in Jeff's Games

    Ooooh, nice catch!
  3. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    A3:RW - Randomizer's Massive List (SPOILER)

    "People who don't like hobgoblins shouldn't compile atlases."
  4. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Hmm, it's still not working for me. Also, you yourself said that your "they made the statue look younger" idea was "a stretch" when you introduced it. Let's split the difference and say she's really just a rakshasa.
  5. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Every Spiderweb Character Ranked: Top 20 Worst Characters

    I mean, sometimes the cheap shots are the accurate ones. What can I say?
  6. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Every Spiderweb Character Ranked: Top 20 Worst Characters

    urgh, yes.
  7. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Pyrog's cruelty isn't lore, it's just one aspect (that many people consider the most obvious one) of a character with very little description. I mean the games actually do explicitly call him "cruel" on two occasions in two different games, which is a lot for a one-shot character. (What might qualify as lore, if it were actually commonly repeated, was my idea that he had enslaved the giants. "Cruel" is in the games.) On Prazac, according to you, the only description of her age in any of the First Trilogy games in the statue in Fort Dranlon described as "a young, smiling woman, looking almost touchingly innocent". I'm not convinced that's it (and if Aran's site ever comes back up I'll look), but even if it is, de-age her by six years (plus however many years the Empire's sculptors added to avoid making it look like they are ruled by a child) and that's her age when she ascended the throne.
  8. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Crap. You have no idea how many browser windows I have sitting open of stuff I meant to do weeks ago. So many.
  9. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    This topic is exactly as described. I will rank everything and anything. Post whatever you would like me to rank, and I will add it to the current list. For example, if people suggested Nethergate, Mussolini, and roombas, we might get: Nethergate Roombas Mussolini Because I like Nethergate better than roombas, and roombas better than Mussolini. If someone then suggested rickrolling, it would be added, perhaps as: Nethergate Roombas Rickrolling Mussolini And so on, with the ranked list growing each time a new suggestion is made. That's it -- it's a purely subjective ranking. You can make a few different suggestions in one post if you like. No real limitations on what you can pick outside of what the code of conduct already covers -- e.g., keep it friendly. Let the pointless wanking ranking begin!
  10. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Which is fine, but again, I said "without portals or other preparation." It's a conjunction, "portals" and "other preparation" are both objects of the same preposition, so you can't split it apart and take just "without portals" All your examples involved other preparation of some sort and you didn't say anything about that, so it seemed necessary to bring up. I am almost sure that Prazac was described as a "child" or at least "very young" at some point in X2. I don't think this is some idea the community came up with and that just became conventional wisdom. In A3:RW she won't come without the amulet, and I believe in regular A3 the same thing is true. I'm not sure about E3, but I have found enough references to it happening -- and no references to it not happening that predate the existence of A3 -- that it seems likely. Not totally sure.
  11. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Also, heh, this is totally true. Framing Linda would have been a great idea -- she couldn't be the mastermind, of course, but the conduit through which Grah-Hoth reaches out to claim the surface? Disturbingly plausible.
  12. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Actually, in the original version, Erika teleports in even you don't have her amulet! I had forgotten this, but it's true. The amulet is still useful, because she teleports in much sooner if you have it, saving you from having deal many annoying waves of Rentar's minions.
  13. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Finally done

    The "recent posts" page is going to look very different without that topic always at the topic! Well, OK, "very" might be an exaggeration ­čśŤ
  14. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Gee whiz, don't you wish ...

    I counted 227, but I think somebody else counted later and got a number a bit higher. I'm honestly not sure I could stomach the amount slog trips back and forth to town, in A4 and later games, if I didn't use solely-time-saving cheat codes to simulate such trips in about 2% of the time. But I suppose I do hate sandwich time almost as much as I hate chitrachs.
  15. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Hardest/strangest party creation?

    The Trakovite Royale. Well, actually, I didn't play it, Lilith did. Still.
  16. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Gee whiz, don't you wish ...

