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 Why not an Arch-villainess? [potential SPOILERS]
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  04:55:25  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

Sexist, maybe, but oh so true! But yeah, you're right Zireal, (psst, it sounds like "cereal" when you read it, LOL!!) it IS a good thing there are drow to balance out all those sexist males! *wink*



I don't see the female drow quite enough to balance out that difference. But at least they try to...

What's good about FR (on the issue of balanced portrayal of gender) is that even though most women tend to shun villainy, or are simply chosen not to lead that path, we still see a number of female heroes in the limelight. And that is REALLY something in a genre that is predominantly male.




Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  05:17:19  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zanan

quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

quote:
Originally posted by dennis
Well said, Red Walker!


Thanks....even sometimes my opinion can be right



YOur opinion is just that, your opinion. That someone else is of the same opinion does not necessarily make it "right", only proves that you two are of the same opinion. BTW, being "wicked" and "evil" may be morally "wrong", much like being a "villain", but it does not say that you are mad or deranged.




Not always as mad as Halaster, or (non-FR) Bellatrix, or even Szass Tam. But mad, nonetheless. Since when does killing hundreds of innocent people for personal/selfish gain become an act of a SANE individual? True, even heroes act selfishly, yet not to the extent of intentionally harming or killing scores of innocent people.

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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  17:28:54  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

I'm with dracons on this one. No offense, but you seem to think that the only EFFECTIVE arch-villains are all magic-users, and that simply isn't true, as we've seen plenty of examples who were not, both male and female alike. Your arguement is just too thin, I'm afraid. But if that's how you want to run your games, that's your perogative- but you're truly missing out on a LOT of potential that way! To take a few NON-FR cases, nearly ALL the super-villains in comic books, particularly Marvel and DC, are non-magic-users, and many have no powers at all, just a lot of toys and gimmicks to aid in their schemes, or a criminal organization behind them. So to say that only someone with the power to blast you with a fireball or whatever can make a good arch-villain is extremely short-sighted, at best. Even a high-level fighter with a good magic weapon or a criminal mastermind with an extended network of spies and assassins can harry a nation- or several- to no end. And even moreso if they stick around for a while, which many do simply because they are so hard to get to!

Edit: I would have voted for Triel in any case, but I agree that some option for "other" needs to be in the poll.



I find it rather tiring to repeat myself. I believe I already made myself clear why I deem it necessary that for an archvillainess to succeed, influence or cause Realms-wide changes, and hope to stay for awhile, she has to POSSESS magic, be it Weave-based or divine; and why I intentionally did NOT include "others" as an option in the poll. (Read my replies to dracons and others.) Now if you find that difficult to understand, I see no reason why I should make it my problem.




What I am simply saying is- why does a villain have to possess any magic at all? Divine or Weave, either way, magic is nothing more than a TOOL. In other words, it is simply a path to gaining POWER, which is really the thing that makes a good villain. There are so many great villains who have NO magic of their own, and instead go off looking for some artifact or what-not to gain pwoer to destroy/control some nation or world or just to get revenge on someone.

The definition of a villain is (without quoting outright) any individual who causes a significant amount of harm or hardship to others for selfish gain, whether that includes mass killing of innocents, or simply taxing an entire nation into ruin out of greed. Nowhere is it implied that a villain MUST have or use magic, and in fact, in the real world, there IS no magic- yet one would be hard pressed NOT to call men like Hitler and Ghengis Khan villains! In all practicality, anyone with a big enough army or spy network, or who is just charismatic enough to manipulate vast numbers of people in the cause of evil would be considered an arch-villain.

But since the "sticking around for a while" part has not truly been discussed here, how long are you saying a villain has to be around before they are an arch-villain? (Which is really just a term to describe a villain's relationship to a particular hero or group of heroes, but that's just semantics.) A hundred years? A thousand? There are plenty of them around who do more damage in just a few years, or whose schemes take less time to cause havok and evil, than many of these long-lived wizards and priestesses do in a century!

So what is the measure of an arch-villain, then? How long they live, or how much evil they do? Might as well ask if a serial killer like Jack the Ripper is any less dangerous or evil because he only horribly mutilates a half-dozen people than the Nazis were for gassing millions. One is just as evil as the other, whatever the numbers. Yet either one could arguably be called an arch-villain if used (with some alterations, obviously) in a game. Moriarty or Kirk's nemesis Khan, it's all the same. Both were great villains to their counter-parts, and yet (gasp) NO magic! Or there's Bullseye to Daredevil, Doc Ock to Spidey, and Lex to Superman. All arch-villains (I do not say super, because technically, none of them had ANY powers) who were simply clever and tough enough to pose a serious threat to their respective heroes. (The analogy could go on, but that would take FAR too long.)

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  19:04:33  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis
What I am simply saying is- why does a villain have to possess any magic at all? Divine or Weave, either way, magic is nothing more than a TOOL. In other words, it is simply a path to gaining POWER, which is really the thing that makes a good villain. There are so many great villains who have NO magic of their own, and instead go off looking for some artifact or what-not to gain pwoer to destroy/control some nation or world or just to get revenge on someone.

The definition of a villain is (without quoting outright) any individual who causes a significant amount of harm or hardship to others for selfish gain, whether that includes mass killing of innocents, or simply taxing an entire nation into ruin out of greed. Nowhere is it implied that a villain MUST have or use magic, and in fact, in the real world, there IS no magic- yet one would be hard pressed NOT to call men like Hitler and Ghengis Khan villains! In all practicality, anyone with a big enough army or spy network, or who is just charismatic enough to manipulate vast numbers of people in the cause of evil would be considered an arch-villain.

I believe what he is saying is that magic is the most effective path. To the point that other paths really can't compete in terms of scale. Being really good with a sword will only take you so far, whereas with magic even the sky is no longer a limit. Yes, the guy (or gal) who is good with a sword can be the head of a powerful organization making them a powerful person with influence. However, if a magic user of enough power decides they are a hinderence then the magic user has numerous ways to remove them and they may be powerless to stop the magic user. If the situation is reversed, the sword guy has to take out the guy who scored high in INT using a non direct approach, which I believe should usually end up better for the Wizard. I think it's a matter of scale, and with magic the possibilities are endless.

