April 29th, 2013

"OH THAT'S RIGHT I haven't slept for several hours."

I coloured this in a single day and I cannot believe it's done on time. HUZZAH! 8D Unfortunately now it's bedtime and I don't have a vote incentive yet. TOMORROW! 8D For now you can just take a gander at everyone's D&D stats again.

Comment by Tehbeefer

"Hello crazy lady, look at the camera, now back to me, now back at the camera, now back to me. Sadly, your weird dagger thing thinks I'm a demon aberration, but if you stopped using magicky-daggers and switched to common sense, you could tell I'm just an average guy with tentacle hands. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re in an street in Dhemin, looking for allies to kill me with. What’s down that alley, back at the camera. Where did he go? Look again, there's an empty cloak on the ground with no-one to be seen. Anything is possible when your man is a shapeshifting runewriter. I’m on a roof."


posted at 12:53am on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa

.........I did not expect this to work as well as it did. xD


posted at 7:45pm on April 29th, 2013

Comment by Jeweleya

152 Internet points to Tehbeefer!

Wait, Sev, you still have tentacles for hands, now you'll have tentacled front feet... Not that it's slowed you down too much so far, I suppose. But how will you change back later...?

Also: I love the freckles on the lady hunter.


posted at 11:19am on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa

Ahhh, thanks! :"D
(No worries, Sev usually just transforms back without having to cast another spell, after the initial spell runs out. c: )


posted at 3:31pm on May 1st, 2013

Reply by Jeweleya

Whew, that's a relief! I hadn't noticed that. (Thanks for all the links!)

What happens if Sev is knocked out or falls asleep while he's transformed? Does he automatically transform back? Or is it a conscious decision?

Knowing Sev, we'll probably find out soon anyway!


posted at 1:23pm on May 3rd, 2013

Comment by Amberlynne

LOL Goodby, robes! xD That should make for interesting updates! xD


posted at 12:48pm on April 29th, 2013

Comment by Kwaj

Oh, yeah... clothes O.o

@ the character stats:

I would have expected Jonan to pump his casting stat more, and totally nerf his "social stat", based on his complete disdain for... everyone. Guess I assumed he just had those max ranks in Intimidate.

I'm surprised at the difference in Sev's Strength and Dex - I don't think of him as very dextrous, in any form. He also comes across to me as a spontaneous caster, even though the RW magic system doesn't quite admit of that. I can see him filling all his runestones with the skin-pattern spell, then using it to write whatever he needs onto himself and casting it right away.

Tareth... I suppose it makes a certain sort of sense, that the chief protagonist is the most balanced character. I refuse to believe that she couldn't make it as a bard, though. The class description says that bardic spells and bardic music only carry a 20% failure chance for deafened characters due to flubbing the verbal components; I would house-rule that her speech classes cut that in half. Also, the description of bardic music specifies that speech or song is NOT strictly neccessary for the effects to activate - reciting poetry, rhythmic chanting, or instrumental solos all qualify. And, if she's not activating the effect by vocalizing, there's no failure chance. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that Tarri is a percussionist :)


posted at 1:56pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Packbat

> I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that Tarri is a percussionist

...Sev on guitar, Jonan on keyboards?

Now I'm imagining a battle-of-the-bands between them and the Agoraths. Quentin is probably the worst lead singer ever, and doesn't even play.


posted at 2:29pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa


Jonan - I kinda feel like there's a limit to how much you can "pump your stats" in real life! That said, I don't think I've ever given a specific casting stat for Runewriter as a class? MAYBE IT IS CHA.*
I think a lot of the social skills end up being skill ranks, though. I like to think of Charisma itself as just how seriously people tend to take you.

*(honestly I'd make Runewriter a pretty M.A.D.-heavy class. INT for bonus spells, CON for spells per day, and CHA for save DC.)

Sev - I feel like Sev has a good reflex save, though, and he's come close to outrunning aberrants a couple of times! He has a good reaction time and a sort of animalistic skill with stuff like balancing and dodging. I.... don't think he can pick locks or craft things super well, but all the other stuff I picture him being quicker than he is strong!

Tareth - Remember, though, that rule is applied to a character who could previously hear but is temporarily deafened. Tareth was born deaf -- that's a pretty big difference. I'd argue that her speech therapy would, if anything, be the only reason she'd be allowed the 20% failure rate instead of something higher -- but truth be told, Tareth cannot sing. She has never been able to hear and has no solid concept of what music is.
I'd accept making rousing speeches or like... dancing but do either of those things actually sound like things Tareth would want to do. xD She could learn percussion if she wanted, but as a former band geek I really can't picture her as a drummer, either.

I like Jonan on keyboards though. I feel like Sev will have some problems with the guitar.

