And the Conjurer continues to demonstrate his ego…
That said, he’s about right. Leaving aside that you always want a way to get your treasure out in order to find a new hiding place, this sort of thing typically involves rules, of which you receive fair warning. Of course, “fair” can be so very subjective…
Not only subjective, but biased. Usually in these things treating the ‘doorman’ with respect and interest means they will help you with better clues and explanations…
Bit of a jerk, but I can see his point in a sense. He just refered to the dwarf as doorman because that’s the category. Even then with some magical traps/areas the being your talking to is just a being made out of magic set to follow its “lines” in a sense. As for the babysitter comment… harsh but also true. At this point they see a child being dragged into the fight. Sure they don’t know what she can do and that she was the one who stopped the “Dragonzilla” outside. As for the “Cheating hurts” bit… magic tricksters tend to have very active imigantions. Flying over a wall could turn you into a pig making you a “Spider-ham” in a sense.
Maybe by “babysitter” he’s not explicitly referring to 84, but someone who fills the narrative role of helping the party out and explaining the stuff they wouldn’t know that the locals would.
Well yes, but at least in this instance it’s his area of expertise, so he has a reason to be confident he knows what he’s talking about.
Apparently they’re not just talking down to 84, the teal lady needed it explained to her too.
Has Mr. Fishbowl Helmet already gone ahead while the other four stopped to talk? We may be down one member of the party already!
The smartest thing they can do is to stay together at least until they have the egg. (They can have a race then).
That said I would guess they loose at least two because they split off. Perhaps Neuronet was the first and now he is missing the information from the doorman. The next will likely be Fireguy.
*Thank* you, Conjurer, your services will no longer be required.
Also: that fellow’s helmet, now that I’ve gotten a good look at it, appears to be somewhat… squamous.
Well, actually ‘tentacular.’
I was seeing that as a glossy finish.
There’s that weird inset blue thing, though. Kinda all looks like a really stylized mind flayer mask.
Oh no. “Clues increasing lasting power of spells.” He is trying to meta game versus a god’s test.
I wouldn’t have said “Oh no” about that. Gaming the system is a time-honored and often very effective method of winning. A trickster might even respect him for it, since it is a trickster thing to do. Koschei might even normally appreciate gaming the system, but probably won’t appreciate it when applied to the protections around his heart.
trickster types would respect it, but hes looking for a smart strong warrior type to be his foil isn’t he? so he’d probably clap and then make them run the test *again* and do it “right”
then again hes probably already chosen and just wants them to help him fuck with this guy while they’re still listening to him.
The trick, so to speak, with trying a Gordian Knot solution on a trickster god is that you’re going to need to be inventive about it.
I think he is saying adding clues makes the wards more powerful, or longer lasting. He is explaining why they are getting clues, as opposed to just being thrown to the (magical) wolves.
It’s a common occurrence in game systems -often pen&paper-. Building weaknesses or inconveniences into a spell upon its casting can give benefits (frequently longer duration though sometimes more power/damage) in other areas.
Wonder-Helmet there is probably thinking the direct and obvious path is one of those inconveniences, meant to take a while to do, when there may be a faster, easier, and ideally safer way. He’s also blatantly disregarding the “doorman” as anything but the entity to get you started on the direct and obvious path. Whether he is or not.
I think being genre savvy will not save him from the disadvantage of his ego. He is nicely explaining it to 84, thereby acting the babysitter role whether he realizes it or not. I foresee a possible issue as he was looking at the the elemental chick when he said babysitter.
Even worse – he’s not nicely explaining it to 84, he’s nicely explaining it to Phlogiston. He has no respect for 84, which is probably (almost certainly, I think) what’s going to bite him in the butt in the end. In other words, his ego is preventing him from seeing that he *is* “the babysitter”.
As an aside, I wonder if this is what happened to society on Atlas’ homeworld? Did they eliminate their varied supertypes in reaction to being treated, well, like *this*?
Almost understandable if it was.
He’s also almost certainly being wrong genre savvy as well. Which means that he’s likely to run into a particularly humiliating trap.
Seems like the other female draftee’s proving more considerate and sensible so far, she’s not been openly dismissive or derogatory (even her Ren Faire comparison wasn’t that bad, unlike mr ‘no disrespect’ there) and even held her hand up too while asking a question.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if at least one gate’s test didn’t require one or more of 84’s abilities simply to demonstrate that everyone’s got value at some point and that sometimes the simple and obvious solution (‘why don’t we just move the boulder?’) is the right one.