As for real world comparisons, they seem pointless to me. In the real world, the people opposing those villains also don't have magic. The playing field is even. In the FR, the people you're fighting could (and will, if they're smart) have magic so if you intend on being someone of power you need to be able to deal with the largest threat (magic) so it makes sense for powerful individuals (good or bad) to be magic users (or have lots of magic items, which more or less means admitting that magic is still critical).

That's not to say that non magic users can't be powerful individuals. However, for them to really make an impact and hold on to what they have they either need to have magic users in their employ (meaning their power is only as certain as their magic user's loyalty) or need to have a means to deal with opposing magic users (such as magic items, which again means that magic is still the key to maintaining power).

If you're only basing it on mentality, then anyone could be an archvillain. To be an archvillain that is a lasting threat (which seems to be what he is after) requires power and in the FR that very often means magic (in some form).

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis
So what is the measure of an arch-villain, then? How long they live, or how much evil they do? Might as well ask if a serial killer like Jack the Ripper is any less dangerous or evil because he only horribly mutilates a half-dozen people than the Nazis were for gassing millions. One is just as evil as the other, whatever the numbers. Yet either one could arguably be called an arch-villain if used (with some alterations, obviously) in a game. Moriarty or Kirk's nemesis Khan, it's all the same. Both were great villains to their counter-parts, and yet (gasp) NO magic! Or there's Bullseye to Daredevil, Doc Ock to Spidey, and Lex to Superman. All arch-villains (I do not say super, because technically, none of them had ANY powers) who were simply clever and tough enough to pose a serious threat to their respective heroes. (The analogy could go on, but that would take FAR too long.)


The comic examples aren't great either. He is saying magic is required because magic is the "super power" in the realms (well, one of them anyway). Bullseye was an uncanny accurate shot. It may not have been super human but it was well beyond anyone else. Then he got an indestructable skeleton. Doc Ock had his tentacles and his genius level intelligence (in the comics, that is a super power because it gives him access to technology that will never exist in the real world). Lex Luthor has super intelligence with the dial turned to 11, which is a power greater than virutally any physical power if he uses it well (which, being super intelligent, isn't out of the question). Lex has an intelligence that will never be matched by a real human being, which to me is a super power even if it isn't considered one in the comics. This is like when people say Batman has no powers. Strictly speaking, no he doesn't. However, he has a collection of abilities and training that no human being could ever amass in their entire lifetime even if they hit it 24/7. Things like that have to be considered when these comparisons are made. FR magic users (Wizards anyway) don't just have their magic. Mechanically we know they also have a very high intelligence which opens possibilites that our average sword fighter simply won't have access to.

I don't completely agree with his view, but I do understand it. I haven't read nearly enough FR books (60 or so at this point, not counting RPG material) to have an alternate nominee. I do agree that non magic users (or for argument's sake, those without alternate "powers" like psionics) and those who don't employ magic equipment (again, basically a lesser version of saying you need magic) are at a disadvantage. It isn't insurmountable, but it can be a serious uphill climb.

Edit to add: I guess it's a question of scale. He seems to be talking about Realms spanning threats as opposed to the other meaning of arch villain which is the main villain to a specific hero. Lex to Superman, Joker to Batman, Green Goblin to Spider Man, etc. In that capacity, magic is not strictly required because it is a matter of scale and the hero being opposed can be on the lower end of things so a lesser power can easily be a tough villain.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest

Edited by - Tyrant on 09 Jul 2010 19:14:04
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  20:28:16  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message
So the gist of what you're saying is, unless I'm mistaken, that only an uber-powerful magic-user makes a good villain? If that were true, then only an even MORE uber-powerful magic-user would be ever able to stand up to one, and most parties don't have one. And if they DO, then they should never have to contend with the guy in the FIRST place! And no matter how powerful he is, it's usually some guy (ahem- or gal) with a sword who ends up taking him out. Proving that you don't even need magic to FIGHT the nasty bad guy, so long as you're good enough and can get a lucky shot in once in a while. I'll take the sword any day, since at the end of the day, that sword is just as sharp, while the magic-using maniac has probably exhausted his arsenal unless he has an endless supply of items to back him up. Meanwhile, the army of all the people he's ticked off over his centuies of magic-assisted nastiness rolls over him while he's digging through his chest of wands and cackling maniacally.

On the other hand, a guy who just leads an army to conquor everything in his path has as much fire-power as he'll ever need, magic or no, since he can easily replace his troops (conscription, volunteers, or monsters) and never have to worry about renewing his spells each day. Don't get me wrong, yes magic IS one of the most powerful tools in a villain's toybox, but it's not necessary. You can elevate technology and strategy to the same level in a game with things like controlling fire-breathing monsters or developing steam-powered flying machines and cannons on motorized armored carriages(that's a tank, if you can't tell). All it really takes is a little ingenuity and an evil mind. Or maybe just the foresight to kidnap and force a few gnome inventors to work for you. Heck, an evil merchant company's leader could even be an arch-villain, since there's nothing like economic pwoer to really muck people over! (Think a FR version of Enron!)

Okay, about having magic items, I'd like to point out that those items are usually stolen from some other source, and often the villain has little real control over it in the first place, and in any event, is usually using it as simply a means to an end of achieving the "real" power of ruling some local. Power, I think, is a relative term. Magic is a powerful tool, yes, but certainly not always the best one. And it can be negated, stolen, or simply withdrawn, in the case of divine magic. so yes, many villains who do not have any magic of their own might use items. But as in RL, technology could be used in just the same way. The Nazis did not even have the best tech of the time- we did. Yet it took HOW many countries banding together to take out the Axis powers, and that only after russia changed sides? For that matter, Japan didn't quit until we dropped the bomb! Imagine some poor gnome being forced to come up with an equivilant, (using Gond-tech, not magic) and you begin to get the idea.