    Yes.
  17. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Yes, which is exactly why you would depict her as older than she actually is. As that random book in X3 about Prazac demonstrates, the Empire is quite happy disseminating false but uplifting myths about their leaders. It's ten years, actually. This is one of the parts of the Exile/Avernum timeline that is most clear, from compiling all available evidence. https://encyclopedia.ermarian.net/wiki/Timeline_of_Ermarian#Interregnum I suppose I'm exaggerating a bit with the small child poo-bomb bit. But there are some obvious historical analogues here. Tutankhamun became pharaoh around 10, and as one might expect, was heavily influenced by his advisors. I always assumed the case with Prazac was somewhat similar. Maybe she was 7 or 8 when Hawthorne was killed, which makes her 12 or 13 when the war began -- certainly young enough that it would not be hard to convince her to leave it in Garzahd's capable hands. That puts her at 22 or 23 when the party meets her in X3. And I doubt very much that she (or her advisors) were unaware of how problematic it is for an Empress to look young and naive, so I would assume that they take some care with her personal presentation, as it were, to make her not look so young that the Surface Explorers would go "who's this teenager?"
  18. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Or maybe not. I don't think we can assume that natural elements can counteract a spell. I did not say that. I said: "Instant teleportation, without portals or other preparation´╗┐" 1) Aydin and Josie were fairly paranoid and very competent, and could easily have made preparations for this sort of thing in advance. 2) Do Garzahd's minions actually "teleport out" or do they simply disappear? Is there any evidence that they removed themselves, rather than being recalled by some other demonic power? 3) The Cult of the Sacred Item teleportation out of Fort Emergence -- that happens offscreen. We have no idea what preparations were involved in it. I don't think anything specifically calls it instantaneous, either. For that matter, they could easily have been recalled by their original sender, just as Erika recalls the party at the end of X1. 4) Word of Recall and that amulet are both completely irrelevant, because neither can be used in combat. There is nothing to suggest that either effect happens instantaneously, and in fact I think some of the games have descriptions of how it takes a little while and you feel queasy. 5) Erika (or any wizard) having a failsafe possibility in their lair is quite different from having one that can be used anywhere. This is presumably part of the reason that paranoid wizards, of which Exile has no shortage, are so fond of building towers and then never leaving them. Finally, note that even the blink spells of later games likely have a casting time associated with them -- whether incantations, mental invocations, or somatic components. RPG combat is abstracted, and while to us the experience may be "press blink, pick target square, you move" that's obviously not the reality of it, because in reality everyone else doesn't stop moving while you take your action. It presumably takes a round of combat to get even a blink spell off, and it is unclear, at best, if that much time elapses between Rentar shooting the bolt upwards, and the shaft of light striking Erika. As far as creating "a magic orb that detects the closest source of sunlight" and keeping it with you at all times goes... yeesh. I mean you're in the realm of things that, I guess, are theoretically possible, but... they're kind of out there. There are no doubt lots of really obscure, unusual ways that Rentar (or whatever powerful mage) could attack Erika (or whoever), that could be prevented in very specific ways that are not useful for anything else. I have a hard time calling it "pride" to not spend all your time focusing on those. That sounds more like, in modern parlance, "letting the terrorists win."
  19. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    You make some fair points about Pyrog. Perhaps we can agree that we don't actually have a lot of concrete information about him, so we're forced to extrapolate. I think there are some assumptions here. The reality is that Rentar's method was quite unorthodox. I don't think most players saw it coming, and I'm not sure why Erika should have. She'd spent the past FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS living so far underground that such a method would be impossible. But let's look at how the game describes things: "It happens far too quickly to react." What you're asking is that Erika anticipate this possibility, and find a way to pre-emptively protect against it, while still retaining enough attention and magical power to best Rentar in their duel. Setting the entire ceiling on fire? Yeah, not gonna happen. (Also, rock and dirt, not the easiest things to set to flames.) Even reacting to Rentar flinging the bolt upwards, before it hits the ceiling, seems impossible to do in a way that matters. Force barriers are not instantaneous, nor unlimited in range -- and given that the shaft of light is clearly magically guided, to target Erika so precisely, it might be able to circumvent one she sets right above her anyway. As for teleporation, it's VERY limited in the First Trilogy, particularly in the earlier games, where blinking did not exist. Instant teleportation, without portals or other preparation -- not a thing. Rentar-Ihrno herself might not have been certain the method was going to work. How sensitive was Erika's curse, how quickly would it act? Hell, maybe part of the curse actually draws sunlight towards her. That fits with the nature of the curse's effect (instant combustion), and after all the laying of wards, curses, and enchantments was one area in which Garzahd specialized, in-story, beyond other mages. (see dialogue from Enla and in the Empire Archives, both in E2.) This wasn't just a case of "let me cast ARUB and then forget about it." The fact is that in X2, Erika was one of the few humans who expressed any real recognition of the extent of Rentar's power. I don't think she marched in there assuming she would win, with her guard let down. She knew there was real risk, if not in this form then in some other form. Erika was a calculated risk-taker, not someone who always charges ahead. And I think her calculation here was: this is dangerous, but this is also a time that it really matters. She was willing to take the risk, for something that would benefit everyone but her. That's not pride -- that's humility. Not only is this entirely likely, it's explicitly stated. Prazac was a small child at the time. (A veritable poo-bomb.) Even randos in Exile knew she had nothing to do with the war. And keep in mind that Athron was a serial long-distance-scryer; Khoth, given his desires and location, surely had contact with Aimee; and it's a likely conclusion, from what they all say, that all three of them had occasional contact with Erika. That's a serious cluster of sagacity right there. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't know Prazac was so removed from the war -- or, for that matter, that they wouldn't know she was less inclined to aggress against them. This is a great discussion.
  20. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    THE RETURN OF SOLBERG

