Page 1732 - Heel of Achilles

20th Aug 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Heel of Achilles
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Aug 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
I knew in advance that this section of the arc was going to be a bit of a tightrope act of writing, but... Hoo, no pressure, huh?

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.

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39 Comments:

Fan of Most Everything 20th Aug 2022, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Even throwing it into the volcano where it was forged isn't a guarantee in D&D. Not sure how the Wish spell works in 4e, but I imagine there'd be some way to retrieve the seemingly irretrievable.

(Plus, throwing golden tokens of someone's power into said volcanoes rarely works out well for that person.)
Guest 21st Aug 2022, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
Well I was going to state that if it was me I would just toss the thing in a random volcano since objects tend to not survive being melted at 1000F, but you had to ruin it.
Vanshira 21st Aug 2022, 9:41 PM edit delete reply
...as it happens, gold *absolutely* could. Melting point is actually 1948F. So throw it in the 1000F volcano, it might end up encased in hardened lava, but it will still be there.
Eroraf 22nd Aug 2022, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
Except that no self-respecting volcano would be that cold. 1000F isn't even enough to significantly soften silicates, let alone melt them. The magma in Earth's volcanoes is typically 800–1200 °C, or 1500–2200 °F. A shield volcano like Kilauea, which typically erupts mafic lava on the high end of the temperature range, would easily melt your golden bauble.
Newbiespud 22nd Aug 2022, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud
All I got out of this thread was the phrase "no self-respecting volcano," which I think is a net win for everybody.
ChaoticBrain 23rd Aug 2022, 4:01 AM edit delete reply
"I'm a strong independent volcano who don't need no man."
Enigmatic Jack 22nd Aug 2022, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
Kyle Hill tested the whole "throwing jewelry into lava" trope with some lava researchers and the results were kind of interesting. Due to the temperature distance, the lava actually hardens around the item and makes a little pocket of protection for it. He threw a replica of the One Ring in and when it was retrieved later and freed from volcanic glass you could even still read the script on the ring.
evileeyore 21st Aug 2022, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
evileeyore
Wish is only as potent as the DM wants it to be.

But for fairness, they should be consistent with it... (no letting the Baddies Wish the Ring of Power back unless the Heroes can as well)
ChaoticBrain 23rd Aug 2022, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
In Pathfinder 2e, Wish is a 10th level spell that can duplicate any 9th-level Arcane spell effect, any 7th-level Divine/Occult/Primal spell effect, or an effect which is in line with such spells.

Remake, which recreates a destroyed item from even a single speck of dust from the original, is also a 10th level spell.

So you can't use Wish to Remake an item. A player is free to try of course, but in that case the GM is free to either reject the attempt, satisfy the wish to the letter while misconstruing the intent (like bringing the Ring of Power back but removing all its magical properties), or outright screwing over the party (e.g. respawning the Ring of Power on the Big Bad's finger).
CyanWhisp 20th Aug 2022, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
I suppose the one disadvantage of being a nigh-omnipotent being who never has to roll for anything is never being able to benefit from a natural 20.
Borg 20th Aug 2022, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Of course, the counterpoint is that, difficult though it may be to retrieve something you're wearing without already being able to take you in a fight, it's generally a lot easier to track you down than it is to track down where you cast something into the ocean a millennium ago. You can't actively defend something without also providing indicators about where it is, and when you need to protect something forever it can be tough to say whether you'd be better off with obscurity.
NobleCuriosity 20th Aug 2022, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
True. That said, D&D has some information-finding tools that the real world does not. Legend Lore, mind reading, and of course deities via commune all might be able to find where a truly obscure resting place is even if you’ve made sure that you are the only mortal alive that knows where the item is, and there are no written records of its location.

So I can see why Tirek would want to keep his weakness close (not that I think that amulet actually is his weakness. Think for a second—how exactly would Tirek have gotten that amulet off Scorpan after Scorpan betrayed him to the alicorn sisters? I bet that’s the amulet that protects against Scorpan’s powers).
Pablo360 20th Aug 2022, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
If you’ve been careful, Legend Lore isn’t going to help against you.
Peliaos 20th Aug 2022, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
I would like to point out, aside from Deity based divination (As in, the Deity themselves are doing the divining, not a cleric using the connection they have to the deity), there's no spell to locate something that penetrates a decent chunk of lead. Put your weakness mcguffin into a vat of molten lead, let that vat cool till you have a nice big ball, and then chuck your weakness through a portal to either the negative or positive energy planes. My vote is negative, since most recent editions of the game made it so that if you go into the NEP to search for the weakness, a super powerful "death to all things around it as an aura effect" undead comes into the prime material plane, and you can't return to the prime until it's slain. Assuming you even survive the literal constant damage that being in the NEP causes.
PEP is fun though because prime material plane residents need to be in constant, damaging suffering while there or get healed to the point of developing super cancer and exploding.
Peliaos 24th Aug 2022, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Good point on the lead thing. Though I actually think 5e did away with some of the lead restrictions.
Chakat Firepaw 20th Aug 2022, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
In fantasy worlds, you have to worry about destiny interfering. It's a lot easier for $RandomFutureHero to take possession of a bauble that washes up on the beach than to steal the amulet you wear around your neck.

