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efreysson
05-19-2010, 03:50 AM
I'm not entirely sure whether this belongs here or in the Research forum but here goes:

My planning-stage fantasy world has an order of super soldiers with vast superhuman strength and endurance called the Flintblades. They carry magical, huge claymore-like swords that can slice through armored soldiers like bananas, and their primary enemies are Giants: 12-30 foot monsters composed mostly of rock and earth.

What I need to figure out is what kind of armor the Flintblades would develop to wear into battle against these things, i.e. what kind of armor best protects against blunt force damage spread over a large area of the body. Think wrecking balls instead of hands.

I have this magical metal that the swords are forged from and can also be used for armor. I might also go with enchanted leather or some other substance. Maybe even enchanted wood, depending on how I decide to design the magic system.

Mr Flibble
05-19-2010, 03:58 AM
Off the cuff answer?

The ability to get out of the way very quickly


IF your giants are slowed because if their capability then your best defence is light armour to evade them , because most armour won't survive a direct hit and any that would, would have severe disadvantages against anything else, like the ability to move.

ClareGreen
05-19-2010, 04:00 AM
The best sort of armour against things made out of rock is not being where it hits. ;)

On a slightly more serious note, one of the ways to deal with a chap in heavy armour was to break enough bones with percussive force that he couldn't move any more. If you have a metal like titanium, full plate might work, but the loss of vision and spatial awareness will be a killer if they can't see the fist coming.

It might be easier to go with something more hoplite in nature (breast/back, vambraces, greaves, hat) and train them to get the heck out of the way.

YMMV. :)

Sue-proof Armour
05-19-2010, 04:09 AM
Well Clare vision depends on how close the eyeslits are to your eyes.

efreyson, your flintblades aren't going to be able to slice through normal plate like a bannna, plate would stop a longbow arrow, crossbow bolts, and early guns, at ravenna the men-at-arms charged at a gallop through the front of a solid pike square and emerged relatively unscathed (Extremely good protection when you keep in mind how that those guys would have been slamming into pike points at around thirty miles an hour) Usasmas mentioned in his memoirs that his running horse jumped over a hedge at a gallop and his lance point had all that weight and speed behind and it slammed into the chest of a mail-armoured frankish knight . . . and the frank was completely unharmed. So go with normal hardened steel full plate, the giants might knock the guy flying but he'll survive the blow. Or have the plate made from the metal that those swords (why do they have to be swords anyway? a one pound warhammer would be a better choice) are made fro, I think you kind of answered your own question there.

Xelebes
05-19-2010, 04:44 AM
Honestly, if they're wielding a two-handed claymore against giant brutes like that, they wouldn't be donning any armor except for any to deal with the elements. They want movement. What armour would you wear if you were fighting off a grizzly, moose, rhino or elephant?

AceTachyon
05-19-2010, 04:55 AM
What armour would you wear if you were fighting off a grizzly, moose, rhino or elephant?
um...powerarmor?

hillaryjacques
05-19-2010, 05:52 AM
Do they have anything mystical that can act as a forcefield or shield? If not, speed would be the best defense.

Sue-proof Armour
05-19-2010, 06:02 AM
Honestly, if they're wielding a two-handed claymore against giant brutes like that, they wouldn't be donning any armor except for any to deal with the elements. They want movement. What armour would you wear if you were fighting off a grizzly, moose, rhino or elephant?


Armour and swords aren't that heavy, even greatswords (claymores and such) rarely weighed more than six pounds.

I would take full plate to the fight against a grizzly, a moose or an elephant. Of course it wouldn't say much for my common sense if I engaged in hand-to-hand with said animals. . .

SPMiller
05-19-2010, 11:53 AM
Nothing could prevent death from even a single strike from a rock monstrosity. Internal trauma from the jerk of the strike would instantly destroy the brain and might pulp other organs. The only way to live is to not get hit. But everyone else has covered that pretty well.

efreysson
05-19-2010, 12:22 PM
efreyson, your flintblades aren't going to be able to slice through normal plate like a bannna, plate would stop a longbow arrow, crossbow bolts, and early guns, at ravenna the men-at-arms charged at a gallop through the front of a solid pike square and emerged relatively unscathed

Superhuman strength + magical indestructable blade= Fully armored knights sliced cleanly in half.

Do they have anything mystical that can act as a forcefield or shield? If not, speed would be the best defense.

Well, they are already inhumanly durable, and obviously getting out the way is the best defense. I'm just looking to give them a little something extra for when dodging fails. Does scale armor provide decent blunt force protection? I have an idea for a really cool looking design.

Kenny
05-19-2010, 03:16 PM
Padded armour might be best in that case. However research flack armour.

MGraybosch
05-19-2010, 07:16 PM
What I need to figure out is what kind of armor the Flintblades would develop to wear into battle against these things, i.e. what kind of armor best protects against blunt force damage spread over a large area of the body. Think wrecking balls instead of hands.

If the Giants are that powerful, I think that even a Flintblade would want to be able to dodge a blow instead of taking one. But if you have magic swords, why not also have magic armor that somehow absorbs the kinetic energy from a blow or redirects it?

RemusShepherd
05-19-2010, 07:36 PM
I too think that evading the attacks is your best option.

But if you want armor... Hmm. I'm thinking out of the box here, but what about a roll cage? A big assortment of struts that form a ball around the knight, and is strapped to his back at the center of the ball. The giants don't have piercing weapons, so nothing's going to poke through the bars of the cage. And if they hit him, he rolls and bounces but eventually comes to a stop unharmed.

Now, whether a medieval/rennaissance society could make a functional roll cage is another question. Another good question is whether you can write a serious combat scene when your protagonists are pinballs most of the time... :)

MGraybosch
05-19-2010, 07:58 PM
But if you want armor... Hmm. I'm thinking out of the box here, but what about a roll cage? A big assortment of struts that form a ball around the knight, and is strapped to his back at the center of the ball. The giants don't have piercing weapons, so nothing's going to poke through the bars of the cage. And if they hit him, he rolls and bounces but eventually comes to a stop unharmed.

How would you swing a sword inside a roll cage?

Lhun
05-19-2010, 09:23 PM
From the sound of it, armor isn't going to work. The point of armor is to prevent piercing/cutting, and to distribute the impact over the whole body area. If you're hit by a man-sized fist, the impact is distributed over the whole body area anyway. While good armor won't hinder them much (especially with superhuman strength) but it won't help either, so it's a waste of money.
I'd say take a look at the way humans hunted big and dangerous animals. The basic idea was to keep your distance, i.e. either use a long spear, or shoot them full of arrows. Superhuman strength wouldn't help much making the spear more effective (though magical metal would) but it helps a lot with using stronger bows.
If you have a metal like titanium, full plate might work, but the loss of vision and spatial awareness will be a killer if they can't see the fist coming.Titanium is not actually harder than steel. It is stronger per weight, but not per volume, and it's softer.

Lydia Sharp
05-19-2010, 10:11 PM
I too think that evading the attacks is your best option.



This is what I was thinking. In the few stories I've written where one of the characters/group of characters uses armor, it is usually deemed useless at some point during the confrontation. Because, in my opinion, the character should rely on his/her brains to get him/her out of the situation and/or win the fight, rather than relying on protection from something material.