Eehh flameboys not being that disrespectfull he’s just confidant in his own power and is obviously a hammer type.
I think she held her hand up in a “stop” gesture, as opposed to a “can I ask a question” gesture. Having said that, at least she is looking for information. Conjuror believes the pattern of what they are experiencing so far fits the mental model he has for this area.
The greatest element of surprise comes from when someone misses something important because its presence doesn’t fit the mental model they have. He expected the ‘doorman’ role. The behavior of our wet friend matches the mental model. Look out for when he dismisses a new element as unimportant because it doesn’t fit. That’s when he will be surprised.
Maybe I’m the last to notice this, but does she have a son at PS238? One of the kids bothering Zodon looked a lot like her.
I don’t think she’s holding up her hand to ask permission, but is actually “saying” halt/stop.
At no time does the Conjuror consider the possibility that a dungeon run by a trickster god might not match his previous experience, or that the person playing cards in the water might be more than a doorman…
I agree with Nightmask that the blue lady is so far the best of the adult supers in play. ^^
I can’t wait for the Conjurer to get his comeuppance – the babysitter line appeared to be a snide reference to 84. The Conjurer may think of her as a kid but that remark indicated he was not a responsible adult.
He’s paying attention to what is said, but did he see what Sir Dwarf is doing? Everything and anything can have meaning and import in this situation. Focusing on one sole aspect will always be detrimental.
So, in other words, this world is being run by a railroading DM and any attempts to do anything different will get your character sheet doused in lighter fluid and set aflame.
Even if the Conjurer is right about this place being based on The Hero’s Journey (Monomyth), that doesn’t guarantee that metagaming to the end point would get him the same result as someone playing the game straight.
Off-topic but speaking of magical superheroes (in-training)…
To Mr. Williams:
I’d like to see Satori Deacon and Alec Kent again if possible, even if in passing. What has become of them?
And thank you.
As an aside, I just noticed that the website display issues several of us were talking about two pages ago seem to have disappeared.
They did for me also, and I did not upgrade FireFox.
And, since I see that a post I made has been awaiting moderation for OVER 24 hours, I bid you goodbye – I won’t bother posting again
Aaron posted in his blog that his computer took a powder around the time you posted, so you are jumping the gun to drop out. Checking there is usually a good thing before getting upset at delays.
Veles and the Conjurer deserve each other.
Veles isn’t THAT bad, surely…
Is it just me, or doesn’t this whole test seem to be a bit like volunteering for a thankless task? I mean, if you actually win the challenge thrown down by the trickster god, your prize is …. constant harassment by a trickster god.
Your prize is being publicly declared Champion of Earth. That probably puts another zero in your endorsement deals.
Oh good point! You’ll also have the crushing responsibility to live up to the title “Champion of Earth” and be expected to deal with all the other apocalypse level events/villains too! This “prize” is looking sweeter every moment
Granted I tend towards stealthy and sneaky when presented the option, and being singled out like that and placed in the spotlight runs counter to my sensibilities.
Look at the outfits these guys are wearing. Look at how they act. They don’t do “stealthy and sneaky”. You don’t run (or fly…) around like that unless being in the spotlight is exactly what you’re looking for. You don’t talk like that unless you’ve got an ego the size of a fair-sized planetoid. It’s a common affliction for supers in the PS238 universe…the ones that don’t suffer from it are always shown to be the exception, not the rule.
For most of this group, the prestige of being declared Champion of Earth would probably be a significant prize all by itself.
True, true. *sighs*
Guess looking for common sense in the cape and cowl crowd was a self defeating task.
You also get to compete with Veles every other season change. See it is a great prize.
So.. all those masks. Would make it reasonably easy for Veles to sneak in as an imposter.. given he’s selected members of different teams.. If Koschei hadn’t designed the Egg to be impossible for a god to fit within.
So which of the five is Koschei disguised as, then?
My vote is The Conjurer. Veles seems more the Phlogiston type.
just a meta comment that the portion dealing with 84 compared with a bunch of overconfident adults seems to produce significantly more comment from your audience base. Perhaps an indication of story involvement.
Such is the high promise of this storyline and writing. During sequences of high action, there is little debate. For moments like this, the potential direction is incredibly variable. There are hundreds of potential directions. Aaron is playing on his readers’ intelligence, knowledge, and their understanding of myth, super hero convention, comic book plot development, and social mores.
Has anyone else noticed how when someone feels the need to start a sentence with “No disrespect, old man” what they’re usually really saying is “I don’t respect you at all and I’m only making this attempt to sound polite because if I’m not then people might think I’m an asshole for insulting the elderly” ?