It's also possible to conceal the special item in ways other than hiding it. It's no surprise that a lich would guard the complicated puzzle map that supposedly leads to where he hid his phylactery. While you might guess that it's a fake, would you guess that the map itself is the phylactery? For Tirek here, leaking that it's valuable to him because it protects him at the cost of vulnerability to one particular person that has 'no chance' of ever showing up to oppose him again not only excuses it as something to protect, it likely will send some heroes out on a wild goose chase.
Nopony 21st Aug 2022, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Well, seeing as phylacteries radiate an aura of evil, I imagine it wouldn't be all that hard to tell if a map was the phylactery.
ZhonLord 20th Aug 2022, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
And with that, DiscorDM misses the "Mine isn't the one Scorpan wore". I wonder how he's going to feel about getting a taste of his own medicine on the "small things from ten sessions ago" situation.
coder65535 20th Aug 2022, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Looking at the panels of this comic, I noticed for the first time that the medallion's string is resting on Discord in a rather impossible place: there's nothing to hold it up there. In theory, tension could, but with how much Discord wiggles around, it wouldn't be supported by tension enough to stay up and should just fall down to his arms.

I suppose it makes sense that Discord wears a medallion impossibly, too.
ZecterThree 20th Aug 2022, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
I thought it was held up by his mane.
Philadelphus 20th Aug 2022, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
Philadelphus
He uses magnetism to hold it in place.

Even though neither he nor the medallion are magnetic. XD
ChaoticBrain 22nd Aug 2022, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?!
Tatsurou 20th Aug 2022, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
I always figured it stayed there because that's where he wanted it. Reality warper, after all.
...which is actually kind of odd. That's where pendants are supposed to be worn, generally, so it's surprising Discord would want it there.
pdk1359 21st Aug 2022, 3:09 AM edit delete reply
Neck slot; assuming the string is reliable, that position is more or less the most difficult for someone else to yank it off of him. As a reality warper, he can probably get away with "the string is reliable as long as it's convenient for me". You know, as long as his power remain undrained.

On the other hand it probably would have been suitably ridiculous had he worn it as a belt, and equally effective.
Digo 20th Aug 2022, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
This reasoning is a bit odd, but does make sense-- if you have the weapon that can defeat you, that means the heroes have to defeat you to get the weapon to defeat you.

...this does explain why final dungeons in JRPGs have the best gear in them. XD
TyrantViewer 20th Aug 2022, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
Its a good approach, as long as you can avoid things like heroes sneaking into your castle and then having the method to defeat you, and you right there for a one two punch
Digo 20th Aug 2022, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
Quite right-- if you don't have a good security keeping track of the items, the heroes will sneak in, snatch them, then whack you like a hockey stick to a puck.
Roguim 20th Aug 2022, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, neither dividing an artifact nor hidden pieces of it worked for Jagar Tharn and Voldemort....
TyrantViewer 20th Aug 2022, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
To be fair to voldemort, the division was the whole point, he was basically making multiple save files and setting up backup plans- and considering one of them was basically its own big bad for a book, and the curses on some others sealed Dumbledore's fate, he was a pretty competant take on the concept. He just didn't realize all the reprocussions of Making so many of them, because he was a pioneer in that regard.

I like the idea of splitting the difference and having some of a divided artifact, imagine the heroes running around trying to get the last thing they need to beat the big bad, and he had it on him the whole time so noone could rebuild the one thing that could beat him. OF course that only works if it can't be substituted or replaced. In that regard having something like the one artifact that can thwart you is actually a benefit- because its the think everyone trying to stop you will go for so you can plan around that. The villian goes down far more easily when said artifact is new- The mafuba that defeated demon king picolo, the spell of true love from Lily Potter that defeated voldemort etc. They lost not only because of the magic made to defeat them, but because they had no idea about it and couldn't make preparations- ala King piccolo dodging the sealing technique after his release and voldemort using Harry in his revival so the love protection doesn't burn him any more.
ChaoticBrain 22nd Aug 2022, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Voldemort made one of his horcruxes the Pioneer plaque, which was subsequently launched into space and eventually outside the solar system.
NobleCuriosity 24th Aug 2022, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
How on earth did they deal with that one? (Pun intended).
Freelance 20th Aug 2022, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
This is somewhere in the Evil Overlord's list, right? Rule 5: The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
you know that guy 20th Aug 2022, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
That works, until some Inside Man works some heist at the bank.
TyrantViewer 20th Aug 2022, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
It is a balancing act- destroying the artifact means you are safe, until someone tries to replace it, and you have no idea where or when that will be, splitting the artifact means the heroes need to find them all before defeating you, but makes it harder for you to keep track of it all too. Keeping it in a distant location makes it hard to respond if it is taken, or find out it was taken at all, but it makes it harder for someone to get it to you to defeat you, keeping it close means you always know were it is, but means the key to defeating you is range of YOU.

Keeping it in a secure, anonomous location that noone else knows about it a compromise but a reasonable one.
Bruce Cipher 21st Aug 2022, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
Looks like Tirek read the Evil Overlord list.
Bruce Cipher 21st Aug 2022, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
I have GOT to start reading the other comments before I post things.
My Proposal 21st Aug 2022, 4:35 AM edit delete reply
The best thing is to hide it as something that no one could think, maybe divide it in some pieces and hide one inside a tree in some forest, another inside a statue in a temple and maybe give the third part to the hero using some Groucho glasses and telling him is the weakness of another villain. After that put many fakes around, one behind the traps, one in the safe box, one carrying it, another to the bottom of the sea and all that
Prairie Son 21st Aug 2022, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
I believe the traditional method involves putting a needle in an egg.
Proposal 24th Aug 2022, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Inside of a couple of eggs too, and in others I will put fake treasure maps