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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:44 am
  

Hero

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Axelmania wrote:
Tagging an APC doesn't seem that useful. It would seem easy enough to send a grunt out with a mop and bucket after any close encounters.


Doesn't work that way. To get the scent off you need a combination of special herbs that the CS doesn't know about and an alchemist which the CS definitely doesn't have. It takes 6 days to wear off.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:23 pm
  

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Well all I can say is this wouldn't be the first time one book said one thing and another said the completely opposite.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:13 pm
  

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just to be clear, is there ANYTHING that suggests that the xiticix will let you punch or kick them, shoot their wings, destroy their gear, etc, and not immediately treat that as hostile activity and kill you?

because i sure don't remember reading anything remotely like that.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:43 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
just to be clear, is there ANYTHING that suggests that the xiticix will let you punch or kick them, shoot their wings, destroy their gear, etc, and not immediately treat that as hostile activity and kill you?


No, but it does say that they will kill you just for existing.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:50 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
just to be clear, is there ANYTHING that suggests that the xiticix will let you punch or kick them, shoot their wings, destroy their gear, etc, and not immediately treat that as hostile activity and kill you?

because i sure don't remember reading anything remotely like that.


Honestly, I'm not even sure why this is even considered as a talking-point by the folks on 'my' side of the discussion, since Holmes' absolutely did not have his troops do any of those things. I know some of the opposition refuse to believe the troops were able to A: hold their fire completely and B: still come out of the Hivelands psychologically capable of fighting, and I can understand that. (I have less trouble with A than with B--the troops went in there with those orders, and the CS has nothing if not a disciplined military, and I think the soldiers were fully informed that the entire division would be slaughtered if there was any actual counter-attack). I absolutely think the Epilogue Summary of the escape glosses over the horror of the situation. It would be better to have had much of the time Holmes was gone spent in an abandoned town in the north of Tolkeen, doing nothing but bolstering his troops' morale by making it clear how lucky they all were to be alive, and focusing their anger over their comrades' deaths at Tolkeen for forcing them into that hellhole in the first place.

But arguing over the viability of a tactic that was never even remotely stated in the book is something else entirely.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:53 am
  

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Awright, I think I can phoney-baloney an excuse.

I haven't read the books...*furious skims* I have skimmed WB 23 (Xiticix invasion) and didn't find "death scent requires MAGIC to clean off". I *did* find "certain wilderness classes have discovered you can use scent glands to 'smell right' and be left alone by Xiticix, though the smarter ones will figure it out if you aren't careful."

Anyways, if the Xiticix death spray works as advertised here in the forum it doesn't work. If it's supernatural and only sticks to living things then they should get a save and robots/vehicles/power armor should be immune. If it sticks to everything (supernatural or otherwise) then every Xiticix death scent release creates a "panic zone" of heightened alert for days (and miles) that is SEVERELY confusing to Bug (Xiticix is too long, Imma use "bug") C&C. Patrols go to the same zone every day and FREAK OUT about the brand-new attack.

Enter my made up creation: the cleaner bug. Certain warriors who reach advanced age will be tapped by the queen to undergo a metamorphosis. They shed their MDC armor, grow giant sacs of chemicals and chemical producers (including gas bladders to be able to fly) and begin float-fluttering around to "clean up" zones that were plastered with scent markers that are no longer valid. Presumably saying, "[url="
https://youtu.be/pyxJ7GKGFG0?t=5s"]eh, it's a living[/url]." Due to BRILLYUNT TAKTISHUN! (or bothering to do some field research interviews) Jericho Holmes murdered a couple bugs, left the (robot) forces that started the fight to be destroyed by the reprisal while keeping some scent-dampened and sneaky commandos to observe. The 'bots were crushed, the warriors and hunters searched the area and then left, and when the cleaner bug arrived the commandos struck. Capturing the bloated beast and wrestling it into a well-hidden APC they proceeded to spend the next 3 days milking it of its scent dampener in a sealed environment, using this material (as well as more sacrifice plays and diversion, like taking a death-scent corpse into a booby trap and then slipping away) to keep the Bugs busy, guessing, and confused.

The OTHER half of this explanation is even simpler. How did Jericho Holmes reach Tolkeen in fighting readiness? Easy: he didn't.

"Ol' Jericho's knowledgeable (and VERY lucky) tricks and tactics saved a surprising number of men and materiel but they were still a broken and beaten force when they plunged out of Bug territory with a veritable ARMY of insectoid warriors on their heels. This would have been the end of the story had Holmes not ordered his men to do one very simple yet very strange thing: They flew the white flag.

With every vehicle and every company waving a white flag and running pell-mell for the city walls and pursued by a veritable wall of insectoid malevolence, the defenders of Tolkeen were given pause. Oh sure you hear about "brilliant Jericho" and his genius tactics but the truth is his soldiers begged for mercy and help and the defenders granted it. Folks had planned for days to throw up the Triangle, they were just about to when in came the army. A moment's hesitation and they waited, timing it so the CS boys and girls would make it in but the bugs would go splat. The bugs were fierce, they started clawing holes in the shield, but given a few moments respite the CS troops formed a line and blew half their remaining ordnance turning back anything that managed to tear its way through. Soon enough whatever passes for a hive-mind in those bugs called the beasts back. They were far from home and losing badly.

At that point, at that moment, Jericho Holmes had seen up-close and personal the difference between a truly inhuman enemy and the supposed 'monsters' of Tolkeen and knew which was truly the monster. For that suspended moment in time, standing in his battle armor among people who had shown him mercy rather than slam shut their perfect defense and were willing to let him live two forces warred within him. His honor and his duty. He keyed all channels and gave an order, "execute Bravo."

Bravo, as in 'b' for 'bastard' and 'betrayal'. His troops turned as one and launched every missile they still had at the pyramid and killed everyone on or inside it. You hear about his brave and cunning assault getting inside the shield before it could be raised, but the truth is it was a liar's plea and a fool's mercy that let him in. The whole ragged force started killin' and runnin' into town, making civilian homes and shops (magically hardened by patriotic spellcasters) into sniper holes and cover, killing anyone too slow to outrun 'em and doing their level best to shoot anything as got close to the pyramid. Yeah Jericho was cunning in that he knew the pyramid was the key. He killed a LOT of good people trying to get the triangle back up, and while the defenders gave as good as they got it didn't matter. With fighting behind the lines the lines crumbled, and the weight of numbers and the weight of betrayal crushed ol' Tolkeen like a rusty beer can.

I seen 'im since, you know. After the fires went out and the lies were prepped and told to everyone about Jericho Holmes, Hero of The Coalition. Seen him at parties, present but not really there. He's listening to the screams of the children he personally killed while running from a crying daemonix, a crying daemonix, can ya imagine? He's smiling at the right times, wearin' them medals and goin' to those banquets...but let's just say he's got worse things in his head than what I coulda put in there. I'm no melter anyway, just a mystic.

Why am I tellin' you this? Well 'cuz after your friends bust down that door and get all blowed up by Porkins' fine demo work, after I finish choppin off your 'honorable knight-brother's' heads and using their blood to make a mighty dark ritual I need someone to go on. Someone to teach the lesson to the rest o' your 'order' what ol' Jericho taught me. The lesson that there ain't no mercy in this world; only blood, death, and vengeance."