Very rarely does anyone have ‘No disrespect’ in a sentence and actually mean it, since they already know from using that in the sentence that it at least sounds disrespectful and when they add in things like ‘old man’ clearly they’re being disrespectful and know it.
Interesting to note that “old man” is viewed as disrespectful, and yet “young lady” is viewed as respectful.
Well ‘young lady’ can be used in a less respectful fashion, but usually by a parent dressing down a misbehaving child. Context is important and context-wise ‘old man/woman’ often is used in a negative fashion particularly in I think more Western cultures where we often aren’t as respectful as we should be towards our elders. Other cultures it can be more of a term of respect due to venerating age and the wisdom that often comes with it.
So when we see Veles referring to Julie as ‘Young Lady’ he’s using it to be respectful since he’s like that, our more hotheaded ‘hero’ on the other hand isn’t using ‘old man’ to show respect and instead is part of his ego to showcase how he prizes his power and youth.
Plus there’s all the additional context – when Veles first called 84 a “young lady” he bowed to her with no apparent trace of irony/sarcasm, and the second time it was while pointedly bringing everyone’s attention back to her question after they had disparaged her for asking it. On the other hand, the fire Elementalist delivers his “old man” comment hand-on-hip while jerking his thumb back at himself.
I completely agree with both of you – Context is absolutely key, both from a cultural and a conversational viewpoint. The point I way trying to make was the “ageism” implied in the way Fire guy is dismissing the man in the boat.
Good point, especially in our modern western culture which tends to be youth-obsessed. We do have a few ways to use “young” disparagingly, such as “young buck” or “young whippersnapper”, but I can’t think of any ways we use “old” respectfully (even “good old days” is used sarcastically more often than not).
Well, “Old man” or “old friend” can be used affectionately between people who’ve known each other for a long time.
Also, key word in “young lady” is less the “young” part and more the “lady” part, with the implied nobility — in turn implying “deserving of respect — at least more so than the rest of you self-important egotists”.
Also, it’s less “ageism” specifically as it’s “not-like-me-ism”. If the bearded dwarf had been a woman warning them, he’d have said “lady” instead in a /highly/ non-respectful context; if it had been a child he’d have used a dismissive “boy/girl” or even “kiddo”; if it had been an elderly woman, he might have tossed out “granny”.
Point being, Flaming Asshole over there (and I’m dubbing him that no matter what Aaron decides his superhero name is going to be) would have simply picked whatever phsyical attribute he differed most in from the warning-giver and disparaged it.
Except possibly skin color, because that would be racist and he wouldn’t want anyone to think he’s a racist.
About the only use case I can come up with where “with all due respect” actually *is* respectful, it would expand to something like this:
“Sir/ma’am, I really do normally grant you the respect due your rank, position and proven competence in your field, but the course of action you have just suggested/commanded seems to me incredibly unwise; this compels me to bring to your attention the reason/reasons I believe this course to be unwise in the hope that you will either modify your decision in light of new evidence, or indicate you’re aware of them already and have a plan I’m not currently seeing the entirety of.”
Of course, that’s a big mouthful and the situation can be pretty critical, so you use shorthand.
Alternately, especially from an experienced NCO to a relatively new officer: “Your rank, and what it implies you’ve done to earn it, entitle you to a great deal of respect I grant you unhesitatingly; however, right here and now we have a crisis situation and my time is better spent fixing it than it would pausing to brief you, then waiting for your orders and hoping that you’ll give the correct order telling me to do what I’m already doing.”
I’m still trying to figure out 84’s expression while the Conjurer is making his “babysitter” remark. She doesn’t look confused, hurt, or all that upset or angry. Maybe she’s deciding that Forak and 71/Brian aren’t that bad to deal with compared to some of her current companions.
To me, it almost looks like she’s biting her lip. Keep in mind her beginning character arc was being downtrodden by everyone looking down at her and calling her powers common. So I’d bet she’s used to this kind of attitude.
Only, instead of being dejected by it, it looks like her reaction is more like *sigh* “not this again.”
She doesn’t seem to have any facial expression in that panel. I’m thinking she’s either ignoring it and letting it wash over her. Or she hadn’t yet processed what he said.
Pretty certain the boat being full of water is important, and being courteous to him might help.
Incidentally: Isn’t it fun how every time somebody says something like “No disrespect” or, even classier, “with all due respect” they basically have no respect for whoever they’re addressing whatsoever?
That is because whoever they are addressing is getting exactly the respect the are due and deserve.
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