But that's just me.

It seems like you've set up something that is pointing to evasion of some sort as the best option, though, and then gaining victory through an unorthodox means.

RemusShepherd
05-19-2010, 10:18 PM
How would you swing a sword inside a roll cage?

The cage goes out as far as your arms; the sword extends beyond that. But pikes would probably be a better choice.

Seriously, though, go with the lightly-armored evasion strategy instead. :)

Hallen
05-19-2010, 10:47 PM
If the Giants are that powerful, I think that even a Flintblade would want to be able to dodge a blow instead of taking one. But if you have magic swords, why not also have magic armor that somehow absorbs the kinetic energy from a blow or redirects it?

That would have been my suggestion if you are intent on having some cool armor.

How do you kill beasties that are mostly rock? They obviously have to be magical in some way too? Figure out how you're going to kill them, and then build an attack/defense strategy out of that.

Kitty Pryde
05-19-2010, 11:11 PM
Anything besides magical armor is going to be comically stupid.

veinglory
05-19-2010, 11:13 PM
The best I can think of is armor that lets them curl up like a pill bug.

SPMiller
05-19-2010, 11:31 PM
But if you want armor... Hmm. I'm thinking out of the box here, but what about a roll cage? A big assortment of struts that form a ball around the knight, and is strapped to his back at the center of the ball. The giants don't have piercing weapons, so nothing's going to poke through the bars of the cage. And if they hit him, he rolls and bounces but eventually comes to a stop unharmed.This wouldn't work, anyway, if for no other reason than that such gigantic opponents could probably strike the cage with such force that the human brain would be ruined by the acceleration. These big guys are made out of rock; the collision would be almost perfectly inelastic.

Aservan
05-20-2010, 02:13 AM
This wouldn't work, anyway, if for no other reason than that such gigantic opponents could probably strike the cage with such force that the human brain would be ruined by the acceleration. These big guys are made out of rock; the collision would be almost perfectly inelastic.

Not necessarily. The point is the force has to go somewhere. If it can't, your organs get gooyfied (totally a word). The best place to send it is into the ground. Dear old mama earth can take a whole bunch of pounding.

The cage that sends the force into the ground works pretty well. If you make it out of magic springy metal then the time factor kicks in and the force is sent into the ground more slowly.

A roll cage is kinda impractical as you couldn't move very well in it. New model space suits are designed like armor though. With all hinged joints you can channel the force out and around the human body, much like the roll cage in your car protects you. If the joints are further reinforced with shocks and struts you could make it absorb an absolutely insane amount of pounding. It'd be heaver then sin, but if you're super strong...

My problem with the get out of the way idea is that it ain't possible unless you want to make your warriors super duper fast. I mean like stupid vampire fast. Anyone who has been in a real hand to hand fight knows that getting out of the way is really frickin hard unless you are in Hollywood (Which has different rules of physics). It's much easier to block then to dodge. You can't block something that out masses you. It doesn't matter how strong you are. It is more so you go flying.

efreysson
05-20-2010, 02:59 AM
If the Giants are that powerful, I think that even a Flintblade would want to be able to dodge a blow instead of taking one. But if you have magic swords, why not also have magic armor that somehow absorbs the kinetic energy from a blow or redirects it?

This could work, actually. A suit of armor with a magical ability to absorb and briefly store kinetic energy. If glanced by a Giant's swipe, a Flintblade then has a few seconds to either stomp on the ground to release the energy or deliver a massively powerful blow.
Heck, it wouldn't even need to be armor. It could just as well be special clothing. Or even magical sigils tattooed on the person's body.

Hmm...



How do you kill beasties that are mostly rock? They obviously have to be magical in some way too? Figure out how you're going to kill them, and then build an attack/defense strategy out of that.

Well they do have organs, deep down. So the usual strategy is to dance around them and damage their limbs with some strong swipes, bring them down, aim for the right spot and then stab the six foot blade all the way in until you hit the heart.

No more giant.

Lhun
05-20-2010, 03:05 AM
The cage that sends the force into the ground works pretty well.Well, the description of "12-30 foot giant made of rock" doesn't sound like a cage would work. The giant would probably just squash the cage including whoever's inside.
If you make it out of magic springy metal then the time factor kicks in and the force is sent into the ground more slowly.Magical springy metal would be a really bad idea, since the human (or superhuman) inside probably isn't springy as well. When the cage spring back into shape, the human inside stays squished.
A roll cage is kinda impractical as you couldn't move very well in it. New model space suits are designed like armor though. With all hinged joints you can channel the force out and around the human body, much like the roll cage in your car protects you.Doesn't work like that. The roll-cage protects you from the car deforming, not the impact force. If the armor is hard, and gets hit, the result would be the human inside being pretty much hit by his own armor, instead of the fist of the giant. Same result though. Armor can only protect against massive impact if it is hard enough and rests against something, transferring the kinetic energy around the human to whatever it rests against. I.e. imagine putting a tin can on the ground and an egg inside. If you kick it, the egg will break. If you stomp down on top, the egg will stay intact. Now imagine stomping down on a soda can instead. The problem with any giant-proof armor is that you have to find one that's hard enough not to end up like the soda can.My problem with the get out of the way idea is that it ain't possible unless you want to make your warriors super duper fast.Well, the soldiers are superhuman after all. But the real point is that a ~20 foot rocky giant's fist sound pretty damn much like an incoming freight train. Doesn't matter if getting out of the way is hard... GTFO or be squished.

Ruv Draba
05-20-2010, 04:20 AM
Definitely: don't get hit or use magic armour. Creatures of earth and stone have to accelerate and decelerate a lot of mass to hit you, so getting out of the way should be easy. If you can get out of the way, the issue isn't what armour you wear, but what weaponry you use to destroy them (explosives? rock chuckers? garden hoses? sand blowers?)

If you really have to hack creatures of rock and stone up close, you'd surely need something more like a mattock or pick-axe -- something with a curved point you could drive in deep, then some way to lever the creatures apart. Perhaps knights with grapnels or mattocks on chains?

Or perhaps knights with little inertia that could get batted around the sky like shuttlecocks, but glide back to wield their grapnels? Or knights whose armour converted blows to heat, gradually glowed redder the more they fought, and fought best in a river? Or perhaps magical armour that linked a knight to a castle, so that the castle would take the blow instead of the knight? Or perhaps armour that turned the knight into a sort of ballistic jelly inside -- able to withstand blunt blows well, but a sucker for being ripped, torn or poked hard with something sharp.

SPMiller
05-20-2010, 04:59 AM
Not necessarily. The point is the force has to go somewhere. If it can't, your organs get gooyfied (totally a word). The best place to send it is into the ground. Dear old mama earth can take a whole bunch of pounding.

The cage that sends the force into the ground works pretty well. If you make it out of magic springy metal then the time factor kicks in and the force is sent into the ground more slowly.

A roll cage is kinda impractical as you couldn't move very well in it. New model space suits are designed like armor though. With all hinged joints you can channel the force out and around the human body, much like the roll cage in your car protects you. If the joints are further reinforced with shocks and struts you could make it absorb an absolutely insane amount of pounding. It'd be heaver then sin, but if you're super strong...

