57 Responses to 714 – White Smoke Mountain • 81

  1. “Why is it crotchless?” he asks.

    I would think it obvious; the codpiece swam away.

    Wow, that was bad. I’m glad it’s out of my system. 🙄

  2. Wow, a squid with shoulder pads, that isn’t something that I ever thought that I would see.

    What time is it now? 10.02am – GMT.

    • The big question is, of course, how does she make them stick on if octopuses(doesn’t really look like a squid) don’t actually have shoulders?

      Also, something crotchless means it at least has a whole torso etc. but no crotch, while this breastplate is very true to it’s name- it covers only the chest, so crotchlessness would be the least of his problems.

      • About the sqid / octopuss thing, I have been spending too much time on squidoo:


        Boring, but it was for a client, aren’t I lucky?

        Somthing just occurred to me, most of my D&D experience has been gained from playing Neverwinter nights of different editions, so there is s limited number of things that the druid shapeshifter ability helps you do (Ok, so I can turn into a dire badger, that’ll scare you, no wait, a dire bear, no wait, a giant spider), and they basically mean that you end up with a divine caster who can do melee and summon loads of stuff. For that I prefer a cleric.

        Because of this, I undervalued the power of the druid. I guess in PnP RPG it would be a bit more poweful.

        • Yea, cleric is king in NWN. A druid can be good too, but I don’t like the play style too much, and the more party members(i.e. summons+henchmen) you have the have the less XP you get per kill. Rather annoying when you want to play a class that has to have a tank henchman or rely on summons for extra help.

          • What kind of DM did you have, Orald, who counts your animal companions, summoned animals/creatures or hench-zombies[*] etc. against the number of party members when it comes to dividing XP??? Seriously. They are part of your class abilities! Not to mention that summoned creatures only stay around for a small time. They’re essentially a spell that walks around killing things.

            Even the rules — at least the 3rd edition rulesbooks, don’t know about 4E — clearly state that if, say, an NPC enemy caster summons creatures to help him in the boss fight, the player characters do NOT get extra XP for defeating the summoned monsters, since the summoning spell is part of the NPC caster’s class abilities and already part of the NPC’s challenge rating.

            I know, when I first read that I went “Huh? Seems unfair in a way, if they had to hack their way through hordes of monsters or undead….” but then I realized
            1) PCs do not get extra XP for evading fireballs either, and
            2) on the contrary it would be unfair if the players managed, by clever planning, to catch the NPC caster unawares before he could summon anything and overpowered him without a fight, and I’d give them less XP for him simply because they didn’t kill the monsters he might have summoned but didn’t have the opportunity to. That would be penalizing good planning.

            I admit, I have, as a gamemaster, on occasion handed out XP for slaying summoned monsters to the party anyway, but only when the plot was structured in a way that the summoned monster was the main fight at that point and the players never saw the enemy caster because he was already gone. Under those circumstances, IMO I feel that the monster is the challenge to overcome, and it doesn’t matter how it got there plotwise.

            [*] (Henchmen are on a dividing line… if they are henchmen that your PC “bought” by spending a feat on Leadership (in 3E) then they are part of your character’s abilities; if they’re merely people the PCs hired for extra muscle, then they should count as party members, but keep in mind they usually have fewer levels or NPC class levels which do not count like a full PC class.)

            • Not to mention both sides, PCs and NPCs, can potentially charm creatures (or party members) to do things for them.
              And what about those magic statues that turn into magic animals that follow your orders? Or Iron Flasks containing a bound creature (usually only usable once, because you can rarely capture the same creature a second time, so unless you manage to ensnare a new monster the bottle is empty afterwards).

              It would be hghly unfair if a player character bought himself an onyx dog, or found it as part of a treasure, to dock him XP because he now has a hench-dog that fights for him. Same if the party mage or cleric found a scroll of summoning monsters. It’s part of your treasure-by-level… the party fighter gets armor, the bard gets a magic harp, the rogue gets a magic monkey statue.

              Unless a DM keeps the treasure ration very low so that higher level characters have to rely on their class abilities because they still run around without magic arms and armor at level 10, a henchmen-in-a-bottle does not significantly make the party more powerful.

              Otherwise you’d effectively be forcing players to never play summoners or necromancers and to throw away any summoning scroll they find, because they lose XP for daring to have animal companions or summoned help…

            • I thought he was referring to the PC games titled NWN, but by your reaction I’m guessing it’s also a “universe” pack-thingy like Eberron etc.

              My actual PnP D&D experience is as follows:
              1)Some 2e(judging from the time period that’s all it can be) in elementary school, I wouldn’t even say it was beyond 30 sessions, but I can’t even remember that. Your guess as to what “universe” we played in is as good as mine, but I assume it was whatever the “vanilla” universe was.
              2)Some 4e for a few months beginning Late last year and ending around March-April, all in all around a dozen sessions, during which we were all still learning/remembering/converting to 4e and different members were either quitting and joining, with 3 different campaigns(and char’s) starting from scratch and the rules changing a bit to include this and that expansion.

