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  • posted a message on Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica - Lore & worldbuilding tidbits
    Each individual member of the Obzedat has CR 8, it's not the Challenge Rating for the group as a whole. So killing all of them is still an impressive feat for Kaya.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica - Lore & worldbuilding tidbits
    Quote from Gutterstorm »
    And last but not least, The Guildleader power ranking!
    This is according to the ten Guildleaders Challenge rating(CR). For those who don't play D&D CR is a measure of how difficult a creature is to fight. A creature of CR X is presumed to be a reasonable challenge to a party with four members of level X. While this isn't always a reliable method of setting difficulty against players in D&D it's a reasonable measure of their strength in relation to one another.
    From weakest to strongest:

    Obzedat (CR 8)
    Zegana (CR 16)
    Lazav (CR 17)
    Borborygmos and Trostani (CR 18)
    Isperia(CR 21)
    Jarad (CR 22)
    Aurelia(CR 23)
    Rakdos (CR24)
    Niv-Mizzet (CR 26)[/spoiler]

    So how powerful are Kaya, Vraska, and Domri if they were able to defeat some of these guildleaders?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Only thing Baral and Chandra shows is inconsistent power levels strong enough to beat Eldrazi Titans but not strong enough to beat Baral? Yeah yeah he counters did Chandra not know any uncounterable fire spells.

    "It's unrealistic that a hunter can kill an elephant when he has a high-caliber rifle and the elephant is trapped, but gets stomped by Mike Tyson in a fist fight. Obviously the elephant is a lot more powerful than Mike Tyson!"
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    I think these are both good points, in that the Cult of Rakdos as an institution (strangely, it qualifies) likely enjoys some measure of cultural and legal protection that defines where and when the spectacles are deemed 'appropriate' andwith an understanding that even attending an event may remove certain liabilities.

    But as others mentioned/hinted and as I previously said: I think I can empathize with people like Tajic who'd rather see the Cult severely curtailed or even destroyed.

    Kink and fetish deserve appropriate limits and spaces conductive to consent, public health, and the emancipation of human life and expression. They are NOT the celebration of forcibly and prematurely ending any of these, or the failure to take precautions that would limit undue risk and permanent harm. True Freedom therefore requires a level of self-restraint and likewise accountability for one's actions. There's no reason why nontraditional relationships cannot be both fun, spicy and conductive towards self- and other's preservation/lives.

    Back in the Victorian era, there were underground sex clubs and orgies where simply by attending, you were implicitly giving your consent to potentially have sex with anyone else at the party. This was largely a response to the sexual repression of mainstream society at the time, and it doesn't really happen anymore because modern society has a more developed understanding of sexual consent. Still, there's some real world precedent to the idea that simply attending an event can be considered a form of consent in its own right, and even today, there are situations where you see less extreme forms of that. I remember hearing about a local punk concert where the band sprayed fake blood on the crowd, and when some people got upset about their clothes being ruined, the band's response was basically "well, you shouldn't have been there if you didn't want that happening."

    And in the modern kink scene, there are plenty of parties where you can watch people being tied up, suspended, beaten, whipped, cut, burned, shocked, etc. Granted, the "victims" are all consenting volunteers, and the performers are always very careful to keep things within reasonably safe limits. But if you combine that with the Victorian sex club norms I mentioned, with the "shouldn't have been there" logic of that punk band, with the cruelty that circuses displayed toward animals and performers until very recently, and with the total disregard for safety that's been present in a lot of combat sports (particularly in pre-modern times and in some developing countries today), you get something that would look a lot like Rakdos culture. I could see something like that existing here on Earth in an alternate timeline, so I definitely don't see it as unrealistic in a world that has an institutionalized faction of literal torture demons with 10,000 years of cultural history enshrining its place in society.