-Unknown agent of (presumed) Retribution Squad calling itself 'Bravo company'.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:02 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
just to be clear, is there ANYTHING that suggests that the xiticix will let you punch or kick them, shoot their wings, destroy their gear, etc, and not immediately treat that as hostile activity and kill you?

because i sure don't remember reading anything remotely like that.

This speaks to more general tactics than Holmes as above posts say his forces didn't fire a shot, which I'd like to reread if someone has a page#

If Xiticix began TK sniping (their only attack with any decent range) and you returned fire only to disarm or destroy the gun, they are intelligent enough to see that as a defensive response.

They are also tactically wise enough not to throw their lives away in a kamikaze swarm over something like that.

The sounder tactic would be to slowly advance using cove so they are not exposed and try to sneak up on you so they can use their remaining attacks with horribly low range.

This would work well for many but not for a highly mobile military force who could have a cold trail by that point.

HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
Tagging an APC doesn't seem that useful. It would seem easy enough to send a grunt out with a mop and bucket after any close encounters.


Doesn't work that way. To get the scent off you need a combination of special herbs that the CS doesn't know about and an alchemist which the CS definitely doesn't have. It takes 6 days to wear off.


Im trying to find this data. We.were discussing death scent which on Invasion 40 (#4) says 1D4 days.unless thoroughly washed off no special notes) Trail Scent on Invasion 41 (#8) seems kinda vague so I'm not sure where to get these details..

There is Mark Target Chemical on 55 for Hunters which lasts 13-17 days before wearing off but it doesn't say you can't wash it off like.the death scent. I would like to note in my book where you got this so I can relocate it more easily in the future, sounds important.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:07 am
  

Hero

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Axelmania wrote:
There is Mark Target Chemical on 55 for Hunters which lasts 13-17 days before wearing off but it doesn't say you can't wash it off like.the death scent. I would like to note in my book where you got this so I can relocate it more easily in the future, sounds important.


It is in regards to the Hunter's marking scent:

Page 53, Xiticix Invasion

Quote:
When a Hunter locates a promising humanoid with lots of P.P.E., he will attempt to spray the target with a special chemical "marking" agent produced only by the Hunters. The chemical has no noticeable scent to humans, but can be smelled by other Xiticix, and faintly by Dog Boys and others endowed with a heightened sense of smell. It is difficult to wash off but will wear off over a period of two weeks. Only herbalists and alchemists might be able to neutralize the undetectable scent if they know it is there, and if they have a sample of a Xiticix chemical gland to work with (doesn't necessarily have to be a Hunter's gland, but if it isn't, there will be steep penalties as decided by the Game Master).


If we are assuming, as you have been, that the Xiticix can use their abilities in ways that they aren't intended (such as retreating from battle when the book clearly says that they are fearless) because they use the "best tactic" then using the Hunter's Marking Scent to track them wherever they go is a valid tactic.

As this passage points out:
Only herbalists and alchemists might be able to neutralize the undetectable scent

Meaning you can't just wash it off, and since the CS doesn't have herbalists OR alchemists and they'd have to kill a Xit and then remove its scent gland to do it... It isn't feasible.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:39 pm
  

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HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
There is Mark Target Chemical on 55 for Hunters which lasts 13-17 days before wearing off but it doesn't say you can't wash it off like.the death scent. I would like to note in my book where you got this so I can relocate it more easily in the future, sounds important.


It is in regards to the Hunter's marking scent:

Page 53, Xiticix Invasion

Quote:
When a Hunter locates a promising humanoid with lots of P.P.E., he will attempt to spray the target with a special chemical "marking" agent produced only by the Hunters. The chemical has no noticeable scent to humans, but can be smelled by other Xiticix, and faintly by Dog Boys and others endowed with a heightened sense of smell. It is difficult to wash off but will wear off over a period of two weeks. Only herbalists and alchemists might be able to neutralize the undetectable scent if they know it is there, and if they have a sample of a Xiticix chemical gland to work with (doesn't necessarily have to be a Hunter's gland, but if it isn't, there will be steep penalties as decided by the Game Master).


If we are assuming, as you have been, that the Xiticix can use their abilities in ways that they aren't intended (such as retreating from battle when the book clearly says that they are fearless) because they use the "best tactic" then using the Hunter's Marking Scent to track them wherever they go is a valid tactic.

As this passage points out:
Only herbalists and alchemists might be able to neutralize the undetectable scent

Meaning you can't just wash it off, and since the CS doesn't have herbalists OR alchemists and they'd have to kill a Xit and then remove its scent gland to do it... It isn't feasible.


Except that the marking scent is specifically for a "promising humanoid with lots of P.P.E". The vehicles (where all the non-SAMAS troops are stashed) are not humanoid, and I doubt you'd get enough PPE off the whole army to be worth scent-marking even one of their targets.

And the entire discussion is moot, anyway, because Holmes didn't outrun the Xiticix. He moved away SLOWLY, not in a rapid retreat. (The epilogue specifically says they moved, "no faster than 10 mph.") So the bugs marking them is an entirely irrelevant discussion.

And the bugs, in turn, aren't 'retreating from battle'. They're leaving because they eventually realize there IS no battle. It's a key difference that the Holmes-haters just can't seem to grasp.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:43 pm
  

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Thanks for pointing that out, just wish they had noted 53's data on 55 when statting the ability.

I winder though... Hunters seem.rarer than warriors, I don't think they would throw away their lives just to plant a scent. They seem more likely to sneak up and try to plant it without being detected, which would be hard against the CS with their sensors and psychics.

Rather than using alchemy to clean the scent what if you just removed the MDC playing that got sprayed?

There is indeed a difference between fleeing vs not pursuing.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:04 pm
  

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Now, given the status quo (ie, the fact that Holmes DID do this, in canon, and it worked), I think it's interesting to speculate about the impact, long-term.

Because I've read enough Roman history and Shakespeare to see where this is going.

We've got a tyrannical leader, more feared by his populace than loved, who leverages the fear of the Other to keep himself in power. We've also got his adult son, in charge of the secret police/intelligence services/people who come and knock on the door in the middle of the night and disappear your grandpa for something he was overheard saying in the marketplace. We've got the Emperor's wife, who is seriously inclined to doubt her husband's propaganda after first-hand contact with the enemy.

And now? Now we've got an obviously charismatic general, credited by the general populace for winning the war and bringing an end to the fighting, and, oh, about 300,000 soldiers who credit the man personally with seeing them through the worst Hell they have ever imagined.

I suspect that Joseph II, at least, will see the danger of such a man, and begin to take steps to deal with him--perhaps framing him for involvement with those unfortunate camps that rumor has been talking about. The Emperor will side with Joseph II, of course. Jo-Anna? She might just decide to sit this one out, or she might decide this is the last straw, and either publicly denounce her husband, or privately work against him (either option resulting in a vast increase in Karl's paranoid mindset). And the loyal general, confronted once and for all by his Emperor's madness and treachery? Yeah, he reluctantly takes action.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:29 pm
  

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Bradford is also a threat but Karl manages him instead of eliminating him. I think Joseph is capable of managing Holmes. Carol Black is probably morenof a threat and he manages her fine.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:44 pm
  

Hero

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Freemage wrote:
Jo-Anna?


Is a prisoner of Prosek already and is locked away because she disagrees with him and knows the truth.

