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Growing irritations w Dresden series Spoilers ALL BOOKS SPOILERS

#21 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:09 PM

View PostAndorion, on 21 August 2014 - 06:04 PM, said:

I would say being inconspicuous is not really his priority here.


But why wouldn't it be? Especially if there's somebody else's life on the line you would think that he could put aside his need to be flashy.
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#22 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:17 PM

I don't think its his need to be flashy per se, but rather thats the way he thinks. Dresden can be a bit set in his ways. But he makes flashy work I could give you an example, but that would depend on how far you have read. Have you read past changes?
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#23 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:24 PM

I've read all the books, though quite a while ago so I don't remember that much. But it always irritated me how inflexible Harry was, especially since usually other people's lives depended on his actions.
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#24 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:39 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 21 August 2014 - 06:24 PM, said:

I've read all the books, though quite a while ago so I don't remember that much. But it always irritated me how inflexible Harry was, especially since usually other people's lives depended on his actions.


WARNING SPOILERS BELOW SPOILERS FOR DRESDEN FILES ESPECIALLY AFTER BOOK 5 SPOILERS

ok, its been some time since my last read as well,
Spoiler


Another factor about why he isn't really stealthy is in my opinion because most of his opponents could probably see through his potions. A lot has been said about how cheap and easy these potions are, but if they were effective to an equivalent degree, then everybody would be using them.
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#25 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:06 PM

I'll give you that in the later novels Harry gets significantly smarter. And his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to get the job done, well, I can't blame him for that. But I do not like the fact that he doesn't change his tactics when other people's lives are on the line. It's one thing to sacrifice yourself, but what if it's not enough? I prefer the 'whatever gets the results' approach. But then again, I've done that character test from the other thread and apparently I'm 1. Marcone 2. Nicodemus, so it may be that me and Harry are just polar oposites in how we think ;-)

One example from the Blood Rites as accurate as I remember it: (SPOILER BLOOD RITES OF COURSE)
Spoiler

What the hell, Harry?

The potions... well, sometimes they would work, sometimes they wouldn't. But he doesn't try unless the plot demands it. The one that made him super fast/almost teleport could be useful for many situations. Instead, he gets caught all the time.
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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:26 PM

Iirc, there are limits on what potions can do, they can break, not work, expire and iirc not work properly, i think Harry mentions that for the most part magic can do the same things faster and more reliably.
The escape potion he used in one of the early books took hours to make only a single potion with enough for two people to use once.

There's a bit more to it but i won't spoil books beyond what the OP has read.

As for that bit in RITES, Harry didn't trust McCoy to have his back or himself to have McCoy's back.
PUST: Go forth, Hounds of Life! Go forth and do my bidding!
CHASE: (quietly) I dunno pups... he seems to be bidding us to hurt a bunch of people.
MARSHALL: So? I mauled Mayor Humdinger's face and set him on fire that one time and he was totally fine the next week.
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#27 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

Yeah that McCoy spat was one of the things that jumped out at me as a contrivance to get rid of McCoy than how an actual human being would act. To me having a blackstaff makes perfect sense, hell I'd say they should more of them. I felt Butcher needed Mccoy out of the way so came up with a reason. Ha at those Cat Pics Abyss, that's exactly how my friends react at my dislike of Murphy. I don't get the love. She's annoying as hell...
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#28 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:46 PM

View PostAbyss, on 21 August 2014 - 07:26 PM, said:

Iirc, there are limits on what potions can do, they can break, not work, expire and iirc not work properly

So do parachutes. But when going skydiving, it's still nice to have a secondary one.

Quote


The escape potion he used in one of the early books took hours to make only a single potion with enough for two people to use once.

If I remember correctly, Harry states in the first book that making potions is his hobby, so he wouldn't have to go out of his way to make some and then store them in some kind of vials for the darkest hour.



Quote

As for that bit in RITES, Harry didn't trust McCoy to have his back or himself to have McCoy's back.

I find this a very selfish attitude considering what is at stake here. By not maximizing his chances of success, be it additional help or elixirs, he jeopardizes lives of others. It is foolish but heroic when he is the only one in danger. But when he fights against overwhelming forces and other people may die as a direct consequence of his actions that is plainly selfish.
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#29 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:32 PM

View PostMcardle, on 21 August 2014 - 07:39 PM, said:

... Ha at those Cat Pics Abyss, that's exactly how my friends react at my dislike of Murphy. I don't get the love. She's annoying as hell...


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...okaaayyyyyyyyyyy....