    I'm not saying I approve of it, or think it's a sane or moral or healthy arrangement. I'd be a hell of a lot less likely to attend parties if there was a chance I could randomly be dragged on stage and flayed alive at any time! I'm just saying that I can see the twisted logic behind it, and it's honestly not that far off from things we've seen in the real world.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    In the latest story, the Azorius were doing everything in their power to arrest Rakdos cultists for even the most trivial crimes, like graffiti. And they were very quick to crack down on more serious crimes like the production, sale, and usage of blight paper (as much as the protagonists view it as a harmless prank, it is a form of torture). Yet they don't do anything to shut down the actual shows or arrest the performers, despite the fact that those shows feature things you'd expect would be illegal (people being burned, flayed, impaled, and so forth). So the performances themselves must be legal, which seems strange but it was probably one of the conditions of the original Guildpact. Presumably there must be some kind of consent on behalf of the victims, even if it's as broad and specious as "anyone entering the performance zone automatically consents to anything the performers may do to them."
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Quote from DementedKirby »
    If all the walkers have sided (whether directly or indirectly with Bolas), how come the Azorius are trying to hold back the Gruul? Shouldn't they be more worried about the Simic and Rakdos? Also, it would make more sense for the Boros to be stopping the Gruul instead since the Boros are also similar in function to the police of Ravnica.

    I'm guessing that Bolas' plan requires the guilds to be at odds with each other, and it's easier to set up conflict between two groups that are under your control. Bolas' planeswalkers don't necessarily know that all of the other planeswalkers on the plane are working for Bolas too.

    Plus the Azorius and the Gruul are just the most philosophically opposed to each other out of all the guilds, especially with Dovin kicking the Azorius' "law and order by any means necessary" policies into overdrive. As the last story showed, they've been buying up property in the other guilds' territory in an attempt to bring civilization to the more lawless parts of the plane, and I'd imagine that the Gruul would object to that even more than the Golgari or the Rakdos.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    When is the last time a UW Legend get some good heroic treatment? Dovin is Evil, you could say he was ambiguous in Kaladesh but now its confirmed and he is best buds with Tezz. Azor was dismissed by Jace and incompetent who ruined Ixalan, was told to sit down on a worthless island like a kid sent to his room so Jace could get a new gf. Teferi was a sad sack who couldn't do anything without Jhoira and seemed to forget most of his spellbook. Raff? Not especially relevant comic relief. Isperia, an incompetent idiot who let Dovin takeover in record time and who walked into an obvious trap and jobbed out to Vraska worse then Azor did to Jace.

    I am not see this fair and balanced color portrayals. WOTC has had it out for UW Legends in my book since Kaladesh.
    I agree with you when it comes to Dovin's characterization: on Kaladesh, he was perfectly neutral and conpletely focused on doing what, in his point of view, was the right thing. And that made him a fantastic foil for Tez and created and interesting dynamic with the Gatewatch in general, and with Chandra in particular. Making him a full-on bad guy who's best buds with Tez is a major mistake, as it takes away his most interesting characteristic.

    Dovin wants to change Ravnica for the better, or at least what he considers better. He was attracted to the plane because of its law magic, he saw it as a unique opportunity to create a perfect system. He doesn't know that Bolas and Tezzeret are planning to bring in an undead army and kill everyone; it's clear that Bolas has all of his guildmasters working at cross purposes, so I'd imagine that none of them know his full plan (I can't imagine Dovin approving of Domri's actions, and we know that he ends up in a conflict with Ral).

    All five of the Bolas-controlled guildmasters seem to be well-intentioned puppets who are being manipulated. Dovin wants to optimize everything, Kaya wants to living to be free from the control of the dead, Vraska wants to help end the oppression of her people, Domri is justifiably pissed off because the Gruul lands kept getting taken until they had no place left to go, and Ral is apparently working with Niv on some kind of secret project. All of them have understandable and sympathetic motives.

