31 Responses to 781 – White Smoke Mountain • 147

  1. Just how many spikes each do these manticores have? I’m used to thinking of them as growing a set of six and having to take a day or two to regrow after that. Or are there just that many manticores?

    • I think in AD&D manticores had a fixed number of spikes per day, but of course in 4e they have as many as they want. I figure their whole tails are loaded with refills, kind of like mechanical pencils.

      • I actually looked this up. 3.5 Manticores have 24 for a day that they can fire in 6 spike bursts. Based on this comic, there are 10 spikes. 4e Manticores have infinite spikes and fire one at a time. So either there is a LOT of Manticores, a homeruled 3.5 version, or a sadistic DM. I’d say a combonation of all 3.

        • A cheating DM.
          “Oh, those are… bigger, dungeon-bred manticores. With… more hit dice, which gives them as many spikes as they want. And extra feats. And they can cast True Strike 3/day. Home-brew.”

          • Well… in 4e there are is actually a specific online tool for taking a listed monster and fiddling with it until it most properly suits your needs. In my own game I most commonly use it to reduce some badass monster’s hit dice so that my lower level players get to fight the really fun stuff any time I want to throw it at them. The tool adjusts all the numbers and modifiers as you adjust the hit dice. My point is only that making your own beasties out of their beasties is a fully integrated piece of the game.

            Now in this particular case… the DM is using a 1st edition AD&D module that was converted to a 3.0 adventure that he himself is porting over to 4e. Now while this might create incongruities in the best of situations, I think we can all agree that this game is about as far from the “best of situations” as it’s possible to get without actual, real-world violence.

        • Those look like fully automatic manticores! Ban Assault Manticores! Especially those Evil Black ones. No one needs a High Capacity Manticore! They’re only for killing people! How many more innocent dungeon explorers will be killed by these horrible AKM’s! Automatic-Killing Manticores should be outlawed!

          Do it for the Chiiiiilllllllldddrrrrruuuunnnnn!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

  2. A shield would have been perfect in this situation, especially one made out of whatever Morty’s helmet is.

    • Anyone rolling some knowledge skill to know what manticores can do, and then taking precautions would have done. Although the DM would probably have ruled that a shield gets stuck in the chute, or something.

      You know, there used to be simple spells against missiles, like Protection From Arrows (which helps against other missiles too, unless these spikes are somehow magical weapons as well… in which case I’d grab them and use them)! Does no-one in that group have any useful spells? Stoneskin, for example? Gust of Wind? Anyone? Bueller?

      • Those tags for this strip are wrong: “the plan” would imply this bunch of morons has a plan.

        • I believe it refers specifically to the plan Freya is elucidating as she slides down the chute.

          Also, curiously, shields in 4e do not affect your armor class. The only thing they seem to be useful for is another magic item slot.

        • It didn’t stop the cylons of the new BSG from repeatedly mentioning they “have a plan”. Or from titling a special episode/movie that way.

  3. Are you going to attempt to draw a manticore at some point? Or are you working on the premise that an unseen menace provides greater suspense within the dramatic narrative?

    Or can you not draw manticores?

  4. I am utterly surprised that Enkidu followed Freya’s gestured orders, after seeing what happened to Bunker and Morty. I fully expected him to deliver the same salute he had given Bunker and stay where he was, or more likely teleport to the rest of the party, cast protective magics — on the remaining party members, and shove THEM down the chute.

    Especially Zobbie.

  5. I actually had a D&D session that turned into something very similar to what is shown in todays comic.
    Almost frame by frame, in fact…apart from the “ninja”(rogue) going in after the fighter and the cleric arriving last.

    The reason for the party arriving piecemeal in my D&D session?

    It was the last room and they all knew it was were the all the good loot was stashed, so everyone ran to get their hands on the best stuff.

    Don’t you just love the whole movement penalty stuff? 🙄