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  1. #1
    Junior Member Harbinger19's Avatar
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    Default Weakest to solo the Valar (Tolkienverse)

    Been reading The Book of Lost Tales, and have often wondered about this one. The combatants are

    1. The Valar at the end of the First Age.
    2. Same as one, but add Morgoth, as he was when he fought Fingolfin.
    3. All of the Valar plus Melkor at full power.
    4. A non-stacked composite of all the Valar.
    5. A stacked composite of all the Valar and all the weaker beings in the Tolkienverse (Maiar, Stone-Giants, Dragons, Eldar, Men, etc. )

    Who could prevail alone in these scenarios?
    Last edited by Harbinger19; 01-02-2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Clarification and changing #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harbinger19 View Post
    Been reading The Book of Lost Tales, and have often wondered about this one. The combatants are

    1. The Valar at the end of the First Age.
    2. Same as one, but add Morgoth, as he was when he fought Fingolfin.
    3. All of the Valar as they were during the first shaping of the world, when they battled with Melkor.
    4. A non-stacked composite of all the Valar.
    5. A non-stacked composite of all the Valar and all the weaker beings in the Tolkienverse (Maiar, Stone-Giants, Dragons, Eldar, Men, etc. )

    Who could prevail alone in these scenarios?
    Someone like the Silver Surfer would no-questions stomp them. No transmutation resistance, no feats for resisting planet-busting forces - they go down trivially.

    They also don't have any real speed feats, nor do they have high-end TP resistance feats, so they at least risk getting quickshotted by any suitable telepath (Xavier ought to take them, for example, and perhaps some weaker folks - J'onn annihilates them due to speed).

    To be honest, someone like Rand al'Thor would take them at least 50% on a quickdraw in Khazan. They aren't shrugging Balefire, and he can spam that instantly, plus he's around CBPH in reaction time (see - catching and incinerating knives and arrows shot/thrown by surprise, kind of the definition of CBPH speed).

    The Valar are tough: they have some pretty massive damage output and the ability to resist same - their battles messed up continents, so they stopped having them, after all. But they totally lack speed feats, lack TP resistance, and certainly aren't particularly close to planet-busting.

    It's just that in comics, there are thousands of named characters who can either top their levels explicitely or who can particularly attack their weaknesses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_adventure View Post
    nor do they have high-end TP resistance feats
    Barrier of Unwill, which is an absolute defense against any entity lesser than the local omnipotent/nigh-omnipotent Creator.

    And if we are doing away with that for the purposes of debate? Sauron just became a fuckton more dangerous than he is usually assumed to be.

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    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    A couple of notes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbinger19 View Post
    2. Same as one, but add Morgoth, as he was when he fought Fingolfin.
    At this point in his career, he doesn't exactly add a ton to them. He's not weak, and given his later feats was obviously holding back to 'hand to hand only', but still.

    3. All of the Valar as they were during the first shaping of the world, when they battled with Melkor.
    They don't change over time, so this is the same as #1.

    5. A non-stacked composite of all the Valar and all the weaker beings in the Tolkienverse (Maiar, Stone-Giants, Dragons, Eldar, Men, etc. )
    The weaker beings don't actually add anything to them without stacking. Even things like Ancalagon the Black aren't much when hooked up to beings who reshape the world when they fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    Barrier of Unwill, which is an absolute defense against any entity lesser than the local omnipotent/nigh-omnipotent Creator.
    Pretty much a no-limits fallacy, don't you think? First, The Valar have no feats for resisting anyone like Xavier (for example). Mind-magic in Tolkien is kind of insidious - it takes time and planning, it preys on existing insecurities, it depends on working furtively, and it doesn't result in totally owning the brain and body of the person in question. It's not "flash-bang I now have control of a whole freaking planet of minds." Second, the Creator isn't anything like omnipotent - creating the old-form world required long effort, singing and god knows what else. "Omnipotent" is "the world exists 'cause I say so, NOW."

    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    And if we are doing away with that for the purposes of debate? Sauron just became a fuckton more dangerous than he is usually assumed to be.
    To whom? To the Valar? Not hardly. Sauron is ALREADY more than a match for anyone still in ME at the time of the Fellowship, but he's nothing compared to one of the Valar, nor to any of the really bad-ass elves from the first age (does anyone think that Feanor or Fingolfin wouldn't have punked him?). I'm not even sure that Sauron would match up particularly well against a number of other Maiar in their true forms.