    Also, I'm not sure where you got the idea that he's "best buds" with Tezzeret. They didn't seem to like each other in Kaladesh, and the art book states that he sought out Bolas after Tezzeret's defeat, since he'd somehow figured out that there was a higher power involved. At most he and Tezzeret are reluctant allies since they're both working for Bolas.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Thrull. What are they ?
    So they're basically flesh golems?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Identities of Shards
    Yes, I was planning to do a writeup for Jund to finish out the set. And yes, the traits you've described all seem to be Black, Red, Green, or some mix of the above. Being Black/Red/Green doesn't mean you have to be a barbarian or a savage; Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec is a good example of a modern and fairly positive Black/Red/Green character.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Identities of Shards
    Yeah that's definitely a great example of a White/Red/Green villain
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on New Magic Novella by Brandon Sanderson introducing a new planeswalker
    Do we know what these things are? Did we miss some ancient war where Sorin crushed the Local Religions

    I vaguely recall something from the original Innistrad set about how people on Innistrad used to practice shamanism before the Church of Avacyn, relying on primitive elemental magic to protect themselves from the plane's various horrors. It's not clear if people simply stopping practicing shamanism because Avacyn's divine magic was more effective, or if the Church took a more active role in eliminating the shamans. Either way, Innistrad's witch cults are the lingering remnants of the old religion. I don't think they have anything to do with the entities in this story, though.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Identities of Shards
    I agree that, going by personality alone, Niv Mizzit and Ral Zarek would be Grixis. Likewise, Momir Vig from the original Ravnica block would probably be Sultai. But from a gameplay perspective, having the cards for guild leaders be differently colored than their guilds would be a terrible design mistake. Although I can see Ral having a Grixis card if we ever see him in a non-Ravnica set.

    And yes, I meant Simba from The Lion King, I think I got mixed up because I was using Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist as another example of a White/Red/Green character. :p

    Quote from Mullerornis »
    Zaheer from LOK will forever be the best Naya villain.

    I haven't watched Legend of Korra, I've only seen the original show.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Identities of Wedges
    I'd agree that White is his primary color, but I still see definite shades of Green and Black in his Malthusian view of nature. To put it another way, his willingness to do anything for the greater good is White, but his idea of what the greater good is is Green/Black.

    On that note, I've changed my mind about the MCU version of Dr. Strange being Blue/Red/Green, that color combination fits the Dr. Strange of the comics, but not the movies. After re-watching Infinity War, I have to agree with the people saying he has White and Black traits: It's pretty clear that letting Thanos win is actually part of his plan, and a willingness to sacrifice trillions of people's lives for the sake of an eventual victory is definitely a White/Black approach; it's not really compatible with Red's concern for specific individuals. Thinking it over, I'd say that White/Blue/Black fits better than anything else.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Lore Wise Question: Can Planeswalker's tap lands for mana
    Tapping lands for mana is an abstract representation of the way that mages draw power from their environment. Presumably they can only pull a finite amount of mystical energy from any given area at one time, so a land being tapped symbolizes the fact that all of the mana reserves in an area have been depleted. But the flow of mana naturally replenishes itself over time, even in areas that have been drained, which is why those lands will untap the following turn.

    Azor creating the Immortal Sun isn't the kind of event that can be represented by game mechanics. Casting it for 6 just means that you're using your energy to activate the artifact once it's already in your possession, it doesn't mean that you're creating it from scratch.