Actually, I rather thought the comic books are a great example of why you don't have to have magic or "powers" to be a great villain. That sort of universe is the closest parallel to magic in a non-fantasy setting. And let's be honest here- Einstien and Hawking both have/had the kind of intelligence you are describing, but they are not crazed villains by any means. But they COULD be, in the right circumstances. High intelligence is not a power, it's a born attribute. And there are quite a few people who have that ability, whether they use it to that extent or not. all a villain really needs is the will and the means to acheive his nefarious goals, hwatever the method. Magic should not be the only "real" path to Realms-shaking power. That just shows a lack of imagination. Not to mention that it's one of the most over-used sterotypes in fantasy.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
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Brace Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

294 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  21:50:22  Show Profile  Visit Brace Cormaeril's Homepage Send Brace Cormaeril a Private Message
Magic-users being the most powerful beings in the Forgotten Realms, and DnD in general, has long been seen as a problem for some players. I believe that wizards-sorcerors-priests have some serious weaknesses that are often not given the consideration they deserve.

Much of this debate comes from the emergence of "Character Optimization" in 3.x DnD. Prior to that, magic-user/priest dominance arose from the release of new spells. The great diversity, and inherent power-creep, of new spells back in 2e (with Forgotten Realms being a major contributor here) was.a double edged sword indeed. But by 3.x, using spells synergistically with each other and special abilities, feats, etc.became an Art in and of itself. It soon became apparent, even after 3.5, that when "not even the sky is a limit", things can get pretty 'broken'.

With all this in mind, how can I be making an argument for non-magic users?

There are two fundamental perspectives which I believe must be taken into account when looking at this issue. Roleplay/World-building and the Ruleset. The ruleset perspective seems to favor the magic-user in many ways. (I'll be appplying DnD 3.5 rules for this rant). A spellcaster can apparently accomplish anything spells. However, in 3.5, he can't do it much. The action economy in 3.5 really smacks a wizard down. Now, a wizard in 3.5 can easily break the action economy; however, after this ballistic barrage of unholy might, the wizard is spent, toast, done. He is out of spells and out of commision. Just like when he was first level, he's gotta run for his crossbow or hide. I've played a lot of Epic games with optimized xharacter builds, and from my experience, the arch-wizards biggest issue is to cast enough spells to win while keeping enough spells in reserve to keep winning. It can be a very difficult balance to strike. A recent mage duel in my game took 9 real-time hours to run, and lasted 36 seconds game time (with 72 seconds 'subjective time' compressed within that span). Both duelists were out, done, cantrips and a few 1st and 2nd level spells between them, when one fled the field. Depending on your interpretation/perspective of the Time Stops, these two fouht for 30 seconds to a minute and a half. A fighter, in 3.5, can do what they do non-stop. For days, weeks, years. A fighter can fight for as long as a player wnats them too, only dropping in damage potential when dead. (Your build may vary)

Spellcaster can of course recover their power. After 8 hours of rest and 10minutes to 1 hour of study. Over 1/3 of a spellcasters day is spent in recharging their batteries. If they are involved in item creation or new spell development, forget about it, they have maybe 7 hours of activity allowed them daily. (I find the astral plane to be a great place to get paper work done, but anyway...)

From a world-building/role-play perspective, wizards spend most of their time doing, well mystic stuff. They're reading from ancient texts, doing research, communing with outer planar beings. And all of this stuff costs money. Many material components for the most powerful spells are expensive.

Fighters, on the other hand, do not spend their time doing mystic stuff. High level fighters lead men. They build armies. Out fit them.

A wizards optimal feat selection does not lead him to these types of choices. The wizard does not generally cultivate armies. Fighters generally do, and there feats allow them to do so synergystically with their other abilities.

With the wealth curve for both types, fighters and spellcasters, being taken a equal, fighters are able to develope massive armies while wizards simply are not, even if they but occasionaly cast expensive spells or conduct new spell development. While spellcasters mystic pursuits lead them to long, solitary lives, charismatic warriors are able to extend their influence by interaction with the populace. This Is a generalization, of course, but I think the prevalence of lone wizards towers supports it.

While wizards can always fall back on "scry, buff, teleport, slay" type tactics, successful warlords have long ago developed their own precautions. In chess and in DnD, he who strikes first usually wins, and fighters have the most opportunites to do just that.

While besieging an arch-wizards revenue streams, a war-lord need only not be killed by "scry, buff, teleport, slay". Wait for the wizard to sleep, and then do the slaying himself Sending his legions against the spellcasters defenses like lemmings.


The Silver Fire's Blade: A Novella in Nine Parts, Available Soon, in the Adventuring Forum!
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  22:12:17  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message
Thank you, Brace, for putting so perfectly just why a magic-user does not necessarily make for a great villain. Too much time spent trying to prepare and study- not enough time and resources to actually USE it effectively. Not to mention the side issue that wizards in general do not make a very detailed study of battle tactics, whereas any fighter worth his or her salt has studied such subjects extensively.

Side-note- priests suffer from a similar restriction, but not quite so much. They end up spending much of THEIR time praying for those spells!

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
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Edited by - Alystra Illianniis on 09 Jul 2010 22:15:05
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2010 :  22:54:55  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I agree with everything Brace had to say - he explained it well.

I'd just like to give a good example - the Tuigan Horde did indeed beat Thay (at first), by shear numbers, and they were not only lacking-in-magic, but they feared it (for the most part - there was a couple of out-of-place examples).

The only reason why they turned from Thay is that they were shown a 'scene' wherein they were badly defeated at the hands of Thay - presumably a future-portent. They were also shown a scene of handily defeating Rashemen - with some help from Thay. They chose the path they did because it was the easier route (although I still think it was a bit of out-of-character for Yamun Kahan to 'change course'). Personally, I think the scene they saw was an an elaborate illusion, most-likely coupled with some suggestive magic (which would make the most sense).

Furthermore, MANY powerful mages were overcome in times past during the numerous Orc Hordes that periodically poured out of The North. So much so, that the Netherease considered them a viable threat and made a point of exterminating them for a hundreds of miles around. More proof that shear numbers will eventually overcome the mage's limited number of spells.

Lastly, although not a villain, Alusair most definately changed the course of Cormyrian history, early-on by instilling noble families with deep loyalty, and later by taking the Kingdom in-hand and steering it on a path to recovery and even greater successes, both socio-politically and militarily. She had no magic what-so-ever, except for the few trinkets provided by the War Wizards, which many others also had, some non-royal and even non-noble. Yes, she was not a villain (except in the minds of certain noble ladies), but she held more power and influenced more of the Realms during her life then most wizards ever hope to.