My problem with the get out of the way idea is that it ain't possible unless you want to make your warriors super duper fast. I mean like stupid vampire fast. Anyone who has been in a real hand to hand fight knows that getting out of the way is really frickin hard unless you are in Hollywood (Which has different rules of physics). It's much easier to block then to dodge. You can't block something that out masses you. It doesn't matter how strong you are. It is more so you go flying.You really don't seem to grasp how the physics works here.

MattW
05-20-2010, 05:26 AM
High tensile strength nets (from your magical metal) to tangle and slow them down and mess with their balance, and/or trip wires made of same handled by two or more superstrong soldiers.

Large curved shields to angle or deflect blows, but not absorb outright.

Combined arms approach to knocking them down with ballistae or explosives or alchemical acid, nets and traps to restrain them, pikes and Lucerne hammers to fend them off, dedicated shield bearers to act as screening cover, and some brave souls with magic swords to close the distance quickly and do the dirty work via hit and run.

Speed, agility, tactics, and technology/magic will win over brute strength.

bladestalker
05-20-2010, 07:12 AM
You could always take a page from Marvel Comic's Captain America. His shield an admantium Vibranium composite absorbs kinetic force (not 100%) which allows him to be protected bad for the kinetic force to be rediected (magically in essence). Perhaps your Flintblades coudl do the same with the kinetic force transfered into light or heat. Glowing armour perhaps, or unfortunate knights overheating and broiling in thier armour.

Sue-proof Armour
05-20-2010, 08:52 AM
Superhuman strength + magical indestructable blade= Fully armored knights sliced cleanly in half.




A couched lance from the back of a running horse (=superhuman strength) couldn't get through plate. Don't get me wrong that's your idea and if you wish to write it like that that's great. Even if the blade is indestructible it's still going to bounce off and you'll have one extremely angry man in plate trying to put something pointy through your visor slit.

As for the giants use a giant to kill a giant, if they can make magic swords, than make giant elemental constructs (that are close to giant size that can take a beating from a giant and dish out it) that are controlled by a knight who sits in the chest of the thing.

greedling
05-20-2010, 09:41 AM
Being able to create magic swords doesn't really imply being able to make elemental giant servants. It depends on the characteristics of the magic system.

The qualities of the magical sword do however imply the ability to make magical armour that can stand up to the giants, if said armour is necessary. (I'd find reading about a squishy bloodbag more interesting, but if the armour is important it could be possible.)

So the swords can slice through the giants with ease; that seems to be the most important quality they have. Also the swords are indestructible, which is a good start for armour (since it's never going to physically absorb all that kinetic energy anyway).

To physically do this you'd have to increase the pressure created by the edge of the blade to insane amounts and also selectively increase its inertia (as easy to lift as ever, but it goes straight through instead of bouncing off). That means you could probably enchant the armour so that the person being hit doesn't go flying (also it otherwise feels lighter than if it was made of feathers, if you'd like), which helps with the whole accelerating-so-fast-your-organs-smash-against-your-bones thing. And since you can increase pressure and force and kinetic energy, you might be able to cancel it out - or at least have the metal remain unaffected, and by extension, the wearer.

On the other hand, it'll be harder to explain that to the typical fantasy audience.

(Is a simpler version required? Let's see...)

The metal you make the swords out of are not affected by the force exerted on the blade when you hit the giants (the equal and opposite reaction). So, by extension, why should the armour (made of the same metal) be affected by the force exerted by a giant fist smashing into them?

It probably takes more force/pressure to cleanly slice through the giant than the giant applies with a punch. So I think you could get away with that. The armour might end up too effective for a story, though.

jennontheisland
05-20-2010, 09:47 AM
Stone giants with magic swords against puny humans with no magic and just a bit of armour?

You're fucked no matter what.

Your only way out of this is to balance things somehow. And since it's fantasy a more even distribution of magic seems the most logical. Obviously magic armour is needed to defend against magic swords.

efreysson
05-20-2010, 12:19 PM
As for the giants use a giant to kill a giant, if they can make magic swords, than make giant elemental constructs (that are close to giant size that can take a beating from a giant and dish out it) that are controlled by a knight who sits in the chest of the thing.

No offense, but this is a bit of a recurring problem when asking advice on these forums. People need to structure their answers somewhat around the original scenario in the question, or they'll be suggesting something that would completely change the story or characters.
I'm planning to write about super soldiers; Not fantasy mech-pilots.

Stone giants with magic swords against puny humans with no magic and just a bit of armour?


Uh, no. Stone giants against humans with magic swords and a bit of armor.

jennontheisland
05-20-2010, 06:59 PM
Uh, no. Stone giants against humans with magic swords and a bit of armor.
Watching the stone things shatter into a bazillion shards (since stone is really just a crystal) after being hit by a magic sword could be cool. Might want a face shield though.

Magic swords aren't gong to do anything to prevent the crushing blow of something made entirely out of stone. And no armour will either. Unless it's magic and can create some kind of field that prevents the strike from actually hitting it's wearer since most armour is meant to protect against sharp objects and does virtually nothing to prevent blunt force trauma. Like getting smashed by a big rock.

MGraybosch
05-20-2010, 07:03 PM
Unless it's magic and can create some kind of field that prevents the strike from actually hitting it's wearer since most armour is meant to protect against sharp objects and does virtually nothing to prevent blunt force trauma.

That's why I suggested armor enchanted so that it either absorbs or redirects the kinetic energy behind an incoming blow. I have some tech in my own WIP that does this, as an armored coat can stop a bullet, but not the bullet's kinetic energy. It's new tech; a minor character's daughter earned a place at the University of Tokyo by demonstrating a prototype. :)

jennontheisland
05-20-2010, 07:05 PM
That's why I suggested armor enchanted so that it either absorbs or redirects the kinetic energy behind an incoming blow. I have some tech in my own WIP that does this, as an armored coat can stop a bullet, but not the bullet's kinetic energy. It's new tech; a minor character's daughter earned a place at the University of Tokyo by demonstrating a prototype. :)
It really is the only logical option. And if these puny humans can make magic swords, I see no reason why they can't make magic armour.

RemusShepherd
05-20-2010, 07:38 PM
The armour might end up too effective for a story, though.

Even invulnerable armor can have drawbacks.

"When wearing his armor nothing could hurt him; but neither could he feel love or joy."

Sue-proof Armour
05-21-2010, 01:45 AM
Even if it protected the wearer from the blow a swipe would still the guy flying.

Efreysson you'll need to tone the giants power and size down if you want any sort of way to defeat them. Short of huddling inside a castle (even that would be a fragile defense) and shooting them ballista bolts.

efreysson
05-21-2010, 01:54 AM
Efreysson you'll need to tone the giants power and size down if you want any sort of way to defeat them.

No I don't.

Sue-proof Armour
05-21-2010, 02:01 AM
Well then you're going to have a story where the giants eventually kill every human being. I'm sorry, but that's the truth unless you tone them down they win and that's the end.

efreysson
05-21-2010, 02:34 AM
Well then you're going to have a story where the giants eventually kill every human being. I'm sorry, but that's the truth unless you tone them down they win and that's the end.