    As for planeswalkers not being able to summon the Immortal Sun from another plane, that's just one of the cases where the game's rules don't match the setting. In the game, you can summon anything from anywhere, without any limitations. But in the setting, creatures can't be transported from one plane to another, which is why Bolas needed to orchestrate an elaborate 60 year plot just so he'd have an army that he'd be capable of transporting across the multiverse. Likewise, it seems like artifacts can't be transported between planes unless a planeswalker manually carries them. (But if you really want an in-game representation of Ixalan's events, you could say that Bolas didn't have the Immortal Sun in his deck, which is why he needed to have Tezzeret make a Mastermind's Acquisition to get it into his hand.)
    Posted in: Storyline Speculation
  • posted a message on Identities of Shards
    A quintessential example of a White/Red/Green character would be Wolverine. Depending on circumstance, he can be a savage and near-feral beast of a man driven almost entirely by impulse and emotion (Red/Green), a loyal soldier dutifully defending a small community of people like him (White/Green), or a simple but practical man dedicated to protecting and guiding the people he cares about (White/Red). He's largely guided by his senses, instincts, and intuitions (Green), but he's also prone to almost mindless outbursts of berseker rage when his loved ones are harmed or threatened (Red) – and yet, in spite of his poor temper and brusque demeanor, he still tries his best to maintain and uphold his personal code of honor (White).
    Another White/Red/Green hero would be Ahsoka Tano from the Star Wars expanded universe: Like Qui-Gon, she's an unorthodox Jedi who takes a much more spontaneous approach than the Jedi Code allows (Red). However, Qui-Gon maintains the detached serenity of the Jedi even while simultaneously living in the moment, but rejects the Order's strict moral code in favor of a more flexible approach (keeping Blue and Green but rejecting White), whereas Ahsoka retains the Order's sense of moral universalism but rejects their passivity and calculated utilitarianism in favor of direct action (keeping White and Green but rejecting Blue). Other examples of White/Red/Green heroes include Tarzan, the Disney version of Pocahontos, and Simba from The Lion King.
    Unsurprisingly for the color triad of empathy, it's hard to think of many overtly villainous White/Red/Green characters. One possible archetype would be a Red/Green barbarian chieftain who uses White methods to keep his forces united; Mance Rayder from Game of Thrones is a great example. The Wildlings as a whole are firmly Red/Green, but Mance's White side is evident from his ability to unify hundreds of different tribes under his banner against a common enemy (the Night's Watch), in order to ensure their survival in the face of a common threat (the White Walkers). Another archetype would be a White/Green monster hunter who's driven to fanaticism by Red zealotry and vengefulness; Alexander Anderson, the relentless and near-unkillable vampire hunter who serves as the primary antagonist of Hellsing, exemplifies this archetype to a tee. Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist is an even better example, as he's driven to purge the world of “unholy” magic and to get revenge on the government that committed genocide against his people, but also seeks to preserve the traditions of his culture and protect the few remaining members of his race.
    Yet another villainous archetype would be a White/Red vigilante with a deep streak of Green savagery. The more anti-heroic portrayals of Venom fit into this category: The Venom symbiote is Green to the core, as it's a primordial lifeform that only cares about its own survival – and it survives by feeding off the adrenaline of its host, encouraging them to engage in risky and impulsive behavior and to give in to their instincts. Its host, Eddie Brock, is a delusionally self-righteous vigilante who's determined to enforce his own twisted brand of justice on the world. Despite being a murderous psychopath, I would still consider him White/Red due to his absolute and unwavering conviction that he's doing the right thing and serving the greater good (although in his original, purely villanous portrayal he was more of a Black narcissist who only cared about getting revenge on the people who personally wronged him). Together, they form a composite entity that fights against real and perceived evils with the most brutal methods possible, and hypocritically claims that it's only reluctantly doing “what needs to be done” while clearly relishing every moment of the violence and destruction it causes with gleeful abandon.
    White/Red/Green societies often reflect the ideal of the Noble Savage; less primitive versions tend to be Arcadia-style small town rural communities. The Ewoks from Star Wars and the Na'vi from Avatar are both examples of the former, while the Shire from Lord of the Rings is an example of the latter. They're not always necessarily opposed to technology; the Minutemen from Fallout 4 would be a rare example of a high-tech White/Red/Green faction (although they're still fairly low-tech by the standards of the setting). Zion, the underground city of the human resistance in the Matrix films, is about as large and technologically-advanced as White/Red/Green societies get; the humans living there are devout freedom fighters (White/Red), they maintain a thriving community based around personal loyalties and family ties (White/Green), and they celebrate their independence with massive debaucherous revels (Red/Green).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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