68 Responses to 761 – White Smoke Mountain • 128

  1. Huh, with an x-ray vision setup, I expected that joke to be about being able to see nekkid wimmins whenver you want.

    I guess with the costumes of the females in this comic that is a little redundant, though I didn’t know Endiku was a necrophiliac?

    Also, does that mean that they are top tier characters now, and are going down a tier? Don’t you need something like a wight for that?

  2. Why all the aversion to a bit of good ole hack and slash? It’s like they’re playing the DM now, instead of the game…..I mean, more than they were 100 panels ago.

    • Some parties are just like that. What they really want isn’t just to beat the monsters, but to beat the guy at the end of the table, and they do that by subverting the adventure.

      Think of it this way, If you roll well and your character beats the monster, that really only means that your numbers are better than the other guy’s numbers, it doesn’t say anything about you. But if you hoodwink the DM and flood the dungeon… killing the monsters and floating the treasure chest to the top… at the very least that says that you’re capable of planning and clever maneuvering.

      Another way to see it would be to look at it as if that were really YOU down in that dungeon. If that were the case, do you think that you would ever fight a single thing you didn’t absolutely have to? I wouldn’t. I would be constantly trying to figure out ways to ambush, sneak past, or otherwise take unfair advantage of everything I could. (Assuming I had a compelling enough reason to be there in the first place.)

        • I don’t see it as a BAD thing… if I did I’d never DM. It’s just another way to play. I take my own private pleasure in the number of times I’ve changed things behind the scenes so that their evil schemes would come off, and they walked away thinking they had thwarted me. THAT is satisfaction.

          • I’ve always had DM’s that award XP for well played avoidance of fights, dirty tricks, unique solutions, etc. Most games were an exercise in creative thinking, not just whacking things with swords. Sometimes a bloodbath or two is unavoidable, but again it’s all in how it’s carried out. Crazy combat tactics, successful or not, were usually talked about more than whatever it was we were fighting.

      • Kevin wrote: “Think of it this way, If you roll well and your character beats the monster, that really only means that your numbers are better than the other guy’s numbers, it doesn’t say anything about you. But if you hoodwink the DM and flood the dungeon… killing the monsters and floating the treasure chest to the top… at the very least that says that you’re capable of planning and clever maneuvering.

        Another way to see it would be to look at it as if that were really YOU down in that dungeon. If that were the case, do you think that you would ever fight a single thing you didn’t absolutely have to? I wouldn’t. I would be constantly trying to figure out ways to ambush, sneak past, or otherwise take unfair advantage of everything I could. (Assuming I had a compelling enough reason to be there in the first place.)”

        Well said.

        It always bothered me in older editions of D&D, prior to 3rd edition, that by-the-rules-as-written you were practically forced to slaughter your way through anything that moved just to get the XP… and for wizards to use up as many spells as possible because wizards got their XP by casting spells, fighter types from killing, and rogues from using their rogue skills and for stealing gold and gems. So silly.

        I always wondered, “What, if I stab the monster to death do the XP just fall out? Along with assorted coins and some magic rings? Like a piñata?”

  3. So I take it that today’s comic means Enkidu is running the X-ray vision spell ALL THE TIME…? *sigh* Yet one more reason to loathe him, I suppose. As if I needed one. I’m surprised he hasn’t worked himself up to a heart attack or the bursting of blood vessels yet.

      • How -does- he keep from getting a heart attack or having to constantly change his trousers? I assume he doesn’t change clothes much, anyway. Didn’t the other characters comment several times that Enkidu doesn’t bathe enough?

        • Prestidigitation would take care of any cleanliness issues if he bothered, which he probably wouldn’t. (He is an orc, after all.) And a bursting heart? From masturbating? I think I am proof that is an overstated danger.

            • I wasn’t referring to masturbation so much as constantly using the X-ray vision and thus being in a near-constant state of arousal. (He’s perverted enough for it.) Sooner or later, something would have to give, right?

                • *snrk*

                  Adventurer: “So, Mr. Ambassador. I have to say I really admire the way your Orc tribe has changed its image. You have a -lovely- city here, and your advances on every aspect of your society are just amazing! Tell me, to what do you attribute your successes?”

                  Orc: *grunt* “Hrm. New chief. Make big changes. No raiding, building tollbooth. No enslaving, levelling taxes. Big, big evil. Gruumsh happy. Many blessings.”

                  Adventurer: “What do you think distinguishes the chief from his predecessors?”

                  Orc: “Not him. Her. Chief is woman. That change whole game with ball.”

                  Adventurer: “Evidently so! But I thought women weren’t allowed to rule in Orc lands?”

                  Orc: “New thing. Old rule: you take what you want from guy you kill. She kill him last chief. She kill guy who marry her to con-so-li-date becoming new chief. And guy after that. By then, all men scared. No more want be chief. She chief. Big changes, new evils. Gruumsh happy. Many blessings. Things different.”

                  Adventurer: “Wow! She must be quite the warrior.”

                  Orc: “Not know. Never seen.”

                  Adventurer: “But… You said she killed the old chief and all his successors, right?”