Worst case scenario, she attempts to make a public appearance, Prosek puts an MD laser blast through her head then tearfully explains to the public that a vile d-bee sorcerer snuck into Chi-Town and assassinated her in retaliation for opposing the demon invasion. It is a tragic loss for all.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:59 pm
  

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In fairness to Karl, he could realistically view her perception of the Cyberknight rescue as a massive ruse done to make her change her mind.

How would she actually know a knight dbees died saving her? She was exhausted from years of imprisonment and on the run in frantic combat. Did she do a med exam? Does she even know first aid? Death Trance is a pretty cheap ability.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:02 pm
  

Hero

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Axelmania wrote:
In fairness to Karl, he could realistically view her perception of the Cyberknight rescue as a massive ruse done to make her change her mind.

How would she actually know a knight dbees died saving her? She was exhausted from years of imprisonment and on the run in frantic combat. Did she do a med exam? Does she even know first aid? Death Trance is a pretty cheap ability.


The Cyber-Knights are viewed as heroes by everyone, including the CS, across North America. This is before they opposed the CS (which the order didn't) so that kind of a thought process is insane. Also, remember, Karl Prosek does not believe his own lies. He knows they are lies. He knows the truth about D-Bees and he isn't a believer. We know that from the canon.

So he wouldn't think it is a plot because he knows that the plot is the lies about D-Bees that he spreads.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:26 pm
  

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Karl spreading lies about dbees doesn't mean we need to write off very possible negative opinion he could have about them as only possibly lip service. Karl would be justifiably paranoid about his enemies manipulating his wife.

Coake is a d-bee with technowizard cyber armor, I don't see why Karl would necessarily trust his rescue had no ulterior motives, or that it was a rescue at all. Many in the CS may like cyberKs but the Proseks might wonder if they are in league with the Dunscons.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:04 pm
  

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XI 11
Challenges

An individual traveler and small groups, in particular, are likely to be "buzzed" by a lone Warrior or Hunter swooping down on the character(s), forcing him to duck or get bumped, brushed or pushed to the ground. If the character(s) being buzzed take no action against his antagonist and continues to keep moving, the Warrior will stop after a minute or two and let him/them continue. However, such an unwanted intruder or group may be challenged by one particular Warrior or Hunter while the rest of his squad (and probably scores of other Xiticix) watch from above. This may, or may not, be a fight to the death, but even if it is, the others will not join the battle unless they too are attacked or other humanoids join the battle. When the one on one battle is done, the others fly away. If the Warrior lost, they depart with the corpse of their fallen comrade in their arms, and the travelers are allowed to continue on their journey. If the Warrior wins, he may challenge another member of the group, or fly away (with his squad) triumphant and happy. What the Xiticix prove from such challenges is not clear. Presumably it is that this is their land and they are willing to defend it to the death.
Thankfully, a group of non-Xiticix is seldom challenged more than once every 10 hours, and the battle is typically one on one with everybody else as spectators. However, if other members of the traveling group join the battle, it will become a free-for-all, with the other Xiticix jumping in to teach the "cheaters" a lesson.
Such skirmishes turn into battles as previously described.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:34 pm
  

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"plot armor" is inherently subjective, but Jericho's magic march requires a lot of suspension of disbelief:

-It involves unexplained macguffin 'soopah tak-tiks!"
-It sees his army alone, unsupported, and presumed lost under a KNOWN swarm of terrifyingly great size for several weeks emerging battle-ready.
-It sees him spend weeks hiding in a forest between two active and war-footed enemies' (Tolkeen and Xiticix) territory without being noticed or molested by either force, so much so he is even able to send scouts and spies into Tolkeen (I skimmed the chapter of book 6).
-It further sees him figure out alien and in some cases incomprehensible magical defenses and how to hit them hardest in a surprise attack.
-It sees said surprise attack not only go off without a hitch, but create unexpected problems that hurt the defenders and help him deus ex machina style (the leylines "go crazy" because of all the people dying, TW weapons explode, the triangular rift defense field ACTUALLY failed because of magic surges rather than because no one could cast the spell).

So...possible? Eh, sure. It's POSSIBLE he fought his way through bug territory getting nothing but crit headshots. It's POSSIBLE that had he tried he could have exterminated all the Xiticix with his magic plot-armor powers. What it isn't (in my subjective opinion) is PLAUSIBLE. Whether he fought or sneaked or ran or used illegal bio-wizardry or had a super-chemist OCC (which isn't in the books) cook up a super-pheremone...it's plot armor to me.

So what's the point from a narrative perspective, and why does it eat at me?

Well the point was famous upset tactics, Hannibal's elephants or Germany through Ardennes. The historical inaccuracy is a mixed bag (most 'narratives' of or from those events ignore the true history, but they are still common tropes). The reason I dislike it is because it has deus ex machinas working for evil. "God" is on the side of the objectively worst group. Oh sure Kevin tried (always tries) to make Rifts enough of a crapsack world that even the Illinois Nazis seem semi-sympathetic but it just doesn't work. You can't retcon people to be EVIL enough to keep up with an army that literally threatens to shoot people for NOT killing women and children. Even the Nazis didn't have death sentences for people who lacked the stomach for ethnic cleansing and mass graves.

That's the real problem, luck and miracles helping the bad guys win (especially the "and then magic goes crazy because ley-line energy" that helps the CS and hurts Tolkeen) and the innocents die with (as of the end of SoT) no real losses. Oh I'm sure I'm supposed to take the Sorcerer's Revenge and the Retribution Squads as some false-equivalency or accept that the CS nearly bankrupting itself (finally) makes it "both sides lost" but the whole "War is hell, it's not who's right but who's left" theme doesn't work when you only really have one side attacking and one side defending for pretty much the whole war and the war ends with complete destruction of one side.

Anyways, to re-hash the Xiticix scent stuff one last time, I think the "trick" is just supposed to be chemistry. The reason you would have to have an herbalist or an alchemist is only because those are the only two "chemist" OCCs. Presumably just as there are no rules for manufacturing a factory that makes dead boy armor there are no rules for making the (experimental and synthetic) scents and scent-cleaners that Jericho Holmes used to "sneak" through Bug Territory. Again, I'm only guessing at Kevin Sembieda's 'grand vision' but I assume it's supposed to have been a "seem harmless, avoid combat, and occasionally send robots or volunteers on sacrifice plays to lead would-be swarms and attackers away from the main group." Somehow it worked because the "brilliant tactician" had figured out how the bugs' minds worked.

Still plot armor, but within the realm of "normal" miraculous victories.


Last edited by boring7 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:05 am
  

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Nice find KC..didn't recall that. So at worst, if things had got rough a CS guy (maybe in power armor) would just have to win a duel to win his group progress.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:16 am
  

Palladin

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
XI 11
Challenges

An individual traveler and small groups, in particular, are likely to be "buzzed" by a lone Warrior or Hunter swooping down on the character(s), forcing him to duck or get bumped, brushed or pushed to the ground. If the character(s) being buzzed take no action against his antagonist and continues to keep moving, the Warrior will stop after a minute or two and let him/them continue. However, such an unwanted intruder or group may be challenged by one particular Warrior or Hunter while the rest of his squad (and probably scores of other Xiticix) watch from above. This may, or may not, be a fight to the death, but even if it is, the others will not join the battle unless they too are attacked or other humanoids join the battle. When the one on one battle is done, the others fly away. If the Warrior lost, they depart with the corpse of their fallen comrade in their arms, and the travelers are allowed to continue on their journey. If the Warrior wins, he may challenge another member of the group, or fly away (with his squad) triumphant and happy. What the Xiticix prove from such challenges is not clear. Presumably it is that this is their land and they are willing to defend it to the death.
Thankfully, a group of non-Xiticix is seldom challenged more than once every 10 hours, and the battle is typically one on one with everybody else as spectators. However, if other members of the traveling group join the battle, it will become a free-for-all, with the other Xiticix jumping in to teach the "cheaters" a lesson.
Such skirmishes turn into battles as previously described.