There was also those two powerful female Pirate Lords (Thilana & Laershala), the heads of several prominent Mercenary companies, and one rather-inept Shoon Empress (although as far as villains go, she ranks right up there with some of the more incompetent Zhents). Another example was that vampire-hunter (the Shark) that was a bit of a villain, because what she did was more for her own pleasure - 'the thrill of the hunt' - rather then any sort of moral inclination. I'm sure, given enough time, I can find dozens of more examples - these were all just off the top of my head.

Its easier to create powerful, magical villains, which is why we see so many. There is a 'king' in the Marsh of Tun that is actually considered a threat by nearby Cormyr - he has no magic himself, but he is allied with a Black dragon and and has a few Mages in his employ (include a Red wizard!) He could have been just as easily written-up as a female, and if I were to run a 4e-era game, I would have his Granddaughter running things there now. True... she's a bit old... pushing 50 or so... but humans of the Realms are apparently healthier and in better-shape then their real-world counter-parts. You could even make her his daughter, if her mother were an Elf (making her a half-Elf, obviously).

Anyhow, it is entirely possible to have non-magical arch-villainesses, but its simpler to just give them some magic to explain why they aren't getting obliterated by others with magical power. Magic is akin to firepower in our modern world, and the guy with the machine gun is going to take-down the guy with the spear nearly every single time. What you got to do is get more guys (and girls) with spears then the other guy has bullets.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Jul 2010 23:02:40
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  02:46:27  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Tyrant

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis
What I am simply saying is- why does a villain have to possess any magic at all? Divine or Weave, either way, magic is nothing more than a TOOL. In other words, it is simply a path to gaining POWER, which is really the thing that makes a good villain. There are so many great villains who have NO magic of their own, and instead go off looking for some artifact or what-not to gain pwoer to destroy/control some nation or world or just to get revenge on someone.

The definition of a villain is (without quoting outright) any individual who causes a significant amount of harm or hardship to others for selfish gain, whether that includes mass killing of innocents, or simply taxing an entire nation into ruin out of greed. Nowhere is it implied that a villain MUST have or use magic, and in fact, in the real world, there IS no magic- yet one would be hard pressed NOT to call men like Hitler and Ghengis Khan villains! In all practicality, anyone with a big enough army or spy network, or who is just charismatic enough to manipulate vast numbers of people in the cause of evil would be considered an arch-villain.

I believe what he is saying is that magic is the most effective path. To the point that other paths really can't compete in terms of scale. Being really good with a sword will only take you so far, whereas with magic even the sky is no longer a limit. Yes, the guy (or gal) who is good with a sword can be the head of a powerful organization making them a powerful person with influence. However, if a magic user of enough power decides they are a hinderence then the magic user has numerous ways to remove them and they may be powerless to stop the magic user. If the situation is reversed, the sword guy has to take out the guy who scored high in INT using a non direct approach, which I believe should usually end up better for the Wizard. I think it's a matter of scale, and with magic the possibilities are endless.

As for real world comparisons, they seem pointless to me. In the real world, the people opposing those villains also don't have magic. The playing field is even. In the FR, the people you're fighting could (and will, if they're smart) have magic so if you intend on being someone of power you need to be able to deal with the largest threat (magic) so it makes sense for powerful individuals (good or bad) to be magic users (or have lots of magic items, which more or less means admitting that magic is still critical).

That's not to say that non magic users can't be powerful individuals. However, for them to really make an impact and hold on to what they have they either need to have magic users in their employ (meaning their power is only as certain as their magic user's loyalty) or need to have a means to deal with opposing magic users (such as magic items, which again means that magic is still the key to maintaining power).

If you're only basing it on mentality, then anyone could be an archvillain. To be an archvillain that is a lasting threat (which seems to be what he is after) requires power and in the FR that very often means magic (in some form).

quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis
So what is the measure of an arch-villain, then? How long they live, or how much evil they do? Might as well ask if a serial killer like Jack the Ripper is any less dangerous or evil because he only horribly mutilates a half-dozen people than the Nazis were for gassing millions. One is just as evil as the other, whatever the numbers. Yet either one could arguably be called an arch-villain if used (with some alterations, obviously) in a game. Moriarty or Kirk's nemesis Khan, it's all the same. Both were great villains to their counter-parts, and yet (gasp) NO magic! Or there's Bullseye to Daredevil, Doc Ock to Spidey, and Lex to Superman. All arch-villains (I do not say super, because technically, none of them had ANY powers) who were simply clever and tough enough to pose a serious threat to their respective heroes. (The analogy could go on, but that would take FAR too long.)


The comic examples aren't great either. He is saying magic is required because magic is the "super power" in the realms (well, one of them anyway). Bullseye was an uncanny accurate shot. It may not have been super human but it was well beyond anyone else. Then he got an indestructable skeleton. Doc Ock had his tentacles and his genius level intelligence (in the comics, that is a super power because it gives him access to technology that will never exist in the real world). Lex Luthor has super intelligence with the dial turned to 11, which is a power greater than virutally any physical power if he uses it well (which, being super intelligent, isn't out of the question). Lex has an intelligence that will never be matched by a real human being, which to me is a super power even if it isn't considered one in the comics. This is like when people say Batman has no powers. Strictly speaking, no he doesn't. However, he has a collection of abilities and training that no human being could ever amass in their entire lifetime even if they hit it 24/7. Things like that have to be considered when these comparisons are made. FR magic users (Wizards anyway) don't just have their magic. Mechanically we know they also have a very high intelligence which opens possibilites that our average sword fighter simply won't have access to.

I don't completely agree with his view, but I do understand it. I haven't read nearly enough FR books (60 or so at this point, not counting RPG material) to have an alternate nominee. I do agree that non magic users (or for argument's sake, those without alternate "powers" like psionics) and those who don't employ magic equipment (again, basically a lesser version of saying you need magic) are at a disadvantage. It isn't insurmountable, but it can be a serious uphill climb.