Okay, for FUCK'S sake! I don't get it!

Is the problem that you just don't understand the "fantasy" part of "fantasy genre"? I'm very obviously not talking about a real world situation with real world weapons and real world people. Stop bringing up real world issues to explain why MAGIC weapons and armor wouldn't work.

And I'm downright insulted by your statement that I have to tone the bad guys down or they will win and that the only way the story can end. You don't know anything about the story, you don't know anything about my characters, and you don't get to decide what I can or can't write. I CAN write a story about huge, nigh-invincible monsters that eventually get defeated. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of stories feature extremely overpowered enemies that get defeated. Like, say, almost every single high fantasy story.

Please, just stop. You aren't contributing anything that is of any help. And revise your approach to forum posting. The one you have is insulting and doesn't take the genre in question into account.

jennontheisland
05-21-2010, 02:46 AM
Holy fuck dude. Chill.

Fantasy or not, stone crushes bone. There still has to be some kind of physical law that governs the way the world works. I mean, they all walk on the ground right? If they drop something, it will fall? That means gravity works. For example.

MGraybosch
05-21-2010, 02:47 AM
LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of stories feature extremely overpowered enemies that get defeated. Like, say, almost every single high fantasy story.

Gandalf died in the process of killing the Balrog, and he was a frigging angel in disguise if one assumes that Eru is God, the Valar are archangels, and the Maiar are angels. Melkor/Morgoth had to be taken down by the other Valar, even though Fingolfin died with his boots on and left Morgoth with some nice scars. Sauron wasn't defeated by force of arms, but by subterfuge and a miracle. Tolkien only had one of each.

You, on the other hand, have a race of giants at war with humanity. If the human race isn't to go extinct in your fantasy world, they're going to have to get pretty damned creative in their giant-killing methods. Some of us have suggested that you use magic armor that can absorb or redirect the force of a giant's fist. That's the closest you're going to get to reasonably believable giant-resistant armor.

You might be writing fantasy, but you have to consider what the audience is willing to believe. Kinetic energy is junior high-school physics. Any man who has played sports and been protected from a groin shot by a cup knows that even if your nuts don't get crushed, the cup being pushed into you is still going to hurt. Same with getting beaned by a baseball while at bat. The helmet helps, but you're still going to feel it.

Fantasy is not synonymous with "anything goes". Get over it.

efreysson
05-21-2010, 03:04 AM
Some of us have suggested that you use magic armor that can absorb or redirect the force of a giant's fist. That's the closest you're going to get to reasonably believable giant-resistant armor.

Yes. And I'm giving that option some serious thought now. I was only (over)reacting to Sue-proof Armour's blanket statements.


Fantasy is not synonymous with "anything goes".True. But it is synonymous with letting your imagination run free within the constraints of the forces at work in the setting. Which is why sweeping declarations based on very little information bother me.

Paul
05-21-2010, 03:08 AM
Grease 'em up.:)


As a footnote, I think Sue-proof was offering his time and genuine ideas - for free. Hardly warrants such a backlash.

efreysson
05-21-2010, 03:31 AM
Grease 'em up.:)


Hmmm. Naked, grease-covered warriors fighting giants . . .
It would be a unique selling point, at the very least. :)

As a footnote, I think Sue-proof was offering his time and genuine ideas - for free. Hardly warrants such a backlash.True, true. Being flat-out told I can't write something within a very flexible genre just gets me really cranky really fast.

Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to put some thought into the "absorb kinetic energy" thing, but odds are I'll just go with "dodge really fast".

MGraybosch
05-21-2010, 03:33 AM
but odds are I'll just go with "dodge really fast".

What about short-range teleportation? How about illusions that make the giant think that the Flintblade is a few feet away from where he actually is?

MGraybosch
05-21-2010, 03:34 AM
Hmmm. Naked, grease-covered warriors fighting giants . . .
It would be a unique selling point, at the very least. :)

Put 'em in kilts and arm 'em with claymores. FREEEEDOM!! :)

ClareGreen
05-21-2010, 04:47 AM
'Work together' mght be a good one, too.

If they can make magic swords, maybe they can make ropes strong enough for two men - or a trap - to wrap round the giant's legs and bring it down. Speaking of traps, they could specialise in giant-traps. Let the giant's denseness (sorry) work against them, and have the Flintblades trained to use their ingenuity. The special forces in our world are trained for a lot more than open battle - let the Flintblades use everything that comes to hand, not just shiny swords and shiny bits of armour.

MattW
05-21-2010, 05:04 AM
'Work together' mght be a good one, too.

If they can make magic swords, maybe they can make ropes strong enough for two men - or a trap - to wrap round the giant's legs and bring it down. Speaking of traps, they could specialise in giant-traps. Let the giant's denseness (sorry) work against them, and have the Flintblades trained to use their ingenuity. The special forces in our world are trained for a lot more than open battle - let the Flintblades use everything that comes to hand, not just shiny swords and shiny bits of armour.
Add this to my previous post.

Can you give us an idea of what the ratio of humans to giants is when they face off in combat? Do the giants swarm out of the mountains in the dozens? mating pairs? Or do the humans seek them out on an individual basis? To quote Andre the Giant - you use different moves when you fight half a dozen men.

Can they prepare defensive positions in depth, laced with traps? How much warning do they have?

To be honest, I would be more interested to read about this kind of story when a multifaced approach is how the giants are defeated, instead of just a cadre of guys with good armor and swords. You can still have the sword bearers, but now they are the elite, the risk takers, the stonebreakers.

MattW
05-21-2010, 05:18 AM
Also - if the giants are near impossible to defeat, why haven't they killed everyone before? Is the giant threat new? Have they changed or or been driven out of their old homes? were the ultra strong soldier more capable in the past? Have they lost cohesion or unity or some special knowledge?



Just some things to consider as to why the story you are writing takes place in a time of conflict.

Sue-proof Armour
05-21-2010, 09:22 AM
Okay, for FUCK'S sake! I don't get it!

Is the problem that you just don't understand the "fantasy" part of "fantasy genre"? I'm very obviously not talking about a real world situation with real world weapons and real world people. Stop bringing up real world issues to explain why MAGIC weapons and armor wouldn't work.

And I'm downright insulted by your statement that I have to tone the bad guys down or they will win and that the only way the story can end. You don't know anything about the story, you don't know anything about my characters, and you don't get to decide what I can or can't write. I CAN write a story about huge, nigh-invincible monsters that eventually get defeated. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of stories feature extremely overpowered enemies that get defeated. Like, say, almost every single high fantasy story.

Please, just stop. You aren't contributing anything that is of any help. And revise your approach to forum posting. The one you have is insulting and doesn't take the genre in question into account.

Efreysson calm down, I never intended to be insulting. Yes it's fantasy but that doesn't change a thing, the laws of physics still apply and every single high fantasy story was governed by internal consistency and even if they were overpowered the heroes had the sense to not fight them on their own terms. Jut because it's fantasy is not a liscense to be unrealistic. Real world weapons, physics and armour still apply I gave good reasons why magic weapons don't change things that much (do you really, really want to write a whole new set for your story?)