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    I just want to note that even Gandalf the Grey, who is much more limited than his Valar self, had a nice long badass battle with a Balrog.

    Sharp can handle the rest.
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    Eleventh Reincarnation Siriel's Avatar
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    Well, I certainly hope Sharp will do so because Gandalf isn't, was never and never will be, a Valar.
    Suffering is a fact of life. You survive if you find a reason to endure it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_adventure View Post
    Pretty much a no-limits fallacy, don't you think?
    Hardly.

    It is an essential property of the setting and its components, enforced by the local divinity, along with souls being indestructible.

    No mind, no matter how powerful, can force its way into a smaller mind, no matter how petty, if the weaker mind is unwilling. This is why Morgoth couldn't just rip the secret of Gondolin's location from Hurin's mind and why Sauron had to torture Gollum for thirty or so years to get him to reveal the name of whoever had taken the Ring from him.

    Therefore, the only limit as far as Tolkien was concerned was the divinity itself. Since I accept Tolkien's thoughts in the matter, I think that in order to brute-force things, you would need to bring up something equal to or greater than Eru.

    There is always the possibility of hand-waving it away for debate purposes, as mentioned, but it strikes me as a poor argument. Kinda like taking away Perfect Defenses in an Exalted debate or some of the arguments against the Light Hawk Wings and such.

    Mind-magic in Tolkien is kind of insidious - it takes time and planning, it preys on existing insecurities, it depends on working furtively, and it doesn't result in totally owning the brain and body of the person in question.
    Once again, a conceit of the setting.

    Once unwill has been withdrawn, Sauron shows that he can totally do the puppet thing.

    He took Pippin's hand and bent over his face, listening for his breath; then he laid his hands on his brow. The hobbit shuddered. His eyes closed. He cried out and sat up, staring in bewilderment at all the faces round him, pale in the moonlight.
    'It is not for you, Saruman!' he cried in a shrill and toneless voice shrinking away from Gandalf. 'I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!' Then he struggled to get up and escape but Gandalf held him gently and firmly.
    'Peregrin Took!' he said. 'Come back!'
    The hobbit relaxed and fell back, clinging to the wizard's hand. 'Gandalf!' he cried. 'Gandalf! Forgive me!'
    'Forgive you?' said the wizard. 'Tell me first what you have done!'
    'I, I took the ball and looked at it,' stammered Pippin, 'and I saw things that frightened me. And I wanted to go away, but I couldn't. And then he came and questioned me; and he looked at me, and, and that is all I remember.'
    'That won't do,' said Gandalf sternly. 'What did you see, and what did you say?'
    Pippin shut his eyes and shivered, but said nothing. They all stared at him in silence, except Merry who turned away. But Gandalf's face was still hard. 'Speak!' he said.
    In a low hesitating voice Pippin began again, and slowly his words grew clearer and stronger. 'I saw a dark sky, and tall battlements,' he said. 'And tiny stars. It seemed very far away and long ago, yet hard and clear. Then the stars went in and out they were cut off by things with wings. Very big, I think, really; but in the glass they looked like bats wheeling round the tower. I thought there were nine of them. One began to fly straight towards me, getting bigger and bigger. It had a horrible... no, no! I can't say.
    'I tried to get away, because I thought it would fly out; but when it had covered all the globe, it disappeared. Then he came. He did not speak so that I could hear words. He just looked, and I understood.
    '"So you have come back? Why have you neglected to report for so long?"
    'I did not answer. He said: "Who are you?" I still did not answer, but it hurt me horribly; and he pressed me, so I said: "A hobbit."
    'Then suddenly he seemed to see me, and he laughed at me. It was cruel. It was like being stabbed with knives. I struggled. But he said: "Wait a moment! We shall meet again soon. Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!"
    'Then he gloated over me. I felt I was falling to pieces. No, no! I can't say any more. I don't remember anything else.'
    'Look at me!' said Gandalf.
    Pippin looked up straight into his eyes. The wizard held his gaze for a moment in silence. Then his face grew gentler, and the shadow of a smile appeared. He laid his hand softly on Pippin's head.
    'All right!' he said. 'Say no more! You have taken no harm. There is no lie in your eyes, as I feared. But he did not speak long with you. A fool, but an honest fool, you remain, Peregrin Took. Wiser ones might have done worse in such a pass. But mark this! You have been saved, and all your friends too, mainly by good fortune, as it is called. You cannot count on it a second time. If he had questioned you, then and there, almost certainly you would have told all that you know, to the ruin of us all. But he was too eager. He did not want information only: he wanted you, quickly, so that he could deal with you in the Dark Tower, slowly. Don't shudder! If you will meddle in the affairs of Wizards, you must be prepared to think of such things. But come! I forgive you. Be comforted! Things have not turned out as evilly as they might.'