    sleppy is a good word, I support that. o and o hi!
  21. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Would this party survive Torment difficulty?

    As discussed at length above, that second sentence is not true. The to-hit chance difference is quite significant -- it really does mean you have less flexibility in not assigning stat points to your primary attack stat. And the extra scripted attacks are not a recent addition. They have been around for the last six Spiderweb games, which means for the last eight years. Every single hit you take deals TWICE AS MUCH DAMAGE. Every. Single. Hit. Absolutely, other things also contribute to the extra damage you take, but "double damage" is not a minor detail. That said, as you point out, you're really going to end up taking more than twice as much damage in the most critical fights. Which only reinforces my point than an extra 5 or 10 HP is not going to save you. This is quite minor, but to add to Lilith's answer, Luck can only be manually raised to 5.
  22. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    I'm also confused. Wendy, I don't think anyone was trying to be hostile to you. I mean, I more or less understood what you were getting at, but I also found your last sentence (the one Kelandon quoted) pretty hard to parse. I would like to say though, I think we are all better off for hearing more perspectives on how different people approach games, including groups that are not stereotypically thought of as gamers.
  23. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Pyrog is described, I think by multiple other people/dragons, as "cruel". Killing adventurers is forgivable; even Motrax does that when they are rude. Pyrog, however, enslaves the giants. He's actively sadistic. I forget who it is that says "No one will miss him" (and Aran's site is down, so I don't have my dumps handy) but I want to say it was one of the Vahnatai in X2. Pyrog is the one Dragon whose gender and pronoun inconsistency (a trait that affects all but Motrax) includes "it", used in the way one might when talking about a monster who doesn't talk or have a personality to begin with. Sulfras's pride OTOH is actively discussed, particularly in X2 when she is enslaved by the Empire. As far as Erika's pride, though, I really think it's an aspect of her personality and not a flaw that causes her death. It makes her hard to collaborate with and drives her to far side of Exile, but it doesn't drive her to do stupid things. (And as far as that exile goes, it's worth keeping in mind that of the six wizards whose names come up most (besides Erika) from the early days through X1, it was the three well-adjusted ones -- Aimee, Patrick, and Rone -- who also left the Tower. The ones who stayed? Linda (nuts), Solberg (nuts), and X (possibly not nuts but definitely not easy to work with). Regardless, I don't think she underestimated Rentar-Ihrno. If she was confident in her combat ability, well, the narrative of the fight backs her up; and if anything, Erika was one of the few characters who was truly worried about Rentar-Ihrno during X2. Her death doesn't feel like a character-flaw death out of Greek tragedy; it feels a lot more like a sacrifice, whether or not it was one she anticipated or made willingly. No, it wasn't pride that led her to show up there, but a desire to preserve, for the lesser masses she was so unfond of, the one thing that she herself could never have. That is I think as close as you can get to the exact opposite of Pyrog enslaving said lesser creatures. Hmm. I like this better -- and Athron would, without a doubt, make by far the most interesting antagonist of the series. I still have one big plot hang-up: why would Sulfras and Khoth kill the Empress, specifically? By all indications, she is the least set on murdering non-humans (or anybody, really) of probably any Empire ruler in memory. But maybe they attack the army, specifically; that strengthens the appeal of the Darkside Loyalist campaign to Make the Empire Great Again, and they in turn assassinate Prazac. (Edit: this also gives us a very nice echo of what happened between X1 and X2, but this time it's between A4 and A5.) Also, I think in order to make Athron work as an antagonist against Exile, it needs to be Exile's fault that Melanchion dies. And I can think of one way for that to work with A5: Gladwell. Also, while we're making things better, Starrus needs to never have existed. I think there's a fitting and actually somewhat plausible replacement at hand, though -- who fits with the same narrative about the Council wanting someone they can push around, but who might actually demonstrate some personality and some ideas of his own. I'm talking, of course, about somebody who knows just about every Avernite. Tor Gunston for King of Avernum!
  24. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    E3: Dealing with evidence