(But maybe I'll accept this whole absurd scenario just so that there can be a band called "Quentin and the Agoraths," perfect.)


posted at 8:15pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Tehbeefer

Although in a pinch he could probably pull off the 70's keytarist thing pretty well, Jonan on a skull & bones organ (melted candles optional) seems pretty much perfect. I vote Tareth gets to compose their songs; she'd probably do her research, and the results would be pretty interesting. Or it would be a disaster :D

Yeah, Sev doesn't fit the 'dextrous character' stereotype very well, BUT, I do see him having a very keen instinct w/regards to coordination, motion, etc. Just look at that last panel: exhausted and from two legs to maybe-four, plus climbing to a roof in seconds. The Agorath lady ain't doing that. Plus, I bet he can juggle.


posted at 8:53pm on April 29th, 2013

Comment by Glew

So it WAS Chevok's dome! :D


posted at 2:43pm on April 29th, 2013

Comment by bbullock

RE: Tareth being a "bard," I actually think you could pull it off, but you'd need a house rule. Specifically, that she could "sing" in sign language... which would require concentration and keeping her hands occupied, meaning she couldn't really do anything else... which seems pretty close to how bards are handled, anyway... just thinkin'...


posted at 3:18pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa

If I were DMing that game I would need you to roll some pretty high IRL diplomacy checks to convince me that you could rouse the spirits of your comrades by signing at them! But then again dancing is similarly baffling to me, and if I were DMing this game I would NOT be letting Severian get away with his put-runes-on-my-skin exploit.


posted at 8:17pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by bbullock

Of course, it could also be HILARIOUS.

"I run into the warrior's view, so he can see me signing a song of encouragement at him!"
"Trying to kill, orcs, here!"


posted at 3:52pm on May 2nd, 2013

Comment by Nerrin

Tarri could totally be a bard, and I'd love to see someone take on a character like her in a game. Even with the deafness penalty to casting, there could totally be a homebrewed/setting feat for mitigating or negating the penalty, along with some other minor benefit so you're not spending a feat to just bring you "back to normal" or whatever.

As for how I'd construct her in 3.5 to reflect her actual abilities, at the moment I'd probably set her with the Expert NPC class, or maybe make a skills/social-emphasis Rogue and spend several of her feats on skill bonuses, extra skill points, expanded class skills, and other fun stuff like that. This obviously isn't a game where you have to be combat optimized, so she could totally get away with playing party diplomat skill rogue.


posted at 5:39pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa

WHOA WAIT NO ROGUE IS PERFECT, ROGUE IS PERFECT, seriously how many times so far as she collected info by sneaking around?


posted at 8:19pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Nerrin

Thinking about deafness in 3.5. The deafened condition says that if you're stuck with it for a long time, it's possible to overcome some of the penalties (though it leaves the specifics up to the GM). Perhaps a milder version could make up a reasonable flaw to take for a permanently deafened character. Still auto-fail Listen checks, but reduce or eliminate the Initiative and casting penalties. Or make it a trait (like flaws, but with good sides too) to give a bonus to Spot for reading lips since you've had to practice more at it than someone who isn't deafened.

I'd probably also include a Common Sign Language as a freebie for those who start off deafened (kind of like literacy for everyone but barbarians), at least in a setting that made a point of putting it down as a character option. There have been sign languages in D&D before. Others could just learn it as a regular language.


posted at 2:32pm on May 1st, 2013

Comment by Artificer-Urza

I wonder what it is that the dagger isdetecting? What is it about Sev that sets that gets a reaction out of it?


posted at 5:55pm on April 29th, 2013

Reply by Glew

I've got a malicious/cynical theory on that:
they are Daggers of Plot Advancement +1
Though it very well could be a "detect messed up magic" or detect some sort of "taint". So Sev may actually be tainted somehow, just not knowing, or he is not tainted but something has happened to him that sets the spell off. We can only wonder.

Btw: How is Sev getting on the roof in the last panel? He is morfing up to the roof? Is he levitating? I would guess he's jumping, but he lacks those motiony line-things about him.


posted at 12:41pm on April 30th, 2013

Reply by Nziz

I figure it's one of two possibilities -- either they're right and a miscast of aberrant shape is actually a dangerous taint and Sev doesn't know it yet, or otherwise the fact that aberrants are by nature "wrong" somehow means that the dagger can also detect regular shapeshifty miscasts, since they're a different kind of wrong. But if that's the case, you'd think they would have figured that out by now, encountering some other miscast. But maybe they killed them before asking questions. (Can anyone say "witch hunt"?)