    It is just that getting a mind to withdraw unwill can be pretty godamn hard. Hence, the whole insidious stuff and such.

    Second, the Creator isn't anything like omnipotent - creating the old-form world required long effort, singing and god knows what else. "Omnipotent" is "the world exists 'cause I say so, NOW."
    Singing was not required. The Ainur seem to have served as a concept randomizer with their Songs, but the act of creation was all Eru and pretty much "the world exists 'cause I say so, NOW".

    Then there was unrest among the Ainur; but Ilúvatar called to them, and said: ‘I know the desire of your minds that what ye have seen should verily be, not only in your thought, but even as ye yourselves are, and yet other. Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be; and those of you that will may go down into it. And suddenly the Ainur saw afar off a light, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame; and they knew that this was no vision only, but that Ilúvatar had made a new thing: Eä, the World that Is.

    To whom? To the Valar?
    No, to any number of beings from other settings and his own. He couldn't mindrape Gondor, strictly because of Barrier of Unwill related concepts.

    Remove that for debate purposes and he can suddenly mindrape Gondor and a whole lot more besides, thanks to some hefty telepathic feats even under the restrictions he operates under.

  9. #9
    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    Singing was not required. The Ainur seem to have served as a concept randomizer with their Songs, but the act of creation was all Eru and pretty much "the world exists 'cause I say so, NOW".

    Then there was unrest among the Ainur; but Ilúvatar called to them, and said: ‘I know the desire of your minds that what ye have seen should verily be, not only in your thought, but even as ye yourselves are, and yet other. Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be; and those of you that will may go down into it. And suddenly the Ainur saw afar off a light, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame; and they knew that this was no vision only, but that Ilúvatar had made a new thing: Eä, the World that Is.
    Correct.

    Ilúvatar basically used the song as a template so that the world would be something special - not just something he, himself came up with, but something outside of his own thoughts. But when he did the thing, it happened.

    Same deal with altering the nature of the entire Universe. When Manwë laid down his rulership of the world and called upon Ilúvatar to deal with the threat of Númenor (not because Manwë was incapable, but because he didn't figure it was his place...also, probably because Manwë's a nice fellow), Ilúvatar basically snapped his fingers and changed not only the world, but the nature of the Universe itself. Boom. Done.

  10. #10
    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siriel View Post
    Well, I certainly hope Sharp will do so because Gandalf isn't, was never and never will be, a Valar.
    Yeah, Olórin wasn't on that level, though he would have been mighty among the Maiar, being a 'peer' of Sauron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    Hardly.

    It is an essential property of the setting and its components, enforced by the local divinity, along with souls being indestructible.

    No mind, no matter how powerful, can force its way into a smaller mind, no matter how petty, if the weaker mind is unwilling. This is why Morgoth couldn't just rip the secret of Gondolin's location from Hurin's mind and why Sauron had to torture Gollum for thirty or so years to get him to reveal the name of whoever had taken the Ring from him.

    Therefore, the only limit as far as Tolkien was concerned was the divinity itself. Since I accept Tolkien's thoughts in the matter, I think that in order to brute-force things, you would need to bring up something equal to or greater than Eru.
    See, this is like saying that so-and-so who is the toughest in such-and-such universe and calls himself "invincible" can't get punched out by Superman (for example) since he's never been punched out before - never mind the fact that nobody has feats better than Batman in such-and-such universe.