Mara
05-21-2010, 10:40 AM
How about armor that repels the wearer away from the impact, rather than the impact away from the wearer? Basically, a force field that throws the wearer in the same direction as the attack's momentum as it's hitting. (If it's downward, the force field would throw you at an angle and make you "slippery" with regard to the fist impacting you.)

In other words, armor that automatically rolls with the punches. This would be magical, obviously.

Visual Effect: People are getting sent flying through the air, but survive the impacts.

Sue-proof Armour
05-21-2010, 10:58 AM
Even if they survive the impact they're to busy getting knocked around to fight the giants.

Nivarion
05-21-2010, 11:48 AM
Well, I'm going to add in my two bits.

First on cutting the armored man in half. I'm not so sure it could be done. That's a lot of steel to cut, and the force it takes to cut it is higher than the mans inertia. You'd have to deliver all the blow before the inertia could be overcome and its hard to do with human speed. You need speeds like modern firearms to do so reliably.

However, if its a really sharp, really strong blade, you could cut into part of it. You only have to cut three inches into a human torso to kill. If you contrast this with normal swords that just get bounced off, then you could make it quite impressive to someone not familiar with how tough armor was while not pissing off people who are.

As for the armor I would suggest. A very tight, thick hard breast plate, a tight thick helmet, with a gorget. Chances are they aren't going to survive a full on strike coming down on them. However, if they receive a glancing blow or a sideways, forward strike this armor would stop their insides from being smashed and throw them.

This could kill them, or not depending on how tough these soldiers are, but with this, or any armor made for combat, you've got the problem of limbs being bent in ways they aren't supposed to go on landing. The point of armor in the end is to prevent death when you screw up.

And for how to fight these big rock giants. I would avoid strait up confrontation, or individual combat. And when they got close I would get the hell out of the way.

For example, if you know how much they can lift you could wrap one with grappling hooks until its rather immobilized and then go to town with a pick ax or the sword or what have you.

Another way I would do it would be to make some spears with the nigh unbreakable sword technology/magic. Something that big is probably not going to be able to stop very easily. get it to charge and then make it fall on the point of a large spear.

And just a thought, what would happen if you were to drop one in a pit and bury in a soft clay like dirt?

efreysson
05-21-2010, 12:21 PM
Speaking of traps, they could specialise in giant-traps. Let the giant's denseness (sorry) work against them, and have the Flintblades trained to use their ingenuity. The special forces in our world are trained for a lot more than open battle - let the Flintblades use everything that comes to hand, not just shiny swords and shiny bits of armour.

Well, I could use very large pit traps to trip them up.

Add this to my previous post.

Can you give us an idea of what the ratio of humans to giants is when they face off in combat? Do the giants swarm out of the mountains in the dozens? mating pairs? Or do the humans seek them out on an individual basis? To quote Andre the Giant - you use different moves when you fight half a dozen men.


Also - if the giants are near impossible to defeat, why haven't they killed everyone before? Is the giant threat new? Have they changed or or been driven out of their old homes? were the ultra strong soldier more capable in the past? Have they lost cohesion or unity or some special knowledge?


The thing is, the giants are barely sapient, can't talk, and the humans simply don't understand them or what drives them to go on rampages. There have been two instances in the far past where they came streaming out of their land and laid waste to everything in their path, and then went back home without finishing the job.

Today the Flintblades patrol the wast fringes of their country, and usually work alone since only a few survive the transformation. They run into the occasional single giant that comes ambling out of their land in search of destruction, and are usually expected to engage it before it reaches inhabited areas. The exception is when the best is extremely large. Then they either seek out more of their brethren or ride ahead to arrange for a row of catapults.

But unbeknown to everyone the time has come for another mass assault, while the humans are busy fighting among themselves . . .

Lhun
05-21-2010, 03:50 PM
No offense, but this is a bit of a recurring problem when asking advice on these forums. People need to structure their answers somewhat around the original scenario in the question, or they'll be suggesting something that would completely change the story or characters.Well, to be fair, it's equally often the case that someone asks for advice, but apparently doesn't want to change the tiniest bit of the setup he asked about, even when given many different suggestions. In those cases it looks like advice wasn't actually wanted, but just some technobabble to justify what's already set in stone.
If that's not the case for you, i'd suggest looking at how humans hunted bears in medieval times. Super-soldiers vs. unarmed rock-giants is kind of like humans vs. bears. The claymore would probably not be used (against giants) though. Swords are a weapon to use against an armed opponent, they're seriously suboptimal against something that's just big and strong, but unarmed.

MattW
05-21-2010, 03:55 PM
Well, I could use very large pit traps to trip them up.





The thing is, the giants are barely sapient, can't talk, and the humans simply don't understand them or what drives them to go on rampages. There have been two instances in the far past where they came streaming out of their land and laid waste to everything in their path, and then went back home without finishing the job.

Today the Flintblades patrol the wast fringes of their country, and usually work alone since only a few survive the transformation. They run into the occasional single giant that comes ambling out of their land in search of destruction, and are usually expected to engage it before it reaches inhabited areas. The exception is when the best is extremely large. Then they either seek out more of their brethren or ride ahead to arrange for a row of catapults.

But unbeknown to everyone the time has come for another mass assault, while the humans are busy fighting among themselves . . .That's helpful info to frame you original request. Sounds interesting, and like you are at a good point of conflict - I was almost going to suggest having the humans weakened by infighting.

Could the Flintblades also work with a group of normal humans? Or maybe one of the more humble/odd flintblades has a group of regular folks he works with, somehow making him ultra successful when every other Flintblade fights a desperate battle every single time with a high mortality rate?

Again, just thinking of ways this could work. If the mechanics of the equipment/armor don't work to support the concept, use some plot mechanics to do it.

glutton
05-21-2010, 05:44 PM
Yes it's fantasy but that doesn't change a thing, the laws of physics still apply and every single high fantasy story was governed by internal consistency and even if they were overpowered the heroes had the sense to not fight them on their own terms. Jut because it's fantasy is not a liscense to be unrealistic.

Just an observation... reading your responses to Efreysson and in other threads, it seems you have a fairly limited range in how superhuman you can accept a "superhuman" fantasy character to be. If top tier warriors in a particular world are regularly portrayed as being able perform such feats as shear a fully armored knight in half and still have enough behind the blow to kill another man in plate beside him, catch *unseen* crossbow bolts fired from point-blank range, weave through a full company's volley of arrows while taking only relatively minor injuries, shrug off a stomp by a 100 ton dragon with steel-hard scales, and get impaled through five vital organs including the heart and live, wouldn't that be internally consistent? Those are some feats BTW of one of my characters who isn't even the strongest or fastest in her world, although she probably is the most durable...

Zoombie
05-21-2010, 05:50 PM
As a personal thing, it'd be DAMNED straining my belief.

I mean, the frekken Terminator would have a hard time surviving that stuff, Glutton.

As for fighting these giants, I kind of like the magical armor that repels the wearer away from the blow.

Or...maybe, we're thinking about this the wrong way.