Edit to add: I guess it's a question of scale. He seems to be talking about Realms spanning threats as opposed to the other meaning of arch villain which is the main villain to a specific hero. Lex to Superman, Joker to Batman, Green Goblin to Spider Man, etc. In that capacity, magic is not strictly required because it is a matter of scale and the hero being opposed can be on the lower end of things so a lesser power can easily be a tough villain.



Let me quote myself: “Why need magic? Goodness, in a world that is awash with magic, it is the greatest advantage one has over those who cannot wield it.” Forget Lex and Doc Oc, and the RW... This is FR, and it is FR that I refer to. Or do I have to edit the title of the topic to the obvious “Why not an Archvillainess in the Realms”? ---sigh----

Now, to evil fighters possessing magical baubles to help them in their selfish cause, true, such items can aid them---but only to VERY limited extent. Being ignorant about things magical, they wouldn't even realize that any of the sane wizards opposing them, let alone a powerful one like Tam or Telamont, can turn those gewgaws against them.

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Tyrant
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  02:52:21  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

So the gist of what you're saying is, unless I'm mistaken, that only an uber-powerful magic-user makes a good villain?

Well, you're mistaken. I believe if you read over what I wrote you will see that I said that non magic users can be villains, even powerful ones. I'll even further clarify to say they can make great villains. To be what he is talking about, however, one almost has to be a powerful magic user. What he is talking about is a specific category of villain, not just a villain in general (which is a wide open field open to all types, as I said).
quote:
If that were true, then only an even MORE uber-powerful magic-user would be ever able to stand up to one, and most parties don't have one. And if they DO, then they should never have to contend with the guy in the FIRST place! And no matter how powerful he is, it's usually some guy (ahem- or gal) with a sword who ends up taking him out. Proving that you don't even need magic to FIGHT the nasty bad guy, so long as you're good enough and can get a lucky shot in once in a while. I'll take the sword any day, since at the end of the day, that sword is just as sharp, while the magic-using maniac has probably exhausted his arsenal unless he has an endless supply of items to back him up. Meanwhile, the army of all the people he's ticked off over his centuies of magic-assisted nastiness rolls over him while he's digging through his chest of wands and cackling maniacally.

The guy with the sword is typically working in a team. Team work and outnumbering is usually an effective way to deal with a solitary threat. Lucky shots aren't a strategy and they happen the other way too. Likewise a team of villains could likely take out a solitary hero. That proves nothing. In fact, an army of villains that the hero has ticked off can grind him down just as effectively. I really don't see what you're getting at when the exact same tactic is open to the opposing side and it is equally effective. That's a stalemate. What unique quality does the sword guy, by himself since that seems to be how the villain is going to fight despite being the head of a Realms spanning organization, bring to the table that the magic user can't achieve?
quote:
On the other hand, a guy who just leads an army to conquor everything in his path has as much fire-power as he'll ever need, magic or no, since he can easily replace his troops (conscription, volunteers, or monsters) and never have to worry about renewing his spells each day.

And what happens when he meets the big, bad magical empire (let's say Shade for arguments sake) that blasts his army to bits because he chose to rely on steel and not spells while his enemies have a flying city and millenia of magical experience? We can play the "bigger gun" game all day long because both sides can use the same tactic if they have the resources. What can they do that the other can't? That's what makes the difference.
quote:
Don't get me wrong, yes magic IS one of the most powerful tools in a villain's toybox, but it's not necessary. You can elevate technology and strategy to the same level in a game with things like controlling fire-breathing monsters or developing steam-powered flying machines and cannons on motorized armored carriages(that's a tank, if you can't tell). All it really takes is a little ingenuity and an evil mind. Or maybe just the foresight to kidnap and force a few gnome inventors to work for you. Heck, an evil merchant company's leader could even be an arch-villain, since there's nothing like economic pwoer to really muck people over! (Think a FR version of Enron!)

Again, there's nothing stopping the magic user from also doing this to further enhance his power. Then we're back to the magic user vs the guy with the sword and what they can do different from one another.
quote:
Okay, about having magic items, I'd like to point out that those items are usually stolen from some other source, and often the villain has little real control over it in the first place, and in any event, is usually using it as simply a means to an end of achieving the "real" power of ruling some local. Power, I think, is a relative term. Magic is a powerful tool, yes, but certainly not always the best one. And it can be negated, stolen, or simply withdrawn, in the case of divine magic. so yes, many villains who do not have any magic of their own might use items.

Healing potions, clerical healing, enchanted armor, enchanted weapons, magic rings, etc. That's what I am talking about. That's magic. It doesn't matter if they created it or stole, they are still using it either way.

I'm not saying villains (or heroes) have to have magic, but I am saying that to really make it to the big leagues you likely are using some form of magic at some point.
quote:
But as in RL, technology could be used in just the same way. The Nazis did not even have the best tech of the time- we did.

I'm not going to continue down the WWII path because we will take it on a major tangent. I will say that I believe the Soviets alone could have dealt with the Nazis. I believe the Nazis had more than 1 example of superior technology in comparison to both us and the Soviets and that we won more because we had the far larger population and industrial base that allowed us to overwhelm the Nazis who had to stretch to the breaking point to attempt to guard the entire Atlantic coast and they simply didn't have the manpower and weaponry to do that, especially if they are also fighting the Soviets. I have no idea what the mention of Japan is supposed to prove.
quote:
Actually, I rather thought the comic books are a great example of why you don't have to have magic or "powers" to be a great villain. That sort of universe is the closest parallel to magic in a non-fantasy setting. And let's be honest here- Einstien and Hawking both have/had the kind of intelligence you are describing, but they are not crazed villains by any means. But they COULD be, in the right circumstances. High intelligence is not a power, it's a born attribute. And there are quite a few people who have that ability, whether they use it to that extent or not. all a villain really needs is the will and the means to acheive his nefarious goals, hwatever the method. Magic should not be the only "real" path to Realms-shaking power. That just shows a lack of imagination. Not to mention that it's one of the most over-used sterotypes in fantasy.