View PostSecond Sword, on 21 August 2014 - 07:46 PM, said:

...If I remember correctly, Harry states in the first book that making potions is his hobby, so he wouldn't have to go out of his way to make some and then store them in some kind of vials for the darkest hour.



you recall correctly and i don't want to spoil later books so i'll leave it at then he had less time to spend on it and/or Butcher forgot that point :rolleyes:

Quote

Quote

As for that bit in RITES, Harry didn't trust McCoy to have his back or himself to have McCoy's back.


I find this a very selfish attitude considering what is at stake here. By not maximizing his chances of success, be it additional help or elixirs, he jeopardizes lives of others. It is foolish but heroic when he is the only one in danger. But when he fights against overwhelming forces and other people may die as a direct consequence of his actions that is plainly selfish.


You prefer your heroes unemotional, infallible and unfailingly logical, best try a different series i suspect.
PUST: Go forth, Hounds of Life! Go forth and do my bidding!
CHASE: (quietly) I dunno pups... he seems to be bidding us to hurt a bunch of people.
MARSHALL: So? I mauled Mayor Humdinger's face and set him on fire that one time and he was totally fine the next week.
CHASE: Good point. (louder) OK pups, Paw Patrol is on a roll!
PUST: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???
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#30 User is offline   HiddenOne 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:59 PM

I heard about a guy named Spock once that was just that kind of hero
HiddenOne. You son of a bitch. You slimy, skulking, low-posting scumbag. You knew it would come to this. Roundabout, maybe. Tortuous, certainly. But here we are, you and me again. I started the train on you so many many hours ago, and now I'm going to finish it. Die HO. Die. This is for last time, and this is for this game too. This is for all the people who died to your backstabbing, treacherous, "I sure don't know what's going on around here" filthy lying, deceitful ways. You son of a bitch. Whatever happens, this is justice. For me, this is justice. Vote HiddenOne Finally, I am at peace.
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#31 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:04 PM

View PostAbyss, on 21 August 2014 - 08:32 PM, said:

you recall correctly and i don't want to spoil later books so i'll leave it at then he had less time to spend on it and/or Butcher forgot that point :rolleyes:

I don't really remember what you're alluding to specifically, but it is true that in the last few books he is quite busy and the elixirs wouldn't make that much of a difference anyway, not with the oponnents he faces.
Still, the detective work from earlier novels would be easier. And he wouldn't get caught so much. I think that Butcher had a good idea with the elixirs, but made them too powerful and thus unusable.

Quote


You prefer your heroes unemotional, infallible and unfailingly logical, best try a different series i suspect.

If anything, Harry is the infallible one. For most of the series, hist 'strategy' is to charge and hope for the best. Which is what usually happens, with an occasional dramatic sacrifice now and then.
I would prefer somebody with an imagination, self-aware enough to accept that he is playing with things out of his league but smart enough to prepare for it.

What does Harry do when half of the supernatural world actively tries to kill him? He starts long distance running. Nice to see that when his life is at stake, he puts in as much effort to avoid getting killed as ordinary people to avoid getting fat ;-)

This post has been edited by Second Sword: 21 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

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#32 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:09 PM

View PostHiddenOne, on 21 August 2014 - 08:59 PM, said:

I heard about a guy named Spock once that was just that kind of hero


I remember that guy. His album was breathtaking.
Spoiler

PUST: Go forth, Hounds of Life! Go forth and do my bidding!
CHASE: (quietly) I dunno pups... he seems to be bidding us to hurt a bunch of people.
MARSHALL: So? I mauled Mayor Humdinger's face and set him on fire that one time and he was totally fine the next week.
CHASE: Good point. (louder) OK pups, Paw Patrol is on a roll!
PUST: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???
-The Malazan Book of the Paw Patrol
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#33 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:25 PM

View PostHiddenOne, on 21 August 2014 - 08:59 PM, said:

I heard about a guy named Spock once that was just that kind of hero

Magic isn't a pit. Magic is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but refuse. They cling to heroic sacrifice, or love, or justice... illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.
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#34 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:43 PM

Think of it from Murphy's perspective. You've got this tall bumbling almost-autistic-acting doofus (go read Aftermath before you commence yelling) rambling around crime scenes, who clearly knows more of what's going on than he's willing to tell you. You extend him some trust because his actions have saved lives and solved crimes but when it's murder on the line, he's literally hindering a police investigation which could - and did - lead to more deaths. And he clearly doesn't trust you enough to tell you what's happening, for whatever reason. We have more empathy towards Harry because we're in his head but he's definitely no angel (one more reference to staring at tits and I'm gonna be so mad).