                  Orc: “Yah. Do it with book.”

                  Adventurer: “She’s a spellcaster?”

                  Orc: “Not know. Kama sutra book of spells?”

            • Normale men masturbate over a centerfold.
              Only a wizard would masturbate over a spell diagram. 😉

              (Yes I know what the “X-ray vision” joke implies, but I found this version hilarious too.)

              The mouse-over text just kills me, Kevin. 😆 Yes, it would be amusing if a horny young wizard would copy the spell and then discover he got exactly what is says on the tin.
              On the other hand, you could then give people cancer by using it constantly.

  4. I’ve had players who would wet themselves at that much XP all lined up and would be calculating their next level’s abilities before they even started.

    “OK, after we kill the 17th crab, as long as it’s full HP when we start, I’ll get the new ability and we can change up tactics for the …” etc etc

    • That is ALMOST as depressive as the ones that speak of the feats they’ll take at level 20 when they are:

      a; still at level 1 and
      b: haven’t even started to play their character yet.

      🙄

        • At least he should need less time for levelling than others, and dither a lot less about the skills and feats he wants to take. Right?

          • Maybe he meant “Forsaken” – as in a vampire (I think there’s a fantasy series out there where Vampires are called “The Forsaken” right?)

            Though remaining lawful and being a vampire would be some trick.

            • Why? You could feed only on bad people, according to what “bad” means to you.
              Lawful Evil is, as I understand it, someone who doesn’t usually care about anything but getting his goals but has some sort of code he follows, with varying degrees of what that code means.
              Someone like Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men or Hannibal Lecter being on the very evil/crazy end of it, the average politician/businessman being around the top at almost “neutral” territory and common criminals filling the whole middle-ground.
              Of course the definition of “evil” changes from one to another. I normally wouldn’t call a vampire who feeds on criminals and what I call “bad persons” as evil because I perceive it as being rather just(as in “justice”).
              Someone like Dexter, supposedly only killing bad guys(so a wide audience could identify with him and not feel ashamed of their own bloodlust), isn’t evil in my eyes. He’s more around neutral, even good.

              • Since I can’t edit this I’ll reply instead. Strike out that bit about “common criminals” being in the LE alignment, my thought was stuck on evil only and I forgot the lawful part, which they don’t posses.
                Can’t exactly think of an example to the middle-ground of LE.

                • Lawyers.

                  You’re a bit off; lawful evil is usually the kind of guy who won’t break the law in letter, but does so in spirit. Your examples also work, but are much less common.

                  • I agree with you on lawyers and their breaking of the law “without” breaking the law, but I was talking more about the “evil has standards”(or rather laws of its own) aspect.

                    • I’ve always kinda felt like any alignment could mean anything, depending on context. Certainly a character that is LG in one society could seem LE or really ANY other alignment if you transplanted him to a different society with different morals. (Alignments do NOT figure heavily in my games.)

                    • @Kevin: Yes, I think that’s why most of the arguments I had with the DM(s) were about alignments and what they mean, so I think next time, if there is one, I’ll try to skip the alignment part and define the character directly(“believes in this and that” sort of explanation).
                      It doesn’t help that I like thinking about the nature of human behavior while having a rather different stance on morality etc than most people.

                • Who says lawfuls can’t be criminals? They’re merely usually don’t commit crimes punished by the laws of the land they’re living in, or they know enough powerful people (or ARE the powerful people) to avoid being actually persecuted. They pride themselves by the fact that they have cheated the system just as much as any chaotic anarchist.

                  • I’ve already gone over that type of criminal- businessmen, politicians, lawyers and other such vermin.
                    Lawyers are such vermin they’ll still represent you even if you tell them to their face you think they’re lying bastards out to cheat and bend the laws. Though she was kinda cute otherwise. 😉
                    Also, my sister’s a lawyer too, though she doesn’t work as one.

    • It’s written in orc. As far as how good he is at magic? It’s anyone’s guess, but I’d imagine a middling proficiency, though maybe a little better than average at blowing things up. He really likes to bash things by hand, too.

    • First of all, Enkidu used to be a half-orc back in 3rd edition. Secondly from what I remember of his background story (behind the “What is H.O.L.E.” button) he was raised by the human parents and sent to a prestigious school, which was the reason why he glorified the orc part of his heritage soo much… because he had never met real orcs.

      The 4E came around and there weren’t any half-orcs anymore (at least in the first round of core books), so the Unseen Gamemaster lumped all the former orcs and half-orcs in the game world into “orcs”, and said the “real orcs” were ogrelike brutes and monsters that lived far from civilization. If I remember correctly.

      P.S. Also, aren’t spellbooks written in Draconic? At least in 3E that was the standard magic language. (Which did not explain why dragons talking to other dragons, or even kobolds whose native language us Dragonic didn’t cast spell all the time involuntarily, especially if they had the still spell feat… whatever.)

      • They aren’t written in Draconic in 4e AFAIK. And I could swear there was Half-Orc in the first version of 4e, or if not they added it when they published the update to include Gnomes etc.
        See what I hate about their greedy corporate thinking? They’re selling people tiny, overpriced updates all the time.