Maybe its not better armor you need, but a way to make the Flintblades weaker, even if it were only for a time. Maybe humans could find some kind of toxin or poison that slows or weakens them for a time and gives humans at least somewhat a fighting chance.

glutton
05-21-2010, 06:01 PM
Well, the characters in that and some of my other worlds are meant to be of the "challenge the gods and shake the heavens" types. The one in question once killed about 500 ogres and a few dozen bigger, more powerful monsters by herself in a single battle, while taking heavy wounds; one of her faster and more vicious rivals outdoes her with a slaughter of over 1000 human soldiers with little damage to himself. :)

Zoombie
05-21-2010, 06:08 PM
Ah, so demigods. I can run with demigods.

Another idea: If they're big and only semi-sentient, you should look into traps and hunting techniques. Stuff like that.

jennontheisland
05-21-2010, 07:09 PM
How about armor that repels the wearer away from the impact, rather than the impact away from the wearer? Basically, a force field that throws the wearer in the same direction as the attack's momentum as it's hitting. (If it's downward, the force field would throw you at an angle and make you "slippery" with regard to the fist impacting you.)

In other words, armor that automatically rolls with the punches. This would be magical, obviously.

Visual Effect: People are getting sent flying through the air, but survive the impacts.
So I'd get sent flying through the air in the middle of battle, and if an attack was coming from behind my magic armour would propel me away without me knowing the trip was going to happen?

Even ignoring the force issue and the fact that it's still a human being tossed around, whether by magic or by a giant stone fist (srsly, fizzix, you can't ignore it) I'm not sure I'd want to be sent on unscheduled trips in the middle of a melee.

MGraybosch
05-21-2010, 07:11 PM
I'm not sure I'd want to be sent on unscheduled trips in the middle of a melee.

Neither would I. If I'm fighting for my life, I don't have time to be a human pinball.

Mishell
05-21-2010, 09:09 PM
Seems to me the simplest answer is armor that would sort of "auto-avoid." Combine the best of the "deflecting force" and "get the hell out of the way" approaches. And kind of martial-artsy, like Wing Chun kung fu which is about moving in such a way that the bigger guy uses his own momentum against himself. Only the armor does it by magic; no need for the human to use his own brain to figure out which way to deflect/dodge. The armor "senses" the incoming force and deflects it and moves the person in it at the same time.

Hallen
05-21-2010, 09:32 PM
Be very wary of making your tough guys too tough. Superman is frigging boring so you get kryptonite sprouting like cabbage. Spiderman is intense. If the reader knows the Flintblades can handle these giants easily, then it makes for a dull story. If the giants are too powerful, you'll end up having to pull something out of your a$$ to make it work.

I like the avoid technique. If these guys get hit square on, they're going to get hurt or die. There has to be major risk for them or the story won't be interesting. I would make a way cool spear of some kind or a special weapon specifically for killing the beasties. The chisel of death, so to speak. Something specifically designed to cut through rock and enable the user to deploy the weapon without getting smashed.

If your magic armor provides some level of protection like described, but also enables speed and agility in the wearer, then I think you have something cool. Make it come at a cost: decreased life length, uses up all energy reserves, gives them crotch rot, something to make it a use only when you positively have to feature.

ottomadenedamotto
05-21-2010, 10:45 PM
Here's an alternative option. The heroes could just use whatever armor people are using to fight other people. It might make things more suspenseful if they're totally ill-equipped to fight the giants in the first place.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 12:23 AM
First on cutting the armored man in half. I'm not so sure it could be done. That's a lot of steel to cut, and the force it takes to cut it is higher than the mans inertia. You'd have to deliver all the blow before the inertia could be overcome and its hard to do with human speed. You need speeds like modern firearms to do so reliably.


Ah. So, a swing powerful enough to cut a man in half would actually send him flying before the blade could get through him? I hadn't factored that. This will change the feel of the fights a bit.

And just a thought, what would happen if you were to drop one in a pit and bury in a soft clay like dirt?Well, they don't breathe, so I imagine one would eventually dig itself out.


If that's not the case for you, i'd suggest looking at how humans hunted bears in medieval times. Super-soldiers vs. unarmed rock-giants is kind of like humans vs. bears. The claymore would probably not be used (against giants) though. Swords are a weapon to use against an armed opponent, they're seriously suboptimal against something that's just big and strong, but unarmed.

I would make a way cool spear of some kind or a special weapon specifically for killing the beasties. The chisel of death, so to speak. Something specifically designed to cut through rock and enable the user to deploy the weapon without getting smashed.Hmm. Well, I'm keeping the swords, since the Flintblades also fight humans on occasion, but maybe I could add a gigantic maul to their arsenal. One made from the same material as the swords.

Be very wary of making your tough guys too tough. Superman is frigging boring so you get kryptonite sprouting like cabbage. Spiderman is intense. If the reader knows the Flintblades can handle these giants easily, then it makes for a dull story. If the giants are too powerful, you'll end up having to pull something out of your a$$ to make it work.

I know. Invincible heroes are boring. A Flintblade may not have much to fear from a single swordsman, but a row of pikemen can be a problem and a row of archers is obviously a MAJOR problem. And the fights with the giants are drawn out and harrowing.

Sue-proof Armour
05-22-2010, 12:50 AM
Just an observation... reading your responses to Efreysson and in other threads, it seems you have a fairly limited range in how superhuman you can accept a "superhuman" fantasy character to be. If top tier warriors in a particular world are regularly portrayed as being able perform such feats as shear a fully armored knight in half and still have enough behind the blow to kill another man in plate beside him, catch *unseen* crossbow bolts fired from point-blank range, weave through a full company's volley of arrows while taking only relatively minor injuries, shrug off a stomp by a 100 ton dragon with steel-hard scales, and get impaled through five vital organs including the heart and live, wouldn't that be internally consistent? Those are some feats BTW of one of my characters who isn't even the strongest or fastest in her world, although she probably is the most durable...

Just an aside, what is it with people and this knight bashing thing? Yes I have limited view of superhuman, because A. They're boring and overpowered B. If I want some Uber-Killing Machine I'll read a Marvel comic. I want to read about an experienced professional soldier who wins via his training and brains I don't want to read about The Hulk. It's not so much internally consisent as extremely overpowered IMHO. If you want to write that way that's great, I've said that here and in other threads.

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 01:17 AM
Just an aside, what is it with people and this knight bashing thing? Yes I have limited view of superhuman, because A. They're boring and overpowered B. If I want some Uber-Killing Machine I'll read a Marvel comic. I want to read about an experienced professional soldier who wins via his training and brains I don't want to read about The Hulk. It's not so much internally consisent as extremely overpowered IMHO. If you want to write that way that's great, I've said that here and in other threads.

I agree. I'll also go further and say that if you must center your story around a character who's incredibly powerful in the physical realm, then you'd better challenge him by screwing with his head. If you can't kill him, then break his frigging heart at every opportunity.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 01:29 AM
I agree. I'll also go further and say that if you must center your story around a character who's incredibly powerful in the physical realm, then you'd better challenge him by screwing with his head. If you can't kill him, then break his frigging heart at every opportunity.

Uh, you challenge them by pitting them against antagonists who are even MORE incredibly powerful. Almost all action-oriented fiction does this.