The moment Hawking invents a fully functional time machine (for example), I'll consider him as smart as a comic book super genius. They're fictional characters and as such they don't exist within the real bounds of human intelligence. The things attributed to Lex Luthor's (or Dr. Doom, Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Hank Pym, Hank McCoy, Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse, etc) intelligence are not possible (and likely never will be) in the real world. They are able to create technology that defies the laws that govern reality. They are often absolute masters of multiple disciplines that would be nearly impossible in real life due to (if nothing else) time constraints. Jack of all trades yet master of none, and all that. Take Dr. Doom. He is a master of robotics, armor technology, weapons technology, time travel, and magic and that's only the stories I have read with him in them so god only knows what else he is supposed to have mastered. To me, that's a super power every bit as much as super strength. I believe it is an even greater power by far. All the strength in the world is meaningless if you don't know how to use it whereas brains should beat brawn if there's even a chance at victory.

That's the key difference, to me. The brains (the Wizard) should beat the brawn (the Fighter) because the brains should be able to think circles around the brawn to the point that the fight will never happen on the brawns terms. If it comes to a face to face confontation, unless the wizard wanted that, then something has gone wrong. That's why the huge army isn't the best way in a lot of cases. The big army is a big target that is readily visible to all concerned parties and their intent is obvious so it's easy to get groups in the path of the army to band together against them. The super intelligent guy (which in D&D usually means he's a wizard)manipulating events behind the scenes is the hidden threat that can sneak in through the back door and win without ever drawing a sword and painting a huge target on themselves. Yes, the huge army is a true threat and I'm not trying to discount it's effectiveness in the right situation. It can even take out the Wizard by sheer weight of numbers, I readily concede that. But, which is the more effective victory in the end? The one where you plant your flag and spend your days wondering who will assasinate you on the throne and fighting your neighbors in open warfare that drains the treasuries further angering your subjegated population driving them closer to violent revolt, or the one where the guy on the throne is running things because you let him (or better yet because you outright control him via magic) and he knows you can crush him and replace him before breakfast? The sword guy can succeed, but he has fewer unique options to do so in comparison to the Wizard.

I believe Dr Doom, Thanos, and Darkseid are the best comic examples of what he is talking about. Those two are personally very powerful (Doom is a very accomplished magic user and his intelligence is second only to Reed with the difference being he actually uses his to try to achieve things, Thanos has been all but a god at least twice and considered helping to destroy life in the universe just to see if it would be a nice change of pace, and Darkseid can usually stand toe to with Superman and he has been a cosmic threat for a very long time) and they also command tremendous resources (Doom has a whole country and Darkseid has an entire planet) and pose a massive, constant threat (Doom has actually conquered the world at least once and gave up his power because it made him bored, Thanos wiped out half the life in the universe with a snap of his fingers once, and Darkseid is a galactic level threat). No matter how many times they get beaten they just keep coming back and defeats don't seem to diminish their capacity to pose a threat to everything. A guy with a sword, in a world where a magic user has (very, very briefly) been able to steal the power of a goddess, can't become that kind of threat with anywhere near the ease that a magic user can. It's possible, but it simply can't be very common.

Also, since you are saying abilities that people have at birth aren't powers, then a Sorceror's ability to cast spells isn't a power? In comics, the XMen have no powers (they were born with their abilities)? etc. Just because you're born with something doesn't mean you don't have something that is quite rare (or in the case of fictional settings, impossible in the real world) to the point that it can give you a huge advantage over the guy who doesn't have it. Is real world (high) intelligence a super power? Not by the strict definition, no. When compared to the average and taking it's level or rarity into account? It's hard to argue that it isn't from the perspective of those with average intelligence. And again, it's far more powerful than any physical power will ever be because through it all things are possible.

To close, yes a guy with a sword can be a powerful figure. I am not disputing that. I am saying that the Wizard has a more direct path to personal power, and by virtue of his greater intelligence he has a more direct path to being able to manipulate events on a larger scale and to better perceive potential threats and plan appropriately for them (and be able to better enact those plans). That doesn't make him a better General. That would possibly be the Fighter if he is good at strategy and not just tactics. The Wizard will have some knowledge of strategy, but likely won't have practical field experience to back it up which the Fighter will have. So, if it comes to a clash of armies, the Fighter will likely be the better leader. Although I believe if it comes to that point then something has gone horribly wrong for the Wizard. So, basically, if the Wizard uses that high INT score then the Fighter sans magic should (almost)never have a shot to use his sword on the Wizard in the first place whereas the Wizard should be able to strike at will.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Dennis
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  02:58:16  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Brace Cormaeril



While besieging an arch-wizards revenue streams, a war-lord need only not be killed by "scry, buff, teleport, slay". Wait for the wizard to sleep, and then do the slaying himself Sending his legions against the spellcasters defenses like lemmings.





Slay them why they're sleeping? Hmmm, let me enumerate the reasons why such HARDLY if not TOTALLY DOESN'T MATTER:

1. Most archvillains do not need sleep. Pretty obvious there.

2. There are hundreds and even thousands of guards (a mixture of human fighters, priests, wizards, demons, illithids, and almost all sorts of malign creatures) always ready to defend an archvillain, sleeping or not.

3. An archvillain always maintains layers of protective magic against mundane and magical weapons.

4. Even if the non-magic-user assassin by sheer luck manages to "scratch" an archvillain in his very own chamber (would have looked pretty good if it happens to Telamont and Szass Tam, by the way), that archvillain has a number of contingency spells that will teleport him/her to safety.


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Dennis
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  03:17:11  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I agree with everything Brace had to say - he explained it well.

I'd just like to give a good example - the Tuigan Horde did indeed beat Thay (at first), by shear numbers, and they were not only lacking-in-magic, but they feared it (for the most part - there was a couple of out-of-place examples).

The only reason why they turned from Thay is that they were shown a 'scene' wherein they were badly defeated at the hands of Thay - presumably a future-portent. They were also shown a scene of handily defeating Rashemen - with some help from Thay. They chose the path they did because it was the easier route (although I still think it was a bit of out-of-character for Yamun Kahan to 'change course'). Personally, I think the scene they saw was an an elaborate illusion, most-likely coupled with some suggestive magic (which would make the most sense).

Furthermore, MANY powerful mages were overcome in times past during the numerous Orc Hordes that periodically poured out of The North. So much so, that the Netherease considered them a viable threat and made a point of exterminating them for a hundreds of miles around. More proof that shear numbers will eventually overcome the mage's limited number of spells.

