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Conditional Diagnosis

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Conditional Diagnosis
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS1069
Comic no. 1069
Date published 30 March 2017
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"Ship Abandon" "Half Probably Are"
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Elan manages to concentrate long enough to mend the ship's gas envelope, but in the meantime Roy takes another blow that leaves him in uncertain condition.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Creman (whispering): Psst! Hey, buddy! Take it!

Panel 2

Roy: Thanks. Now get back inside before she—

Panel 3

Giantess: Now you will die and I will live!
Roy parries her axe, "CLANG!"
Roy: For like two days, tops! You know that, right? Ugh, you probably don't.

Panel 4

Cut to Elan in the rigging
Elan: OK, Elan. You can do this.
Elan: You can concentrate on this one spell, because when you do, Roy will be proud of you and Haley will be proud of you and Vaarsuvius will probably be indifferent and I'm not really sure how Belkar will—

Panel 5

Elan: NO! Concentrate! you can do this!

Panel 6

Elan: Mmmmmm—

Panel 7

Elan: —mmmmm—

Panel 8

Elan: —mmending!

Panel 9

Elan: I did it! And it only took me 11 tries!
Elan: I hope Roy is doing better with those giants.

Panel 10

Cut to the deck. The giantess knocks Roy flying up onto the forecastle, "POW!"

Panel 11

Roy lies on the deck seeing stars, his cutlass at his feet.

Panel 12

Cut back to Elan
Elan: Oh no! Roy's been staggered!

Panel 13

Elan: Or possibly stunned!

Panel 14

Elan: Maybe dazed? Dazzled?
Elan: I know it's one of the swoopy-star conditions, not one of the swirly-eye ones.

D&D Context Edit

  • There are numerous physical and mental conditions a character may be in during the course of play. Mental states induced by magical means such as being charmed or dominated are portrayed in Order of the Stick by swirly eyes, while mental distress due to physical abuse is portrayed by "seeing stars" (or on occasion, pteranodons). The specific conditions referred to by Elan are:
    • Staggered: an unusual condition which occurs when a character's nonlethal damage is exactly equal to their hit points. A staggered character can take a single move action or a standard action but not both. It is possible but unlikely that the giantess was dealing nonlethal damage to Roy.
    • Stunned: a stunned character drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC. Most of the ways a character can become stunned involve spells, though the variant vitality and wound point rules would be one way for Roy be stunned by the Giantess' blow. He does drop his weapon, making this a good candidate.
    • Dazed: a dazed character is unable to act, typically for just one round. A number of psionic powers can cause this condition.
    • Dazzled: a dazzled character can not see well and takes a -1 penalty to attacks. This is the least likely condition for Roy, as there was no dazzling visual display.
  • Mending is a bard cantrip (0-level spell). As a 14th level bard (at least) with 22 Charisma (at least), Elan can cast 4 cantrips per day. If he counted correctly (a questionable assumption with Elan), then he used all of his cantrip slots, all five of his first level spell slots, and two of his second level spell slots trying to mend the envelope.

Trivia Edit

  • In Panel 3, Roy points out that the frost giantess won't live if Roy dies, because Roy is currently trying to stop the world from being destroyed, and the giantess is preventing him from doing that. Ironically, Thyrm, Lord of the Frost giants, is trying to have the world destroyed to reseal the Snarl, and his followers (like the giantess) would be killed in the process.

External Links Edit

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