    Yeah. I mean the depiction of all the dragons has always been a little inconsistent, displaying very different levels of subtlety in different games. Khoth being a knowledge mercenary is right in line with what we saw of him in the first game, anyway. Actually, now that you bring up that Khoth-Erika alignment, she sort of seems to have a piece of all the dragons in her. The strength and pride of Sulfras, the sagacity and precision of Khoth, the reclusive misanthropy of Athron, and even, for a time, the benevolence of Motrax. Okay, okay, not Pyrog so much -- or maybe Pyrog represents the curse Garzahd laid on her. I'm amused at this idea. (This, of course, contrasts with Rentar-Ihrno, who has a piece of all the plagues in her. The patience of the slimes, the indirectness of the roaches, the might of the Giants, the principles of the Troglos, the cold inhumanity of the Golems, and the, ah, warped nature of the Alien Beasts.) -- Your plot is very interesting but I don't understand why the Dragons would want to aid the Darkside Loyalists -- even if they want to cause chaos, surely they would use some other mechanism than to support the group most virulently in favor of the extermination of non-humans; the group most opposed to Avernum (which the Dragons ultimately found much less annoying than the Empire); and certainly the group most likely to slay Athron's clutch, grown or not. This admittedly has a nice symmetry with the discovery of that orb used to communicate with Garzahd in X1.
  25. All Tomorrow's Slarties

    Would this party survive Torment difficulty?

    Respectfully, Randomizer, that is a ridiculous statement, especially from someone who's so fond of saying that you need more Endurance on Torment ­čśŤ Yes, monsters are at least twice as hard to kill. They also do twice as much damage, are much more accurate, have much higher evasion, have better initiative... and a lot of harder monsters and unique encounters have actual scripting on Torment (and sometimes Very Hard) that they do not have on Normal -- including extra actions per round (which all do twice as much damage) and access to particularly strong AoE attacks that they do not have on Normal. Yes, the AoE thing means you change your tactics, and that's why it's so much less relevant -- you adjust your tactics and then it's almost irrelevant. Lots of things die in round one to adrenaline-rushing spellcasters (and yes, on Torment, it is fair to assume that the player is using strong tactics); for those that don't, if you are relying on AoE's, that's what knockback effects are for. I mean, that was already a strong tactic in previous games simply to keep melee monsters away from you while you blew them up. Also, the friendly fire thing has far less of an impact on cone AoE's than circular AoE's, and a lot of the best attack spells are cone AoE's. (And of course, it has no impact at all on Divine Retribution.) You cannot simply "change your tactics" and then pretend enemies aren't hitting you twice as hard! There's no getting around that bit.
×