"small groups" is not perfectly defined, but i suspect 300,000 people is not what they had in mind.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:28 am
  

Explorer

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Shark_Force wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
XI 11
Challenges

An individual traveler and small groups, in particular, are likely to be "buzzed" by a lone Warrior or Hunter swooping down on the character(s), forcing him to duck or get bumped, brushed or pushed to the ground. If the character(s) being buzzed take no action against his antagonist and continues to keep moving, the Warrior will stop after a minute or two and let him/them continue. However, such an unwanted intruder or group may be challenged by one particular Warrior or Hunter while the rest of his squad (and probably scores of other Xiticix) watch from above. This may, or may not, be a fight to the death, but even if it is, the others will not join the battle unless they too are attacked or other humanoids join the battle. When the one on one battle is done, the others fly away. If the Warrior lost, they depart with the corpse of their fallen comrade in their arms, and the travelers are allowed to continue on their journey. If the Warrior wins, he may challenge another member of the group, or fly away (with his squad) triumphant and happy. What the Xiticix prove from such challenges is not clear. Presumably it is that this is their land and they are willing to defend it to the death.
Thankfully, a group of non-Xiticix is seldom challenged more than once every 10 hours, and the battle is typically one on one with everybody else as spectators. However, if other members of the traveling group join the battle, it will become a free-for-all, with the other Xiticix jumping in to teach the "cheaters" a lesson.
Such skirmishes turn into battles as previously described.


"small groups" is not perfectly defined, but i suspect 300,000 people is not what they had in mind.


Probably not, but that doesn't preclude the bugs treating sub-groups individually. Three armor units, with most of the men packed inside like cattle, and only a few SAMAS walking (not flying) on either side; that's a 'small group'. It gets buzzed; either the SAMAS lucks out and bats away the bug without killing it, or the Xitixic challenger kills the unlucky Power Jock and declares victory, flying back up to the swarm for high-low fives.

This happens up and down the line. Since none of the disparate troop clusters ever moves to defend another, the Xitixic continue treating them as individual groups--harassing each in turn, but never deciding to eliminate the entire force.

boring7: So maybe it's not "god" on the side of the CS. Ever heard the phrase, "The Devil's Luck"?

Or, you know, if you're an atheist, you realize that any particular arrangement of a deck of cards is nigh-impossible to occur--except of course, that they all do, eventually. Holmes got a particularly lucky string of coincidences, on top of his own studies of the Xitixic habits (such as the section quoted by Killer Cyborg). But that's part of the historical record in real life, too. Sometimes luck and brilliance (or misfortune and blunders) align; other times, luck and skill work at opposite angles and balance out. The Siege of Tolkeen will be viewed, in the long run, as a peak moment for the CS, but also quite possibly the last, great moment they have.

Axelmania wrote:
Karl spreading lies about dbees doesn't mean we need to write off very possible negative opinion he could have about them as only possibly lip service. Karl would be justifiably paranoid about his enemies manipulating his wife.

Coake is a d-bee with technowizard cyber armor, I don't see why Karl would necessarily trust his rescue had no ulterior motives, or that it was a rescue at all. Many in the CS may like cyberKs but the Proseks might wonder if they are in league with the Dunscons.


This was my point, yes; one thing to realize about evil folks is they tend to believe that everyone else is as self-serving as they are. The notion that Lord Coake is NOT working some sort of angle would be dismissed as naivete by Karl.

Axelmania wrote:
Bradford is also a threat but Karl manages him instead of eliminating him. I think Joseph is capable of managing Holmes. Carol Black is probably morenof a threat and he manages her fine.


Is Bradford really a 'threat'? Sure, he's a power-mad narcissist (not to mention an ultra-genius sociopath), but his focus is completely different; he only indulges in politics enough to keep his little fiefdom down in LoneStar free of outside influence. Hell, the average CS citizen probably has no idea that Bradford even exists.

Holmes is a different kettle of fish. Popular military figures have always been a focal point for political shenanigans, even when they, personally, would prefer to stay out of them. And again, Karl and Joey II's mindset isn't going to let them fully believe that Holmes isn't interested in power; it would only take a few rumors about the possibility of a coup, or comments by other members of the inner circle about how Holmes is even 'more loved than the Emperor' to make him a target.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:21 pm
  

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Freemage wrote:
"small groups" is not perfectly defined, but i suspect 300,000 people is not what they had in mind.


Probably not, but that doesn't preclude the bugs treating sub-groups individually. Three armor units, with most of the men packed inside like cattle, and only a few SAMAS walking (not flying) on either side; that's a 'small group'. It gets buzzed; either the SAMAS lucks out and bats away the bug without killing it, or the Xitixic challenger kills the unlucky Power Jock and declares victory, flying back up to the swarm for high-low fives.

This happens up and down the line. Since none of the disparate troop clusters ever moves to defend another, the Xitixic continue treating them as individual groups--harassing each in turn, but never deciding to eliminate the entire force.[/quote]

the bugs are not stupid. and they know what large groups look like. they're not going to be fooled by a large group leaving a bit of distance between each other. particularly when that large group all came in at the same time, while being observed, as a cohesive unit, and supposedly had to immediately start their slow travel, as a group, or else be attacked.

and this still doesn't explain why the xiticix, who are not idiots, couldn't figure out that this slow moving column of people who don't fight back are a food source. maybe they're not acting hostile, but they're still perfectly harvestable resources.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:34 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
Freemage wrote:
Quote:
"small groups" is not perfectly defined, but i suspect 300,000 people is not what they had in mind.


Probably not, but that doesn't preclude the bugs treating sub-groups individually. Three armor units, with most of the men packed inside like cattle, and only a few SAMAS walking (not flying) on either side; that's a 'small group'. It gets buzzed; either the SAMAS lucks out and bats away the bug without killing it, or the Xitixic challenger kills the unlucky Power Jock and declares victory, flying back up to the swarm for high-low fives.

This happens up and down the line. Since none of the disparate troop clusters ever moves to defend another, the Xitixic continue treating them as individual groups--harassing each in turn, but never deciding to eliminate the entire force.


the bugs are not stupid. and they know what large groups look like. they're not going to be fooled by a large group leaving a bit of distance between each other. particularly when that large group all came in at the same time, while being observed, as a cohesive unit, and supposedly had to immediately start their slow travel, as a group, or else be attacked.

and this still doesn't explain why the xiticix, who are not idiots, couldn't figure out that this slow moving column of people who don't fight back are a food source. maybe they're not acting hostile, but they're still perfectly harvestable resources.


Well, about 100,000 of the CS were 'harvested'. A single human should be able to provide a meal for a dozen Xitixic, assuming they eat most of the organs as well as the flesh; why kill the rest of the herd, when you may want to eat them next week?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:03 pm
  

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The Xiticix book provides information on how the insects generally function. The "rules" for their behavior are set up to help the reader better understand how they work. The book also ups the threat level of the creatures so that they're seen as a serious menace.