And I think Sev is run/jumping up the wall in the manner of cats -- the way a 10-inch-tall housecat can go from ground level to the top of a fence in the blink of an eye.


posted at 3:14am on May 1st, 2013

Reply by Lear

So basically you're suggesting that Aberrants exist somewhere on the miscast scale.
Obviously they would be the 10 or 11 on the scale. A 1 would have to be something minor like numbing your tongue for a few hours. inconvenient but probably not life threatening. Which I guess would make Jonan's like a 3 since it could be bad but you have time to go fix it. Probably starting somewhere around a 6 you would start moving toward being an Abberant and being picked up by glow daggers. Which probably sticks Sev at like a 7 or 8, just given how many changes there are to him.


posted at 1:24am on May 2nd, 2013

Reply by Nerrin

Well we've had hints already with both Sev and Iavin that the aberrant-detecting magic is also set off by certain kinds of miscasts. Iavin was caught due to a false positive, and this is the second time the same has happened to Sev. I think it's also already been suggested in dialogue that there may be a more definite connection between miscasts and aberrants? I wouldn't be at all surprised if in some cases aberrants come from miscasting runewriters.


posted at 2:15pm on May 1st, 2013

Reply by Johndoe

It seems equally likely that Sev actually has some aberrant in him. If you look at his initial miscast, he turns into in aberrant while still tainted with aberrant, which is what resulted in him being stuck with the tentacle hands and...creature feet. Sev would then be setting off the detectors because he is actually tainted with aberrant magic. Assuming I followed his transformation correctly.


posted at 11:53am on May 2nd, 2013

Reply by Shazzbaa

Aw man, you guys are the coolest!! I'm loving the theories! *o*


posted at 6:45pm on May 2nd, 2013

Comment by Obligatonym

Wait... theories about runewriters/aberrants just made me think... what even is an aberrant? I mean... we know vaguely magical creatures (e.g. dragons) exist in this setting but ain't considered unnatural. And yet aberrants are; they're not just a thing, but a Thing. I wonder why that is.

Also runewriters turning into aberrants was referred to off-hand as an old rumour or myth, but Sev dismissed it out of hand, claiming it just doesn't happen. Either it's so rare that it's only relegated to rumours, or (if we combine this info with the info that the sinister order's vows have recently changed) the fundamental magical mojo of runewriting has recently become destabilised.


posted at 8:31pm on May 4th, 2013

Reply by Jeweleya

...Or runewriters who have miscast have frequently become aberrants? A word exists because a concept does; if aberrants were a new thing, they wouldn't have been a creature of history and myth. It's possible this has been happening for a long time. The hunters knew what to look for, too. And though Sev dismissed it casually, Sev seems pretty flippant about stuff in general! Still, it's entirely possible that runewriting is getting messed up... I bet we'll get to learn more when we finally see Loa.

I like your speculation! I'm bursting with questions about this world, and the hardest thing is to sit back and let the story unfold.


posted at 12:02am on May 5th, 2013

Reply by Obligatonym

Hmm... that makes some degree of sense. But then again, the lady with the magic knife in the first chapter acted totally oblivious to the idea that runewriters could become tainted. In fact, I think when Esra talked to his boss about the runewriter/aberrant connection as though it were some kinda secret, the kind he literally could not speak of. So it still seems like something relatively obscure in terms of knowledge.

That said, everyone seems kinda ignorant on how runewriting works, especially if you look at the various vote incentives. Sev says it's not researched and, even allowing for his trademark dismissiveness, Jonan talked about Loa researching runewriting as though it were something strange.

Also, the abberant thing... I mean... I get what you're saying it's just... well... who looks at the "shoggoth" that Sev faced and, say, them fiery dogs that chased him later, and says "yep, let's classify them as the same creature type". I mean, sure you have magic detection thingies to zone in on aberrants, but for all we know they were devised after aberrants were considered a Thing.


posted at 3:44pm on May 5th, 2013

Reply by Jeweleya

You make some good points! It's clear that the classification for magic beasties and for aberrants indicates that aberrants are a whole 'nother category. The zoology of the world is definitely different from Earth's, though, so it's hard to say how things would be classified (the crazy octopus-headed horse beastie, those wolf-things, and the gryphon-thing that Sev turned into - natural, magical, some combo?).

It's intriguing to me that the magic knife was created specifically to detect aberrants (I assume), which means they're around enough that a way to detect them AND a way to fuse that detecting ability into a physical object have been devised. That indicates a baseline for detecting aberrants where they've been seen both consistently and frequently enough to know something like that works.

How long have aberrants been a Thing, I wonder? If it was a long time, then maybe the knowledge was hidden to protect power and/or people...? Perhaps only higher-ups know about it.


posted at 7:11pm on May 5th, 2013

Refresh Captcha
If you can see this text and text box, please leave the field empty.