Page 1656 in Little Garden
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By the same author as Grand Line 3.5


1st Nov 2021, 8:05 AM
"Sounds like..."

This is starting to sound like a pretty major series of DM-fiat going on.

Obviously, it's what happened in the show, so this was all going to occur. The particular style for Rika as a DM though was always very expansive and elaborate. She gives a lot of dialogue to her characters, a great deal of backstory about them. When she's confident Dorry, the higher level and superior fighter to Luffy, won't be taken out by a fight she lets the two go at it, rolling dice and using the (very elaborate) rules system the game has to let come what may. She's in control, the outcome is certain, so she lets the dice fall.

Now, though? Luffy makes a strong, emotionally powerful argument-which Rika acknowledges-but no kind of diplomacy roll is made. Luke tries to use the rules of the game to lift or break the object, which are all met with short, curt replies of 'nope.' As quickly as she came up with the massive skull being a Luffy-weight, which without his rubber powers Luffy would probably have died from, it sees strongly like that was preplanned. Almost like the decision that Luffy wasn't going to be able to stop Dorry was always the outcome that was going to happen, dice rolls be damned.
I mean, it's not like there wouldn't be in-game reasons to justify what happened. An object that size would have a massive amount of health, and even with all the damage Luffy could do, the game could easily say that it isn't destroyed until he eats through its huge health pool. However, Rika doesn't react like she's listening to a string of attack and damage rolls, or points out any kind of obvious "it's still got most of its health after all that" statement... It just "doesn't work."
Though, Rika is a new DM, and this entire arc always felt a bit clunky for the show. It matches up surprisingly well, really.

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1st Nov 2021, 9:50 AM

To be fair to game mechanics, there are two different ways to physically break an object. Using attacks on it until you've depleted its HP, or making a Strength check against its Break DC. It's possible Luke did something at the table that made it clear without actually saying so that he was going for Strength vs. Break DC.

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1st Nov 2021, 1:24 PM

It's pretty easy for 3.5 break DCs to outclass what people can accomplish. Even though our main characters here are pretty powerful, at some point we saw their stats were still around what would be expected of 3.5 characters (~18's + probably magic at this point) which means they can't really hit anything higher than a DC ~25 strength check and only on a very high roll.
Even if this task is equivalent to bending iron bars/bursting chains, it's not necessarily something that will be accomplished quickly even with abnormal bonuses on strength checks. I could easily believe a gigantic skeleton of some legendary beast is harder to break than non-magical iron.
As for how this goes in the show, it's the first encounter with giants (and not just regular giants but powerful ones) so it's quite understandable that the crew can't beat them yet. It's just an indicator of the power of people who exists in the setting.

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1st Nov 2021, 2:08 PM

I mean I'm assuming detailed explanations of why it "doesn't work" are simply left out of the comic for brevity, limited panel space and all. The "hmm" is probably meant to indicate a pause in which she considers the roll and the DC before declaring that, indeed, nope.

As for diplomacy: there is as many interpretations for it's rules as there are stars in the sky, but personally I've always been of an opinion that people who are dead-set to a course of action should not be swayed by words, no matter how high your skill is. (And Luffy's skill is not super high anyway.) According to one piece canon, Elbaf's teachings are a Very Big Deal; it frankly would surprise me if just rolling it out was an option here at all.

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