Of course, these behaviors are presented in a way that tells us how the Xiticix react to particular situations. Generally, it's how they react to small groups and to player character-type actions. We aren't told what they do when a massive army appears but doesn't attack (presumably, it's never happened before). We can say "I think they would do XYZ", but there's nothing that directly conflicts with what we see in the Seige of Tolkeen books. I think this is purposefully done, because when Jericho's army disappears under a swarm of extra-dimensional insect warriors, we're supposed to think "they're dead". And then we're supposed to be surprised later.

Individually, the bugs don't seem to be all that smart. They appear to be reacting on instinct. The Xiticix detect a large force entering their area, so they swarm it. They send small groups to attack the trespassing things while the rest of the swarm waits above. The swarm waits for the death scent to trigger a larger attack. When they don't smell the death scent, and the herd of weird black shapes on the ground move away, the swarm begins to calm down.

Again, not the best writing. Not the best plot twist. But it's far from the most unbelievable thing I've read in a sci-fi game book.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:42 pm
  

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Freemage wrote:

Well, about 100,000 of the CS were 'harvested'. A single human should be able to provide a meal for a dozen Xitixic, assuming they eat most of the organs as well as the flesh; why kill the rest of the herd, when you may want to eat them next week?


Once they determined the CS were not really a threat they settled in to collect them at a liesurely rate, knowing it was easier to do that than engage en masse

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 pm
  

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Freemage wrote:
Well, about 100,000 of the CS were 'harvested'. A single human should be able to provide a meal for a dozen Xitixic, assuming they eat most of the organs as well as the flesh; why kill the rest of the herd, when you may want to eat them next week?


well, considering there are at minimum something like 50 million xiticix in a hive (though i might actually be missing a zero there), that's enough to feed a tiny fraction of the xiticix from a single hive. assuming they don't use them to make their other special food (xiticix actually mostly eat a fungus that they farm inside their colonies, but they do turn other creatures into a PPE-rich sludge to feed their young and make them grow faster... and the hives are all in full-blown expansion mode, so you can bet speeding that up is high priority).

and, of course, this ignores the fact that the army was in bug territory for two months or something crazy like that, so, if they wanted to eat that guy next week, they had that chance.

and, for the record, the xiticix book did have information on how the xiticix react to large groups. it wasn't left undefined at all. the reaction is to swarm the enemy and kill them, as i recall. i am *quite* certain it wasn't "swarm them and then indecisively hover over them for a couple of months while they walk through your territory, while only occasionally picking off someone", however.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:30 pm
  

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Yeah, fundamentally if a giant force can just derp around in your territory for 2 months and squat right on your border for a few more, it's not really your territory.

Even with weird macguffin powers, it's more suspension of disbelief than I care for, ESPECIALLY since the CS could have simply done something else.

In fact, you know what would be really interesting? Tolkeen throws up the triangle. The CS spends a week and heavy weapons fire realizing that cutting through it is really hard but at the same time Tolkeen's dealing with a SIEGE, hard to feed your people when they're stuck inside a city. Generals on both sides are trying to work out a plan when Captain Evil von Jerkface pops up with a plan:

He figures out (through feeding a dozen human babies to an opportunistic demon, hypocritical evil NEVER goes out of style) that if you throw enough PPE into a leyline you can mess with magic-based stuff just like overloading an electrical grid. They use this information, along with a lot of psychic/magic/supernatural prisoners and every human they felt they could off (queue up a LITERAL kick the dog moment murdering some crippled dog-boys) right near the "impregnable" shield and the leyline it runs on to screw up the whole thing.

Everything else ends up the same but you don't have this "oh look how heroic and amazing this CS general who MURDERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN was by doing what the book legitimately established is essentially impossible.

This or any of the OTHER possible alternate stories mentioned upthread would be better than, "Jericho Holmes am heero!"


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:26 am
  

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boring7 wrote:
Yeah, fundamentally if a giant force can just derp around in your territory for 2 months and squat right on your border for a few more, it's not really your territory.

Even with weird macguffin powers, it's more suspension of disbelief than I care for, ESPECIALLY since the CS could have simply done something else.

In fact, you know what would be really interesting? Tolkeen throws up the triangle. The CS spends a week and heavy weapons fire realizing that cutting through it is really hard but at the same time Tolkeen's dealing with a SIEGE, hard to feed your people when they're stuck inside a city. Generals on both sides are trying to work out a plan when Captain Evil von Jerkface pops up with a plan:

He figures out (through feeding a dozen human babies to an opportunistic demon, hypocritical evil NEVER goes out of style) that if you throw enough PPE into a leyline you can mess with magic-based stuff just like overloading an electrical grid. They use this information, along with a lot of psychic/magic/supernatural prisoners and every human they felt they could off (queue up a LITERAL kick the dog moment murdering some crippled dog-boys) right near the "impregnable" shield and the leyline it runs on to screw up the whole thing.

Everything else ends up the same but you don't have this "oh look how heroic and amazing this CS general who MURDERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN was by doing what the book legitimately established is essentially impossible.

This or any of the OTHER possible alternate stories mentioned upthread would be better than, "Jericho Holmes am heero!"


yeah, it doesn't even need to get that fancy.

you know who can definitely 100% deploy soldiers by airlift to probably anywhere in the world, because they've literally sent troops to europe? well, if you guessed the coalition states, you are right!

so, if you want soldiers behind tolkeen lines... just ship a fleet of transports packed full of troops to the back side of tolkeen. it will probably take, like, a day to get around xiticix territory. if needed, you can even do that a few times in a row to build up sufficient numbers.

(also, the ley line triangle defense isn't that strong. palladium is really bad at realizing what large numbers of people with laser rifles can do... a squad of 10 soldiers can easily put a hole in the barrier to get people through in a single action).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:02 am
  

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Whether the Xiticix treated Holmes forces as multiple distinct small bully-them groups or as large kill-it groups would depend on a lot of factors I am not sure of, like his spread out they were, what kind of tree coverage for avoiding line-of-sight-simultaneity existed, if they all moved together or alternated while others hid in camouflage, the level of communication that exists between distinct xiticix patrol groups, etc.

The smoke bombs mentioned earlier would seem like a good tool in making your groups look smaller even if they werent.

However many a small group is, if there is any kind of lore: xiticix amongst wild psi stalkers which made its way to the CS they should have some idea of what small is and his to break troops into those numbers, and also know how far apart people have to be spread to be considered separate groups.

Failing such a hypothetical (perhaps lore dbees covers it? I would rather see more distinct skills per species) roll would mean misjudging quantity/distance and not being considered small, upgrading buzz>challenge or challenge>swarm


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:31 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
XI 11
Challenges

An individual traveler and small groups, in particular, are likely to be "buzzed" by a lone Warrior or Hunter swooping down on the character(s), forcing him to duck or get bumped, brushed or pushed to the ground. If the character(s) being buzzed take no action against his antagonist and continues to keep moving, the Warrior will stop after a minute or two and let him/them continue. However, such an unwanted intruder or group may be challenged by one particular Warrior or Hunter while the rest of his squad (and probably scores of other Xiticix) watch from above. This may, or may not, be a fight to the death, but even if it is, the others will not join the battle unless they too are attacked or other humanoids join the battle. When the one on one battle is done, the others fly away. If the Warrior lost, they depart with the corpse of their fallen comrade in their arms, and the travelers are allowed to continue on their journey. If the Warrior wins, he may challenge another member of the group, or fly away (with his squad) triumphant and happy. What the Xiticix prove from such challenges is not clear. Presumably it is that this is their land and they are willing to defend it to the death.
Thankfully, a group of non-Xiticix is seldom challenged more than once every 10 hours, and the battle is typically one on one with everybody else as spectators. However, if other members of the traveling group join the battle, it will become a free-for-all, with the other Xiticix jumping in to teach the "cheaters" a lesson.
Such skirmishes turn into battles as previously described.