Lastly, although not a villain, Alusair most definately changed the course of Cormyrian history, early-on by instilling noble families with deep loyalty, and later by taking the Kingdom in-hand and steering it on a path to recovery and even greater successes, both socio-politically and militarily. She had no magic what-so-ever, except for the few trinkets provided by the War Wizards, which many others also had, some non-royal and even non-noble. Yes, she was not a villain (except in the minds of certain noble ladies), but she held more power and influenced more of the Realms during her life then most wizards ever hope to.

There was also those two powerful female Pirate Lords (Thilana & Laershala), the heads of several prominent Mercenary companies, and one rather-inept Shoon Empress (although as far as villains go, she ranks right up there with some of the more incompetent Zhents). Another example was that vampire-hunter (the Shark) that was a bit of a villain, because what she did was more for her own pleasure - 'the thrill of the hunt' - rather then any sort of moral inclination. I'm sure, given enough time, I can find dozens of more examples - these were all just off the top of my head.

Its easier to create powerful, magical villains, which is why we see so many. There is a 'king' in the Marsh of Tun that is actually considered a threat by nearby Cormyr - he has no magic himself, but he is allied with a Black dragon and and has a few Mages in his employ (include a Red wizard!) He could have been just as easily written-up as a female, and if I were to run a 4e-era game, I would have his Granddaughter running things there now. True... she's a bit old... pushing 50 or so... but humans of the Realms are apparently healthier and in better-shape then their real-world counter-parts. You could even make her his daughter, if her mother were an Elf (making her a half-Elf, obviously).

Anyhow, it is entirely possible to have non-magical arch-villainesses, but its simpler to just give them some magic to explain why they aren't getting obliterated by others with magical power. Magic is akin to firepower in our modern world, and the guy with the machine gun is going to take-down the guy with the spear nearly every single time. What you got to do is get more guys (and girls) with spears then the other guy has bullets.



On the Tuigan Horde:

There are a lot of factors that contributed to Thay's near-defeat against the Tuigan. Primal of which was their then lack of unity, thanks to the always bickering zulkirs. Had the Thay then been the same Thay as now, united under Tam's regime and strengthened by legions of undead, the Tuigain would not even dare set foot on the haunted land. But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.

On Alusair:

Not a valid point at all. We're talking about archvillains/archvillainesses, not female heroes. There are a lot of female heroes out there whose feats are like or perchance even exceed hers. Now, if she for some bizarre, only-Ao-knows reason, becomes a demented fighter and suddenly wants to conquer the lands of her neighbors, even if she finds a way to unite her realm to her crazy cause, there's not a chance she can succeed at all.

To your RW comparison, well, try magic being stealth bombers. Let's see what use there is left of your millions of spear-hurling throng. And if that doesn't suffice, hmmm, try atomic bomb instead.

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Dracons
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  03:46:48  Show Profile  Visit Dracons's Homepage  Send Dracons a Yahoo! Message Send Dracons a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dennis
There are a lot of factors that contributed to Thay's near-defeat against the Tuigan. Primal of which was their then lack of unity, thanks to the always bickering zulkirs. Had the Thay then been the same Thay as now, united under Tam's regime and strengthened by legions of undead, the Tuigain would not even dare set foot on the haunted land. But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.





Sorry. If your going to go by 4th edition rules, any class can be a great archvillian without rituals.

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Dennis
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  04:06:28  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

quote:
[i]Originally posted by Tyrant
And what happens when he meets the big, bad magical empire (let's say Shade for arguments sake) that blasts his army to bits because he chose to rely on steel and not spells while his enemies have a flying city and millenia of magical experience? We can play the "bigger gun" game all day long because both sides can use the same tactic if they have the resources. What can they do that the other can't? That's what makes the difference.



Very well said, Tyrant!
Indeed the very same difference that I made clear in my previous scrolls.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  04:38:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
WTF?!
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.
Whats with the damn insult?

I remember when CK was a much more civil site.

And as much as I don't really care for the 4e realms, I can garuantee you I know more about them then most 4e fans.

AFAIK, I am the only person to have spotted the double-entries for Rimlost! How unattentive most 4e FR fans seem to be. Don't assume anything - I am Realms fan FIRST, a D&D fan second.

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

On Alusair:

Not a valid point at all. We're talking about archvillains/archvillainesses, not female heroes.
I'm sorry, I'll ignore the other 5 billion people on the planet and just come to you from now on when I want to know when I'm making a valid point.

A strong non-magical character, who can hold off magical threats, retain (and add to) massive amounts of territory, have the unswerving loyalty of her 'minions', and can bring other nations to their knees is NOT pertinent to an argument about magical power vs martial prowess?

Perhaps if I had a very limited world-view I might agree with you. I didn't realize that being 'evil' automatically made someone less powerful - forgive me for my ignorance.

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

To your RW comparison, well, try magic being stealth bombers. Let's see what use there is left of your millions of spear-hurling throng. And if that doesn't suffice, hmmm, try atomic bomb instead.
In that case, a single spear....

Aimed at the guy with his hand on the 'red button', or the pilot of the plane. No-one stays awake for ever, and planes can't stay aloft forever. The Army Ranger chopper that was downed in Africa all those years ago? The guy who did it was using a musket.

One shot... one VERY GOOD SHOT... is all it takes...

Like I've said in the past, magic is just for guys who like to wear dresses and got their lunch-money taken away in school.
Ask Artemis Entreri, Drizzt, Kane, or Everis Cale how much they care if their opponent uses magic. Dependence on magic makes you cocky, and therefore vulnerable to numerous attacks you never expect. Even Elminster has been surprised a time or two and taken off-gaurd. A simple handful of sand will distract (and disrupt) a mage enough to give his enemy time to kill him... sneezing powder works even better. Try using those against a stealth Bomber. A mage is still only human (or whatever), and therefore fallible.