    Fact: nobody has crazy TP feats in the Tolkien-verse. By "crazy" feats, I'm talking about weaponizing the thoughts of an entire planet, or mind-controlling worlds - stuff like that.

    Hence, nobody has crazy TP resistance in the Tolkien-verse, since they totally lack feats. You can say that this is because a fundamental property of said verse prevents this kind of thing, but that's like arguing that, for example, Wally West can't speed-steal Captain America since a fundamental property of Marvel is that the f-ing speed force doesn't exist.

    On top of that, the Barrier of Unwill is, at best, inconsistently applied. Witness the Witch King's attack - when pretty much everyone on the battlefield just can't move once he gets his will up and running, despite no explicit lightening of the barrier. But that's pretty much the best mind-domination feat in the stories, and it's LAUGHINGLY short of what Xavier, Cable, Nate Grey, Moondragon, et. al. could pull off, AND none of the Valar actually, you know, resisted it. I'm not saying that they couldn't, jsut that they never did.

    Gollum was broken by pure torture, not by any kind of mind control or telepathy. Now, this could mean that Sauron couldn't crack him, but it could also mean that Sauron just didn't bother trying and left the action to his minions - something he consistently does unless he has no other choice in the matter throughout his entire history. He's a plotter, schemer and manipulator. Now, you could chalk that up to a mighty mind-twister being thwarted by the Barrier of Unwill, or you could just say that Sauron doesn't have any kind of powerful telepathy and that "the barrier of unwill" is just normal willpower being used against really crappy low-end telepathy. That's what the feats say, in any case.

    Also, the Palentirs kind of explicitely bypass a mind's defenses. This let Sauron casually dominate Saruman, whose mind, at least, should be roughly on Sauron's level, given that Curumo was also a maiar peer of Sauron's before getting squeezed into an Istari body.

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    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_adventure View Post
    Also, the Palentirs kind of explicitely bypass a mind's defenses. This let Sauron casually dominate Saruman, whose mind, at least, should be roughly on Sauron's level, given that Curumo was also a maiar peer of Sauron's before getting squeezed into an Istari body.
    He didn't actually casually dominate Saruman. Saruman already had issues with greed, wanting to get more, etc. Going by the depiction, that could have been Sauron's route in, as well as fiddling around with one of the palantiri.

    Additionally, Saruman-the-Istari isn't on the same level as Curumo-the-Maia. We can't assume his resistance to Sauron - mentally - would be the same.

    And the Witch-king's thing had nothing to do with the Unwill business. It was fear, pure and simple, and the Barrier explicitly doesn't prevent the person from being frightened.

    But you're correct about the business regarding the no-limit fallacy. By Rumbles Rules, that's the way it worked. There simply WASN'T anything on the level of the stuff seen in other universes in Lord of the Rings, with regards to telepathy.

    And, sadly, that's me speaking as a huge fan of Tolkien's work.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Harbinger19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    A couple of notes:



    They don't change over time, so this is the same as #1.



    The weaker beings don't actually add anything to them without stacking. Even things like Ancalagon the Black aren't much when hooked up to beings who reshape the world when they fight.
    Sorry, the OP wasn't worded very well. I meant to include Melkor at full power in scenario 3.

    I've edited number 3 and changed number 5 to a stacked composite.

  14. #14
    Astral God Surtur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    There is always the possibility of hand-waving it away for debate purposes, as mentioned, but it strikes me as a poor argument. Kinda like taking away Perfect Defenses in an Exalted debate or some of the arguments against the Light Hawk Wings and such.
    Isn't that how we debate though? Are there things with "perfect defenses" that haven't actually shown that..yet we grant it? As for the LHW's, I've heard it said they supposedly multiply all damage by zero or something. With that said..wouldn't they still be limited to their best feat? So if the LHW's only shrugged off a city buster we wouldn't say it would shrug a planet buster off? I'm pretty sure the LHW's would shrug off a city buster I just used that as an example.

    It doesn't make sense to me to do things any other way, from a feat perspective. Even if the LHW's shrugged off a galaxy buster I wouldn't then say it could tank universal destruction or beyond.
    Last edited by Surtur; 01-02-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    As I recall, the whole x 0 Damage thing was debunked rather thoroughly some time ago, though I'm not an expert on the LHW.

    And yes, that's how we debate.

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