              That’s why I’d never get the White Plume Mountain reference in this comic if it wasn’t for some people pointing it out, for example.

              I don’t have too much experience with PnP versions(or PC games versions for that matter). Despite the number of potential players(which is rather limited but *could* serve well enough), most seem to be either too busy with their lives, disinterested in playing again(I played some board games with a group my ex-boyfriend plays with, but they don’t want RPGs because it’s too much of a bother, and I don’t like their games because I hate learning too many esoteric rules and changing the game at least once every session), are too geographically distant(I don’t have a car myself, or a license for that matter) and disorganized in general.
              I had a talk with of the guys playing board games who’s supposed to be connected to such a gaming organization, and he told me bluntly that there are simply not enough people willing and able to play in Israel to form more than a handful of groups, and especially not around our area.
              When we did have a semi-stable group with which i played for a few months we were mostly living around the same area, but our DM was from another city so we had to sometimes go to his place and vice versa.

              • Regarding XP and summoned people: I think that in the original version of NWN, if the thing that you summoned was lower level than you, and it took an active part in combat, you actually gained XP because the average level of the group was lower, so the challenge rating of the thing that you were fighting against was deemed to be of a higher average challenge rating.

                They may have patched that.

                What I was also kind of referring to with the druid thing, was that in NWN, summoning things, and changing shape only really has mechanical effects like being slightly better at beating things up.

                In PnP, being able to change into things allows you to use the advantages of that creature, such as octopuss, which has all kinds of advantages, as seen here.

  3. I think we are missing the point that Fleece found a magic ring, that at first glance is worthless, and Martin isn’t even remotely disturbed by the lack of useful treasure for him.

  4. He will have to watch out for called shot to the nuts. If it works on end-of-campaign villains, it might work on heroes too !

    The ring’s inscription is … interesting.

    • If the Unseen DM does not smell a rat at this point that something is fishy about this module, he is too stupid to live. I mean, the inscription specifically mentions “The Heroes of Lesser Earth”!

      • Maybe he lives here in Breakfast Cereal c0untry (California, The land of Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes) where they want to legalize smoking MJ, but ban smoking Tobacco.

        As a Libretarian, I believe that whatever someone wants to do with their body is fine with me, so long as they don’t operate moving vehicles while stoned and they realise that if they kill themselves with drugs it’s their own dang fault. Anyway, if he’s the kind of person who wants to legalize hard drugs but ban smoking, he may not be clever enough to realise that something is odiferous in the land of the cheesemakers.

        • “Legalize hard drugs”? If you define cannabis as “hard drugs” , as what do you classify heroin then? 😐

          • No, I classify Heroine and Cocaine as “hard drugs” – MJ is just the first drug they want to legalize…I’ve actually HEARD them suggest that Cocaine and Heroin be legalized.

            And MJ shows their hypocracy particularly well because, like Tobacco, it is smoked.

              • Me too probably…and in fact if it were done right, I would even support the legalization, regulation, and taxation of “recreational pharmacuticals”, even the nasty ones (note how I said “if it were done right” – that means very strict and harsh penalties for life-threatening activities, just like drunk driving, DUI would still apply, for example.)

                It’s the hypocracy of a lot of californians basically saying “Smoking is evil and wrong…unless it’s a joint you’re smoking, then it’s just fine” if someone wants to legalize cocaine, but ban smoking ‘because it’s bad for you’, again, they’re being ubelievably hypocritical.

              • Because…? It’s less toxic and harmful than tobacco? Bah to all your drugs and poisons!

                I’m with Elfguy here, I don’t care if they legalize cyanide pills(for self consumption, of course), as long as you’re banned from using such mind altering substances while “operating heavy machinery” etc. and held responsible for all the shit you do related to it. And my definition of drugs include tobacco and alcohol(I hate drunkards BTW).

                Speaking of cyanide pill consumption, it’s just stupid they don’t allow people to commit suicide and make it illegal for someone else to kill them when they wish for it. What’re they gonna say, that it’s God’s decision and not yours? Hypocrites.

                • Yes, they are.

                  The basics for this are rooted in the “thou shalt not kill”. That includes yourself: Whatever the reason, whatever the person, killing is a mortal sin. Also, god gives, and only him can take. That kind of thing.

                  Of course, this has gotten somewhat diluted, until people just object to it “because”, as it’s become a cultural thingie, but yeah, you got it right, it IS god’s decision.

                  Then, in typical religious fashion, this is imposed on non-believers.