"small groups" is not perfectly defined, but i suspect 300,000 people is not what they had in mind.


Which "they" are you talking about?
The writers?
That would appear to be Kevin Siembeida; he's the author of the book. I don't know if his name is on the SoT series, but I can certainly believe that when he wrote this part of this part of XI, he did indeed have in mind that one day a CS army with unusually high numbers would exploit this behavior.
I mean, he knew back in 1990 that Tolkeen was going to be wiped off the map by the CS. The man plots things ahead. By the time XI was written, KS'd had roughly a decade in order to mull over how events would play out. I don't think that it is at all implausible that when he wrote XI--that when he wrote this passage specifically--that he was deliberately setting up the scene where Holmes' army would disappear into the hivelands, only to emerge later to win the day.

The main problem is that--if that's what he was doing at all--he did not do it very well.
In writing, that kind of thing is difficult, because you're not just trying to fool the readers, you're trying to do it a certain way. You have to craft the rules of your setting in such a way that you set up the future event without giving away the upcoming twist.
It's a bit like a stand-up comic routine where the comedian makes an early joke with a highlighted punchline that the audience will remember, then he moves on to other jokes for a while. Maybe he'll drop in a reference at some point over a long set, just to get another laugh, as well as to remind the audience that the punchline exists. By the time he gets to his final routine, ideally, the audience will have that punchline in the back of their minds, but they won't be thinking about it. They'll have the knowledge necessary for the line to be funny, even hilarious, but the comedian will approach his impending final delivery of that punchline from an oblique angle, and the audience won't see it coming.
They'll either have no idea where the story is going, or they'll be following a false trail, thinking that they know where the story is going, but they don't.
So when the punchline resurfaces, it's unexpected, but it makes perfect sense in a well-crafted routine, because the comedian has done all the work of setting everything up thoroughly in advance.

You see a similar pattern in science fiction and fantasy all the time.
The writer sets up the rules of the universe, and lays down the rules so firmly that the audience believes those rules as if they were fact. Then, later on in the story, the rules are flipped upside down for an amazing and climactic moment.
If the story was well-written, and if everything was laid out well, then this can work beautifully.
But if it wasn't laid out well, then it flops, and instead of something that makes sense, you end up with a suspension-of-disbelief-breaking deus ex machina moment.

I think that the basic plot idea of Holmes' trip through the hivelands could have worked... it just didn't work, because it wasn't well-written enough.
RPG books can be a tricky format to try that kind of writing at all, and while KS has a beautiful imagination, the art of writing is ultimately about communicating your imagination clearly to the audience, of writing with such precision that everybody reading your work is taking essentially the same journey, and of making certain that the journey is roughly the one that you want them to go on.
But Palladium's game books are NOT that kind of thing, and they are NOT written with the necessary level of clarity necessary to pull this level of storytelling off.

Moreover, Holmes' act hinged on the the passage that I described, so any understanding on the part of the readers hinged on not only reading this specific passage, but also on interpreting and understanding that passage in such a way that Holmes' re-emergence fits the readers' mental view of the in-game reality.
All of which--given the wide span of Rifts books overall, and the lack of significant highlighting of this passage at any time previous to the SoT books--adds up to a MAJOR plot point revolving around a little-read and little-understood passage that can be interpreted a number of ways.

TL;DR version:
I think that KS intended the quoted XI passage to set up Holmes' victory, but that he didn't do it very well.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:05 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
TL;DR version:
I think that KS intended the quoted XI passage to set up Holmes' victory, but that he didn't do it very well.


he described it as a response to small groups. again, i don't know of any palladium-specific definition of what exactly counts as a small group (though perhaps there is one in the xiticix book), but 300,000+ soldiers does not seem like it would fit into that definition. this isn't just "people who don't know about it won't make the connection", this is "people who do know about this behaviour still won't make the connection, because this behaviour explicitly does not cover marching an entire army through xiticix territory".


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:53 pm
  

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Looking for KS.statements on size, "a.note concerning modern warfare" in CWC could be illustrative on of 40:

"The use of small-sized combat units" .. "Armies of more than a.few thousand are uncommon".

The word "few" is kinda vagus but we can at least discern here from plurality that having under 2000 is small.

Pg 42 also clarifies squads are 6-10 and platoons are 40. "Perfect for small engagements".

My initial guess at <2000 couldnbe too generous though, as it says "a medium-sized force is typically the size of one or two companies (160-320 soldiers) " which probably meana you want to aim for less than a company, perhaps 120 troops (3 platoons) moving at a time.

Xiticix don't get mad if you don't stay out more than a couple minutes so if you set it up where troops spread out alternate movements that often, the gap could make them be perceived differently.

Pg 40 also uses "fifty robot vehicles" or "several dozen power armor" or "couple hundred cyborgs" in the introduction that talks about small-size combat units.

I think the key is to have groups of that many moving together, while having stationary groups dividing them, alternating every two minutes.

Hard to coordinate, which helps to explain the fatalities.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:26 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
TL;DR version:
I think that KS intended the quoted XI passage to set up Holmes' victory, but that he didn't do it very well.


he described it as a response to small groups.


1. That does not mean that it is NOT a response to larger groups. One type of stimulus creating a particular response does not negate the possibility of any other type of stimulus creating that same (or a similar) respons.

2. The passage begins with this:
An individual traveler and small groups, in particular, are likely to be "buzzed" by a lone Warrior or Hunter swooping down on the character(s)
Palladium can use funky grammar, and this phrasing hinges on semi-esoteric comma usage that I can't be 100% sure of, BUT to me it looks like what is being said--as written--is that (individuals and small groups) are particularly likely to be buzzed.
That phrasing is particularly non-restrictive when it comes to who may or may not be buzzed and challenged.
If "individuals and small groups" are particularly likely to get buzzed, who does that leave to be generally susceptible to that kind of behavior?
Large groups, and possibly medium groups.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:24 pm
  

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the "in particular" stuff applies to whatever is "in particular".

for example:

"Fruits and vegetables are good for your health. Tomatoes and oranges, in particular, have lots of vitamin C".

now, granted, that doesn't mean that no other fruit or vegetable has lots of vitamin C. but it also doesn't mean that there are fruits and vegetables other than tomatoes and oranges that have lots of vitamin C; i cannot use that statement to conclude that plums or carrots have vitamin C (or that they don't, to be fair). the "in particular" means we're focusing on a specific thing, not a general case... thus, "in particular" only applies to the stuff that is actually "in particular". if something applies to small groups and individuals "in particular", that doesn't inherently mean it doesn't apply to things other than that, but it also doesn't imply that other things do have those same attributes. you would need to look to other sources of information (for the fruit and vegetable example, i'm sure there are many nutritional guides you could use).

and unless i'm mistaken, we have described behaviours for larger groups. "mostly ignore them" is not one of those described behaviours.

also, i don't think the SoT books particularly describe the xiticix issuing challenges either.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:30 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
the "in particular" stuff applies to whatever is "in particular".

for example:

"Fruits and vegetables are good for your health. Tomatoes and oranges, in particular, have lots of vitamin C".

now, granted, that doesn't mean that no other fruit or vegetable has lots of vitamin C.