Sue-proof Armour
05-22-2010, 01:33 AM
That doesn't nessesarily make it a good idea, almost all generic fantasy has elves in it but that doesn't really improve the generic fantasy story.

Sue-proof Armour
05-22-2010, 01:33 AM
If you can't kill him, then break his frigging heart at every opportunity.


Dresden Files anyone?

blacbird
05-22-2010, 01:36 AM
Maybe you should go for smaller giants.

caw

AceTachyon
05-22-2010, 01:41 AM
Uh, you challenge them by pitting them against antagonists who are even MORE incredibly powerful. Almost all action-oriented fiction does this.
I gotta go with MGray on this.

Yes, Superman will need someone like Doomsday to challenge him mano a mano. In order for Supes to even break a sweat, he needs someone who can equally crush a mountain with thumb and forefinger.

But here's where the drama comes in. That same baddie can swat Supes and toss him into a 747 flying nearby. Is Supes gonna let the people on that plane die? And stop super baddie? At the same time?

That's were the story of Supes comes in.

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 01:41 AM
Just an aside, what is it with people and this knight bashing thing? Yes I have limited view of superhuman, because A. They're boring and overpowered B. If I want some Uber-Killing Machine I'll read a Marvel comic. I want to read about an experienced professional soldier who wins via his training and brains I don't want to read about The Hulk. It's not so much internally consisent as extremely overpowered IMHO. If you want to write that way that's great, I've said that here and in other threads.
Yet another version of Mary Sue.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 01:42 AM
That doesn't nessesarily make it a good idea, almost all generic fantasy has elves in it but that doesn't really improve the generic fantasy story.

Not a good idea to have the antagonists be more powerful than the protagonists in order to give the struggle intensity?

What? Seriously, what?

I simply cannot fathom what kind of logic leads you to that conclusion. And it has nothing to do with fantasy. Almost all stories have the heroes at a disadvantage to make things more thrilling.

I am completely baffled.

Sue-proof Armour
05-22-2010, 02:16 AM
I meant that giving people to much power is not nessesarily a good idea (I probably could have phrased that better) For example your giants are simply to big and to powerful you need to make them flesh and blood and tone down their size, no one will think less of you if do that. Otherwise your story is going to have a very depressing ending (The extinction of ones own race would do that) What's wrong with ten feet tall?

efreysson
05-22-2010, 02:35 AM
I meant that giving people to much power is not nessesarily a good idea (I probably could have phrased that better) For example your giants are simply to big and to powerful you need to make them flesh and blood and tone down their size, no one will think less of you if do that. Otherwise your story is going to have a very depressing ending (The extinction of ones own race would do that) What's wrong with ten feet tall?

. . .

Okay . . .

There you go again telling me how my story must be and how it must inevitably end.

Please don't. It's obnoxious.

Let me make this as clear as I can: Your own personal vision of how the plot would logically progress and end is not the only one that can possibly exist. It's MY story. I'm the one who knows what kinds of twists and turns it's going to have, and what the protagonists are capable of. The enemies are not overpowered if the heroes are powerful enough to take them on. Fantasy is not about realism, it's about internal consistency.

Please don't state your opinion as fact.

Don't.

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 02:48 AM
Uh, you challenge them by pitting them against antagonists who are even MORE incredibly powerful. Almost all action-oriented fiction does this.

And that's what you want to write? Action-oriented fiction? Or would you like to aspire to more than that and create memorable characters who live on in your reader's memories after they've finished reading your book?

If the Iliad were just about Achilles kicking lots and lots of Trojan ass, it would probably be long-forgotten. Instead, it was a fucking tragedy. The first tragedy was that Paris thought with his dick and gave the apple to Aphrodite. The second tragedy was that Achilles was more concerned with his own pride than he was with winning the war so that he and his Myrmidons could go home. His pride ends up killing a shitload of his fellow Greeks because Hector leads the Trojans to victory after victory while Achilles sulks in his tent. It gets Achilles' best friend, Patroclus, killed when when Achilles lends his armor to Patroclus and says, "I am not willing to fight for the Greeks, so wear my armor and fight in my place."

Sure, Achilles eventually fights his counterpart, Hector, and kills him to avenge Patroclus. But Patroclus and thousands of others might have survived the war if Achilles could swallow his pride and of Agamemnon wasn't such a dick. The war itself could have been avoided if Paris had given the apple to either Athena or Hera.

Don't neglect the psychology of your characters. Don't depend on mere physical action. If you reach beyond the physical, and into the mental and emotional aspects of your story, you can do some epic work.

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 03:00 AM
Fantasy is not about realism, it's about internal consistency.

It's not about internal consistency, either. Internal consistency is a means to an end. Fantasy is about people.

The Sumerians had Gilgamesh. The Greeks had the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Romans had the Aeneid. The people of Northern Europe had Beowulf. The Hindus had the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana. Pre-Renaissance Italy had the Divine Comedy.

We have fantasy. That's where we go for epics that tell us about ourselves through metaphors. That's where we get our mythology, because the old myths and the old gods just aren't good enough any longer.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 04:16 AM
Don't neglect the psychology of your characters. Don't depend on mere physical action. If you reach beyond the physical, and into the mental and emotional aspects of your story, you can do some epic work.

I. Don't. Understand. Your. Thought. Process.

Step One: You complained about heroes being too powerful.
Step Two: I responded that it's fine because the villains are MORE powerful.
Step Three: You somehow make the leap from that to assuming I'm just writing braindead action and lecture me about drama?

What? You seem to be making up conversations with me inside your head.

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 04:18 AM
I. Don't. Understand. Your. Thought. Process.

Sorry, Mr. Shatner; I didn't know I was talking to a famous actor. :)

Step One: You complained about heroes being too powerful.
Step Two: I responded that it's fine because the villains are MORE powerful.
Step Three: You somehow make the leap from that to assuming I'm just writing braindead action and lecture me about drama?

It doesn't matter how powerful your villains are if the reader cannot relate to either your heroes or your villains.

What? You seem to be making up conversations with me inside your head.

Actually, I'm arguing with my cat. At least I'm trying to.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 04:31 AM
It doesn't matter how powerful your villains are if the reader cannot relate to either your heroes or your villains.



Okay stop. Just stop. You don't know my writing style, you haven't seen a draft of the story, you don't know how my action/characterization ratio is, you don't know what kind of personalities my characters have, you don't know what kind of audience I'm targeting, you don't know a damn thing except that SOME of my characters are very powerful.
STOP making leaps of logic and tangled arguments that come out of nowhere and lead nowhere.

Fulk
05-22-2010, 04:32 AM
The best I can think of is armor that lets them curl up like a pill bug.

So...Like Samus Aran from Metroid?

ClareGreen
05-22-2010, 04:42 AM
There's a vicious cycle when it comes to power. I'm not suggesting that it's what's going on, but here's how it runs.

1. The heroes are powerful.
2. Therefore the villains must be more powerful.
3. So the heroes have to get souped up to deal with the villains.
4. So the next batch of villains gets even stronger.

Repeat 3 and 4 until they're whaling on each other with thermonuclear hand grenades and shrugging off everything else.

While you can indeed write some great fantasy about the super-powerful super-man versus the evil Army-o'-Doom, it's sometimes more potent to cut back on the power levels.