                  • Yea, I know one’s body belongs to God and all that, so one mustn’t harm oneself. In “they gonna say” I was referring to the supposedly secular authorities and how it’s hypocritically invoked even as they say there’s a separation between religion and state.

                    • How about when a condemned prisoner tries to commit suicide shortly before they’re scheduled to be executed?

                      What does the goverment do? Call in the doctors, save their lives and nurse them back to health…so they can be killed the “right” way by execution.

                      I say, if some murdering sleezeball wants to off themselves early, let em! That’s less room and board we have to pay for out of the taxpayer’s wallets.

                • “Because…? It’s less toxic and harmful than tobacco?”

                  In a word, yes. Marijuana is usually just dried leaves, or at least it’s supposed to be (I’ve heard of some “brands” of marijuana being laced with other drugs). Tobacco in a cigarette has been processed with formaldehyde, ammonia and who knows what else.

                  I would trust the average joint to do less damage to my body than the average cigarette.

                  Plus tobacco just smells nasty. I can tolerate marijuana smoke much more easily than tobacco, although I still don’t want to be in a room with a large concentration of it.

                  • Ron, Tobacco is ALSO “just dried leaves”

                    Odd that the modern Tobacco industry is what the Antismoking Nazis blame, when they SHOULD be blaming the native Americans, who invented tobacco smoking to start with.

                    • According to this page, the following (and more) are added to tobacco to make the average cigarette. It’s not “just dried leaves”.

                      “The complete list of chemicals added to your cigarettes is too long to list here. Here are some examples that will surprise you:

                      * Fungicides and pesticides — Cause many types of cancers and birth defects.
                      * Cadmium — Linked to lung and prostate cancer.
                      * Benzene — Linked to leukemia.
                      * Formaldehyde — Linked to lung cancer.
                      * Nickel — Causes increased susceptibility to lung infections.”

                      Mind you, I’m not saying that marijuana smoke is completely harmless, but if for some reason I had to choose one or the other, it’s no contest.

                      For the record, I’ve never smoked either one.

                  • I don’t like any kind of smoked, burned leaves, and I don’t want to be in a room that smells of them.
                    It’s good to know that MJ is slightly less processed-to-death tobacco, in the same way that getting your finger chopped off is better than having two fingers chopped off, but believe me, I know, one fingertip chopped off is bad enough(and it’s annoying to trim your fingernail properly afterward).

                    But like I said, as long as I don’t have to smell it in public/workplace etc.(and the DUI issue of course) you can do whatever you like.

                    • I said Tobacco, NOT cigarretes. Cigars and pipe tobacco (Except for the flavoured ones) are ONLY Tobacco. Cigarretes are an abomination. My grandfather smoked a pipe, and I actually grew to like the smell of pipe smoke. But Cigarrettes are BLECH!

                      (Note: I don’t smoke myself, OR drink…OR do any drugs. I just think unless you’re obnoxiously blowing smoke right in someone’s face or driving while drunk, what you ruin your lungs and/or liver with with is your business.)

                    • REALLY NICE COMIC KEV.
                      Pot’s a slippery slope. The U.S. Constitution was written on hemp, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin all grew pot (Franklin figured out kind bud). You allow people to grow that plant and pretty soon they start using it for paper, fuel, MEDICINE of all things… Then they’re all trying to overthrow the government while being really nice about it. Seriously, if the biggest asshole country in the world starts getting high, moreso than usual, we’re just sitting ducks for any alien invasion armed with pizza.

                    • Actually, Elfguy, a little Googleing reveals that pipe tobacco and cigar tobacco often use the same or very similar processes as cigarette tobacco, containing the same chemicals sometimes in even higher concentrations.

  5. a long time ago in FFXI a job called Beastmaster suffered a exp penalty while a pet was being used, over the years as a result the job became the most unwanted job in the game to group with, since using a pet slowed down the exp gain, and a beastmaster w/o a pet was only half a class and therefor largely useless, thus was forced to solo.
    although the devs eventually realized it was a mistake to penalized class abilities and lifted the EXP penalty it was far too late and even years after the patch the community still believes the job hurts exp and thus the job was still forced to lone wolf it.

    and wtf man im a Californian, I support the legalization of MJ, (however I will never use, hell I dont even DRINK) so im a moron then? o.o?

  6. Hey Elfguy,

    I appreciate your passion, but do you think it’s possible for you NOT to lace your politics into EVERY post? “If the DM’s THAT dumb then he must agree with this political stance I don’t like!” C’mon dude. You’re better than that.

  7. I admit I would have thought people would have rather gotten the “The Gamers” referrence in my previous comment ; )

    • I got it, but didn’t think to point that out. And if we’re at it, Newmoon should’ve used an arrow instead of his foot for greater effect.