Bingo.

Quote:
if something applies to small groups and individuals "in particular", that doesn't inherently mean it doesn't apply to things other than that, but it also doesn't imply that other things do have those same attributes.


Right.
There isn't any overt implication that the bugs would behave the same way with a large group.
One way that this SHOULD have been played would be to have some in-game stuff go on, to raise the question "what would happen if a large army tried to exploit this behavior," with the provided answer be "nobody knows."
THEN Holmes would have answered a question, instead of seeming to contradict some rules.

Quote:
and unless i'm mistaken, we have described behaviours for larger groups. "mostly ignore them" is not one of those described behaviours.


Probably.
Quote some passages.

Quote:
also, i don't think the SoT books particularly describe the xiticix issuing challenges either.


I can't say--I don't have anything past book 2.
Feel free to quote relevant passages.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:44 am
  

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I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:24 am
  

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Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?

The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:49 am
  

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HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?


It sounds like you agree that the text does not exclude the bugs from reacting that way with large groups.

Quote:
The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


Well, no. I don't think that we do know that.
I think that it may have been a perfectly fine idea.
From my point of view, it was the execution that was horrendous.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:05 am
  

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Anything that gets 25% of your troops killed is a **** idea. It may be the best of a lot of bad ones but its still ****.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:09 am
  

Hero

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?


It sounds like you agree that the text does not exclude the bugs from reacting that way with large groups.

Quote:
The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


Well, no. I don't think that we do know that.
I think that it may have been a perfectly fine idea.
From my point of view, it was the execution that was horrendous.


There are so many things wrong with the Holmes scenario... Here, basically here was Holme's plan.

He had as many CS soldiers as he could get into the vehicles shoulder to shoulder.
He had all of this other troops cluster into a large single group shoulder to shoulder. (This precludes the small group theory.)
He instructed his men to, under no circumstances, fight back when attacked by the Xits with any amount of lethal force. (This isn't unrealistic, what is unrealistic is they did, as the Xits killed their friends right next to the,.)
He instructed his men to deploy smoke as a deterrent.
He moved slowly, at 10 mph, but constantly, toward a rival hive.

The rationale in the book is that the Xits did not see a group of 400,000 (how many he went in there with) armed individuals, some in power armor as a threat after they failed to fight back while the Xits ripped them apart.

The problem with that is it contradicts the behavior in XI. A group of hundreds of thousands of armed humans, and because they don't fight back they stop?

For one, I can't believe that they had the discipline to allow their friends to be ripped apart without shooting AND I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.

For two, even if this DID work, his troops would NOT be "itching for payback" when they got out. They'd be suffering from extreme PTSD.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:21 am
  

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HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?


It sounds like you agree that the text does not exclude the bugs from reacting that way with large groups.

Quote:
The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


Well, no. I don't think that we do know that.
I think that it may have been a perfectly fine idea.
From my point of view, it was the execution that was horrendous.


There are so many things wrong with the Holmes scenario... Here, basically here was Holme's plan.

He had as many CS soldiers as he could get into the vehicles shoulder to shoulder.
He had all of this other troops cluster into a large single group shoulder to shoulder. (This precludes the small group theory.)
He instructed his men to, under no circumstances, fight back when attacked by the Xits with any amount of lethal force. (This isn't unrealistic, what is unrealistic is they did, as the Xits killed their friends right next to the,.)
He instructed his men to deploy smoke as a deterrent.
He moved slowly, at 10 mph, but constantly, toward a rival hive.

The rationale in the book is that the Xits did not see a group of 400,000 (how many he went in there with) armed individuals, some in power armor as a threat after they failed to fight back while the Xits ripped them apart.

The problem with that is it contradicts the behavior in XI. A group of hundreds of thousands of armed humans, and because they don't fight back they stop?


That does not contradict the behavior exhibited in the passage that I quoted.

Quote:
For one, I can't believe that they had the discipline to allow their friends to be ripped apart without shooting AND I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.


I think that such a scenario could have been presented plausibly--it just was not.

Quote:
For two, even if this DID work, his troops would NOT be "itching for payback" when they got out. They'd be suffering from extreme PTSD.


I'm pretty sure that those two things are not an uncommon mix.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:59 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Spoiler:
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?


It sounds like you agree that the text does not exclude the bugs from reacting that way with large groups.

Quote:
The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


Well, no. I don't think that we do know that.
I think that it may have been a perfectly fine idea.
From my point of view, it was the execution that was horrendous.


There are so many things wrong with the Holmes scenario... Here, basically here was Holme's plan.

He had as many CS soldiers as he could get into the vehicles shoulder to shoulder.
He had all of this other troops cluster into a large single group shoulder to shoulder. (This precludes the small group theory.)
He instructed his men to, under no circumstances, fight back when attacked by the Xits with any amount of lethal force. (This isn't unrealistic, what is unrealistic is they did, as the Xits killed their friends right next to the,.)
He instructed his men to deploy smoke as a deterrent.
He moved slowly, at 10 mph, but constantly, toward a rival hive.

The rationale in the book is that the Xits did not see a group of 400,000 (how many he went in there with) armed individuals, some in power armor as a threat after they failed to fight back while the Xits ripped them apart.

The problem with that is it contradicts the behavior in XI. A group of hundreds of thousands of armed humans, and because they don't fight back they stop?

For one, I can't believe that they had the discipline to allow their friends to be ripped apart without shooting AND

HWalsh wrote:
I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.

That right there is the fatal flaw with the entire plan.
The idea that some how 100,000 CS soldiers were willing to die, painful deaths at the hand of monsters with out fighting back.

_________________
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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:55 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
eliakon wrote:
Spoiler:
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Axelmania wrote:
I see no reason for "in particular" to exist except to signify emphasis. It would not be necessary or make.any sense to use if individuals and small groups were the only targets.


Well, we can't assume that "in particular" means that it signifies emphasis. Sure, it is often used that way, but as you have pointed out often use doesn't mean anything. The text says in particular, which can, in fact be used to not emphasize something, as such, as you have stated, we must assume in pure neutrality of statement that it has no emphasis. So as stated, by you, this doesn't mean it works on larger groups, and until Kevin S. comes out and says it directly this is ambiguous and thus we have to assume that it doesn't mean anything concrete... That is how it works right? The same reason certain other phrases can't possibly implicate people in doing something? Right?


It sounds like you agree that the text does not exclude the bugs from reacting that way with large groups.

Quote:
The truth is, we know the whole Holmes thing was just a bad idea that makes no sense. It is even called a miracle in the text.


Well, no. I don't think that we do know that.
I think that it may have been a perfectly fine idea.
From my point of view, it was the execution that was horrendous.


There are so many things wrong with the Holmes scenario... Here, basically here was Holme's plan.

He had as many CS soldiers as he could get into the vehicles shoulder to shoulder.
He had all of this other troops cluster into a large single group shoulder to shoulder. (This precludes the small group theory.)
He instructed his men to, under no circumstances, fight back when attacked by the Xits with any amount of lethal force. (This isn't unrealistic, what is unrealistic is they did, as the Xits killed their friends right next to the,.)
He instructed his men to deploy smoke as a deterrent.
He moved slowly, at 10 mph, but constantly, toward a rival hive.