Liches on the other hand... especially a Larloch-caliber Lich... are more like the equivalent of a Stealth bomber, with a full nuclear payload. Typical D&D dragons also come close - they ARE Stealth bombers, with full AI and a plethora of powerful weapons, including spells (which is such overkill, which is why MY dragons are just very smart, humongous reptiles).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 10 Jul 2010 04:41:47
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Dennis
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  04:44:12  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

quote:
Originally posted by dracons

quote:
Originally posted by dennis
There are a lot of factors that contributed to Thay's near-defeat against the Tuigan. Primal of which was their then lack of unity, thanks to the always bickering zulkirs. Had the Thay then been the same Thay as now, united under Tam's regime and strengthened by legions of undead, the Tuigain would not even dare set foot on the haunted land. But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.



Sorry. If your going to go by 4th edition rules, any class can be a great archvillian without rituals.



Another rather acidulous hyperbole about 4E. As I have mentioned before, I am not an avid fan or defender of 4E, but netheir am I a hater. My favorite is and perhaps always will be 3E, but I see some good things in 4E that I rather focus on so I don't get a serious case of diarrhea.

How many 4E novels have you read that you seem so keen on raising that point? And don't say something like "I don't need to read those kinds of shit"! Another cliche might sound a bit convincing...

Have you seen a troll become an archvillain? A halfling? A dim-witted fighter by the name ______ (oh well, i'd better not say it...don't want an unnecessary uproar from the fans here.)? Or perchance a doddering priestess?


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Dracons
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  05:07:20  Show Profile  Visit Dracons's Homepage  Send Dracons a Yahoo! Message Send Dracons a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dennis


quote:
Originally posted by dracons

quote:
Originally posted by dennis
There are a lot of factors that contributed to Thay's near-defeat against the Tuigan. Primal of which was their then lack of unity, thanks to the always bickering zulkirs. Had the Thay then been the same Thay as now, united under Tam's regime and strengthened by legions of undead, the Tuigain would not even dare set foot on the haunted land. But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.



Sorry. If your going to go by 4th edition rules, any class can be a great archvillian without rituals.



Another rather acidulous hyperbole about 4E. As I have mentioned before, I am not an avid fan or defender of 4E, but netheir am I a hater. My favorite is and perhaps always will be 3E, but I see some good things in 4E that I rather focus on so I don't get a serious case of diarrhea.

How many 4E novels have you read that you seem so keen on raising that point? And don't say something like "I don't need to read those kinds of shit"! Another cliche might sound a bit convincing...

Have you seen a troll become an archvillain? A halfling? A dim-witted fighter by the name ______ (oh well, i'd better not say it...don't want an unnecessary uproar from the fans here.)? Or perchance a doddering priestess?




Never said I read a single 4th edition era book. I don't have to to counter your point. You stated that the tugan horde would never had stood a chance if they went against 4th edition united Thay. You can't just take examples from one edition and go SEEE? SEE? My magic god archvillain rules because he used an army from 4th edition, an artifact from second edition, level abilities of third edition and the money from first edition. Stick to one edition to the whole female arch villains. 4th edition, most if not all classes are fairly equal and anyone of any level class can be a great enemy.

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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  05:07:52  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

WTF?!
quote:
Originally posted by dennis

But of course, being a 4e-hater, you hardly have a grasp of the significant going-ons in the present Thay.
Whats with the damn insult?

I remember when CK was a much more civil site.

And as much as I don't really care for the 4e realms, I can garuantee you I know more about them then most 4e fans.

AFAIK, I am the only person to have spotted the double-entries for Rimlost! How unattentive most 4e FR fans seem to be. Don't assume anything - I am Realms fan FIRST, a D&D fan second.

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

On Alusair:

Not a valid point at all. We're talking about archvillains/archvillainesses, not female heroes.
I'm sorry, I'll ignore the other 5 billion people on the planet and just come to you from now on when I want to know when I'm making a valid point.

A strong non-magical character, who can hold off magical threats, retain (and add to) massive amounts of territory, have the unswerving loyalty of her 'minions', and can bring other nations to their knees is NOT pertinent to an argument about magical power vs martial prowess?

Perhaps if I had a very limited world-view I might agree with you. I didn't realize that being 'evil' automatically made someone less powerful - forgive me for my ignorance.

quote:
Originally posted by dennis

To your RW comparison, well, try magic being stealth bombers. Let's see what use there is left of your millions of spear-hurling throng. And if that doesn't suffice, hmmm, try atomic bomb instead.
In that case, a single spear....

Aimed at the guy with his hand on the 'red button', or the pilot of the plane. No-one stays awake for ever, and planes can't stay aloft forever. The Army Ranger chopper that was downed in Africa all those years ago? The guy who did it was using a musket.

One shot... one VERY GOOD SHOT... is all it takes...

Like I've said in the past, magic is just for guys who like to wear dresses and got their lunch-money taken away in school.
Ask Artemis Entreri, Drizzt, Kane, or Everis Cale how much they care if their opponent uses magic. Dependence on magic makes you cocky, and therefore vulnerable to numerous attacks you never expect. Even Elminster has been surprised a time or two and taken off-gaurd. A simple handful of sand will distract (and disrupt) a mage enough to give his enemy time to kill him... sneezing powder works even better. Try using those against a stealth Bomber. A mage is still only human (or whatever), and therefore fallible.

Liches on the other hand... especially a Larloch-caliber Lich... are more like the equivalent of a Stealth bomber, with a full nuclear payload. Typical D&D dragons also come close - they ARE Stealth bombers, with full AI and a plethora of powerful weapons, including spells (which is such overkill, which is why MY dragons are just very smart, humongous reptiles).




Oops, sorry that you take offense. Gotta edit it...

You can blame it on cultural difference, I guess. Here in Davao, when you say, “Murag wala nimo nasabtan ako gipasabot,” which is more or less like “You hardly have a grasp of that/this....”, is just natural. Friends say it...Enemies say something like...... “..........” oh, well , let's not get that far...Anyway, I already wrote the euphemism of that that offended you. Again, sorry, Markustay.

About the single spear thing:

If it was Larloch who'd be about to press the button, even the best shot of the hurler would never suffice; it will be an achievement in itself if the spear even reaches a yard from Larloch's position.

Every beginning has an end.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Jul 2010 :  05:15:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
And I think we've gone as far as we're going on this topic.

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