If Archmage Zapp can level a city by snapping his fingers, it becomes really, really hard to challenge him without laying waste to the world. If the best he can manage is a house, that's much more easy to work with. I never could stand Superman, partly because he was whiter than white, but mostly because his single weakness was scattered around like confetti.

If your Flintblades can only create one of their magic blades by sacrificing an innocent virgin to the God of the Forge (or using the life-energy to transmogrify the steel into adamant, or whatever), suddenly there's a whole lot more going on than 'magical warriors, rock giants, round one, fight!'. There's the moral quandary, there's the reactions from different parts of the populace, and there's the horror of breaking or losing a blade. To get another, you're going to have to do something unspeakable...

glutton
05-22-2010, 05:12 AM
. . .

Okay . . .

There you go again telling me how my story must be and how it must inevitably end.

Please don't. It's obnoxious.

Let me make this as clear as I can: Your own personal vision of how the plot would logically progress and end is not the only one that can possibly exist. It's MY story. I'm the one who knows what kinds of twists and turns it's going to have, and what the protagonists are capable of. The enemies are not overpowered if the heroes are powerful enough to take them on. Fantasy is not about realism, it's about internal consistency.

Please don't state your opinion as fact.

Don't.

Agreed 110%. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

It is indeed incredibly obnoxious.

glutton
05-22-2010, 05:20 AM
And yeah, I don't understand the leaps of logic and sweeping assumptions some people make on this (and other) sites at all... :(

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 06:07 AM
Okay stop. Just stop. You don't know my writing style, you haven't seen a draft of the story, you don't know how my action/characterization ratio is, you don't know what kind of personalities my characters have, you don't know what kind of audience I'm targeting, you don't know a damn thing except that SOME of my characters are very powerful.
STOP making leaps of logic and tangled arguments that come out of nowhere and lead nowhere.

My wife gets to command me. You, on the other hand, can bloody well learn to say "please".

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 06:08 AM
There's a vicious cycle when it comes to power. I'm not suggesting that it's what's going on, but here's how it runs.

1. The heroes are powerful.
2. Therefore the villains must be more powerful.
3. So the heroes have to get souped up to deal with the villains.
4. So the next batch of villains gets even stronger.


You know, that sounds very familiar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh%C5%8Dnen_manga).

MGraybosch
05-22-2010, 06:10 AM
So...Like Samus Aran from Metroid?

http://imgur.com/1eBn4.jpg (http://imgur.com/1eBn4.jpg)

Sue-proof Armour
05-22-2010, 09:25 AM
Agreed 110%. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

It is indeed incredibly obnoxious.


MGray already adressed the internal consistency part. If you wish to write like that, that's great. I've said that several times now.

As for my opinion I never stated it as fact, please don't twist around and put things in my mouth that I didn't say. Thank you.

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 09:32 AM
Very little posted around here is fact. It's pretty much all opinion.

Best way to tell...

Look to the bluish-grey box next to the post. See the name there? Whatever's in the light coloured box is the opinion of the person whose name is to the left of it.

It's rarely fact.

Except for the fizzix. You just can't get away from the fact that gravity works.

RemusShepherd
05-22-2010, 11:14 AM
And that's what you want to write? Action-oriented fiction? Or would you like to aspire to more than that and create memorable characters who live on in your reader's memories after they've finished reading your book?

Well, let's be fair. A story can be both.

I like the idea of gigantic, unstoppable rock monsters as an enemy, and I'd love to see how the good guys are going to stop them.

But that kind of power imbalance does make it *harder* to write. Magic swords open up all kinds of continuity questions about what else the magic could be applied to. And armor is going to be difficult to make believable. But not impossible, if the author wants the challenge.

efreysson
05-22-2010, 01:38 PM
But that kind of power imbalance does make it *harder* to write. Magic swords open up all kinds of continuity questions about what else the magic could be applied to. And armor is going to be difficult to make believable. But not impossible, if the author wants the challenge.

I DO want the challenge. :)

Anyway, I appreciate the helpful input. Here's what I've arrived at:

-Light armor when fighting giants, mostly intended to protect from rubble thrown up by a giant's missed blows.
-Flintblades are inhumanly quick and trained to dodge giant attack.
-Heavy, magical armor used when battling humans, when dodging is less important.
-A series of very large pit traps dug in the areas where giants are most often spotted.
-A series of catapults and ballistae in any fort or large settlement near the giant lands.
-Flintblades carry huge mauls as well as swords.
-A sophisticated messenger system to round up the resources necessary to deal with an incoming giant.

I think that's all I need. Thanks again.

bladestalker
05-22-2010, 02:03 PM
There's a vicious cycle when it comes to power. I'm not suggesting that it's what's going on, but here's how it runs.

1. The heroes are powerful.
2. Therefore the villains must be more powerful.
3. So the heroes have to get souped up to deal with the villains.
4. So the next batch of villains gets even stronger.

Repeat 3 and 4 until they're whaling on each other with thermonuclear hand grenades and shrugging off everything else.


This can be done very very effectively. I'd reccomend Elizabeth Moon's Sheepherder's Daughter series. In which a young sheep herder progresses from a new recruit in a mercenary company to a paladin to the avatar of a god of order. The escalation in power progresses along with the character's idiological maturity and training.

Very well done.

FOTSGreg
05-23-2010, 12:22 AM
If you're trying for any kind of realism, those 12-30 ft giants aren't moving very fast and they're extremely heavy. Check the square/cube law for how heavy anything remotely humanoid is going to be at that size.

Smart opponents will lure such monstrosities into areas where their weight will work against them. oft earth or marshy areas will trap them like flies. Their being made of rock in the first place makes things worse. Human flesh weighs on the order of 1 gm/cm^3, but rock can be upwards of 2.7 gm/cm^3. Their individual weights will be huge in comparison to their surroundings or opponents and they'll have trouble walking on anything except solid-packed earth or rock as they'll sink into it like it was mud. f it actually is mud, they'd be in real trouble (remember the mounted French knights at Agincourt).

Your Flintblades might be masters of the lure and ambush (enrage and decoy then engage and destroy) - fast, devious, smart, and deadly in the final confrontation.

Much easier, and a lot more believable than some kind of superhumanly strong individual with superpowers and weaponry.

Nivarion
05-24-2010, 11:55 AM
I'm going to say, As some one who also writes with super strong characters it can be done. It just gets more difficult the stronger the character gets. Or the smarter.

But I like the idea of lone super soldiers going up against an enemy they couldn't hope to beat and winning.

Huh. Does that remind anyone of any video games that have been uberly popular?

AAAAAAANYways.

I think everyone needs to take a breather and give themselves a minute before they post. I don't think anyone is trying to be insulting, but they're not trying to be too careful either. Just one unfortunate side effect of the interwebs. You loose a few of the ways of telling what someone is actually trying to say.

efreysson
05-24-2010, 01:32 PM
I
Huh. Does that remind anyone of any video games that have been uberly popular?


Most of them? :)

Nivarion
05-25-2010, 07:04 AM
Most of them? :)

:D I was actually thinking halo, but I guess most of them do fall into that.