The rationale in the book is that the Xits did not see a group of 400,000 (how many he went in there with) armed individuals, some in power armor as a threat after they failed to fight back while the Xits ripped them apart.

The problem with that is it contradicts the behavior in XI. A group of hundreds of thousands of armed humans, and because they don't fight back they stop?

For one, I can't believe that they had the discipline to allow their friends to be ripped apart without shooting AND

HWalsh wrote:
I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.

That right there is the fatal flaw with the entire plan.
The idea that some how 100,000 CS soldiers were willing to die, painful deaths at the hand of monsters with out fighting back.


If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?

_________________
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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:16 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 am
Posts: 1021
Killer Cyborg wrote:
If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?



Not really.

A Principled character might not fight to save himself, he would likely fight to save someone else.
A Scrupulous character maybe would sacrifice himself, he also would likely fight to save his friend though.
An Anarchist most likely would not sacrifice himself, he may or may night fight to save his friend though.
Aberrant might sacrifice himself, if he thought that to do otherwise would betray a friend, on the other hand it also isn't attaining his goals, so he might not do it. Miscreant wouldn't sacrifice himself, but he would allow someone else to throw their life away easily.
Diabolic would absolutely not sacrifice himself, he wouldn't care if everyone else dies, but he'd let others sacrifice themselves.

So, what is the chance that, out of 100,000 people the Xiticix killed that none of them were Diabolic or Micreant... Answer? Not very high.


Last edited by HWalsh on Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:31 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 9103
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Killer Cyborg wrote:
eliakon wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.

That right there is the fatal flaw with the entire plan.
The idea that some how 100,000 CS soldiers were willing to die, painful deaths at the hand of monsters with out fighting back.


If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?

If the "plan" involved any such plan? Yes.
The idea of 'premeditation' that says that "yes, we have 100,000 people all willing to sacrifice themselves with out firing a single shot" is the part that is beyond absurd.
Yes, you have the rare exception. Yes every so often you have the rare solder who sacrifices themselves for another in such a case...
...they are the ones that get high medals and get movies and books made about them.
They are not the run-of-the-mill.

_________________
Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


It's RIFTS Earth; the impossible happens before breakfast, twice on Tuesdays. And if it hasn't, then the GM hasn't tried hard enough and the players are lazy. :D -DhAkael

Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts, Study Hard


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:29 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
eliakon wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
eliakon wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I can't believe that they had the discipline to not shoot at their attackers WHILE being ripped apart.

That right there is the fatal flaw with the entire plan.
The idea that some how 100,000 CS soldiers were willing to die, painful deaths at the hand of monsters with out fighting back.


If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?

If the "plan" involved any such plan? Yes.


:?

Quote:
The idea of 'premeditation' that says that "yes, we have 100,000 people all willing to sacrifice themselves with out firing a single shot" is the part that is beyond absurd.
Yes, you have the rare exception. Yes every so often you have the rare solder who sacrifices themselves for another in such a case...
...they are the ones that get high medals and get movies and books made about them.
They are not the run-of-the-mill.


You seem to be answering a question other than the one that I actually asked.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:31 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?



Not really.

A Principled character might not fight to save himself, he would likely fight to save someone else.


Even if fighting would mean that the person he was fighting to save, they Principled character himself, and all 98 of his other comrades in arms would be killed?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:32 pm
  

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Again, if anybody wants to quote relevant passages from the book that describe Holmes' plan and how it was carried out, that could be helpful.
I don't have the necessary books.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:43 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 am
Posts: 1021
Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?



Not really.

A Principled character might not fight to save himself, he would likely fight to save someone else.


Even if fighting would mean that the person he was fighting to save, they Principled character himself, and all 98 of his other comrades in arms would be killed?


Sometimes? Yes.

Also, remember, these guys don't KNOW this will work. Holmes has a theory regarding this.

Also, I noticed you didn't address the other alignments...

So... Put yourself in the shoes of the CS guys here:

You have been under attack for hours, this has gone on for, say, I don't know... 6 hours... You have lost 50,000 of your friends, who have been ripped apart by Xiticix... Holmes says, "Don't worry men! Don't fight back! Don't defend yourselves! Don't defend your friends! I think this might work."

The guy standing right next to you goes down, a Xiticix on top of him, ripping at his flesh and eviscerating him. A few minutes ago, you saw it happen to another guy. It isn't letting up, it isn't slowing down, this has been the same pace for hours. All Holmes has to say is, "I have an idea, eventually, I think the Xiticix will stop."

"Sir!" One of the men says. "This has gone on for six hours and shows no sign of stopping, this isn't working sir! We've lost 12% of our men! We need to do something... Arrrrrgh!"

He is ripped apart, Holmes says, "Trust me men! This might work!"

Now, one Xiticix descends onto a diabolic character, he doesn't think Holmes is sane anymore, weirder things have happened. The diabolic survives, but he's hurt. He murmurs, "Holmes is going to get us all killed. I think the Tolkeen forces did something to his mind. Why else would we have run into this? Why else would he tell us to stand by while these bugs kill us all?!"

Would people finally start freaking out over the course of the next six hours? YES.

Why? Because the text tells us that even Holmes started to think that he was wrong and the attacks stopped suddenly. So for hours, and hours, and hours they had no sign that Holmes was right.

So no. I don't find it believable that at least a significant portion of the men didn't try to fight. Out of 400,000 men? Oh no. You're going to get people who freak out in that kind of situation.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:52 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
If it was 100 soldiers, surrounded by 10,000 enemy soldiers who would slaughter ALL of them if anybody fought back, would that change the picture any?



Not really.

A Principled character might not fight to save himself, he would likely fight to save someone else.


Even if fighting would mean that the person he was fighting to save, they Principled character himself, and all 98 of his other comrades in arms would be killed?


Sometimes? Yes.


Okay. Sometimes.

Quote:
Also, remember, these guys don't KNOW this will work. Holmes has a theory regarding this.

Also, I noticed you didn't address the other alignments...


I'm not sure that alignment matters much when the alternative to the plan is 100% death for everybody.
Well, actually, a Diabolic or Miscreant might not go with the plan in that case, just for the lulz.

Quote:
So... Put yourself in the shoes of the CS guys here:

You have been under attack for hours, this has gone on for, say, I don't know... 6 hours... You have lost 50,000 of your friends, who have been ripped apart by Xiticix... Holmes says, "Don't worry men! Don't fight back! Don't defend yourselves! Don't defend your friends! I think this might work."


It sounds like:
-I'm part of a fanatical army where I've been brainwashed by propaganda my entire life
-I'm following the orders of my commander, whether or not I think they're insane orders.
-Me and something like 250,000 of my friends are still alive six hours longer than I imagined was possible.

Quote:
The guy standing right next to you goes down, a Xiticix on top of him, ripping at his flesh and eviscerating him. A few minutes ago, you saw it happen to another guy. It isn't letting up, it isn't slowing down, this has been the same pace for hours. All Holmes has to say is, "I have an idea, eventually, I think the Xiticix will stop."


Are all the other bugs surrounding us also flying down and killing everybody?
Or are they holding back from making a massive attack and wiping us all out at once, the way they've been mostly holding back for the past 6 hours, as Holmes predicted?

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