The fact Murphy's capable of taking the existence of the magical world so well by Summer Knight is down to her character development from the start, same as how Harry is finally not a dumbass enough to tell her. Also what sick monster roots for someone who marries her sister's husband, what the hell


Finally, good luck with the promotion of a side character to main cast status! And how freaking creepy that gets!
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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#35 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 02:11 AM

View PostAbyss, on 21 August 2014 - 08:32 PM, said:

View PostMcardle, on 21 August 2014 - 07:39 PM, said:

... Ha at those Cat Pics Abyss, that's exactly how my friends react at my dislike of Murphy. I don't get the love. She's annoying as hell...


Posted Image

...okaaayyyyyyyyyyy....

View PostSecond Sword, on 21 August 2014 - 07:46 PM, said:

...If I remember correctly, Harry states in the first book that making potions is his hobby, so he wouldn't have to go out of his way to make some and then store them in some kind of vials for the darkest hour.


you recall correctly and i don't want to spoil later books so i'll leave it at then he had less time to spend on it and/or Butcher forgot that point :rolleyes:

Quote

Quote

As for that bit in RITES, Harry didn't trust McCoy to have his back or himself to have McCoy's back.


I find this a very selfish attitude considering what is at stake here. By not maximizing his chances of success, be it additional help or elixirs, he jeopardizes lives of others. It is foolish but heroic when he is the only one in danger. But when he fights against overwhelming forces and other people may die as a direct consequence of his actions that is plainly selfish.


You prefer your heroes unemotional, infallible and unfailingly logical, best try a different series i suspect.


IIRC, not all of Dresden's potions went well. We only see those that work, but there are numerous asides from Bob about how others were complete disasters. So clearly potions are not foolproof. Agin one big constraint about potions is time. There is an argument that he could just whip up the stuff in advance, but how would he know what problems he would face? Again remember Dresden is broke. Its an endemic thing. Potion ingredients cost money. His first name may be Harry but he isn't Harry Potter with a vaultful of Gringotts gold to back him up.
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#36 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 02:21 AM

View PostSecond Sword, on 21 August 2014 - 09:04 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 21 August 2014 - 08:32 PM, said:

you recall correctly and i don't want to spoil later books so i'll leave it at then he had less time to spend on it and/or Butcher forgot that point :rolleyes:

I don't really remember what you're alluding to specifically, but it is true that in the last few books he is quite busy and the elixirs wouldn't make that much of a difference anyway, not with the oponnents he faces.
Still, the detective work from earlier novels would be easier. And he wouldn't get caught so much. I think that Butcher had a good idea with the elixirs, but made them too powerful and thus unusable.

Quote


You prefer your heroes unemotional, infallible and unfailingly logical, best try a different series i suspect.

If anything, Harry is the infallible one. For most of the series, hist 'strategy' is to charge and hope for the best. Which is what usually happens, with an occasional dramatic sacrifice now and then.
I would prefer somebody with an imagination, self-aware enough to accept that he is playing with things out of his league but smart enough to prepare for it.

What does Harry do when half of the supernatural world actively tries to kill him? He starts long distance running. Nice to see that when his life is at stake, he puts in as much effort to avoid getting killed as ordinary people to avoid getting fat ;-)


About this thing about the calculating hero, I would ask you to consider the concept of balance. Harry has power. he is a bloody powerhouse who pours it around like there's no tomorrow. Now give him the calculating brain of somebody like Marcone. I argue that would make him infallible in reality.
Not everybody can do/be everything. Remember the hot iron/cold iron discussion in HoC? Dresden at least in the early books is hot iron. he ooperates at a spinal reflex level. Pretty girl? Gotta help her! Evil vampires? Burn them to ashes! Only later, only when he gets burned a couple of times does he start thinking things through.
Also consider the argument "If you can't win, change the game" Time and again Harry has found himself in situations requiring diplomatic skill, and delicacy, skills he simply does not have. So what does he do? He blunders through with brute force and trash talk, breaks all the rules and essentially generates shock, which puts his opponents off. This unconventionality works in his favour.
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#37 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:01 AM

The ingredients were dirt cheap as far as I remember(salt, sugar, coffee). The elixirs aren't foolprof, true, but nothing is. Guns jam, swords break, magic doesn't work like you hoped. That is an argument in favour of diversifyng your tactics. He has access to a number of elixirs, of which I remember only two: invisibility and some kind of speed power up/teleport. Even if those two were the only useful things he has, they are quite useful in a number of scenarios: infiltration, hostage rescue, surprise attack, getting out of a trap. Sure, some of his oponnents may see through invisibility but some of them won't. The general rule is: cover your ass.

As far as balance goes... yeah, that is probably exactly what Butcher meant. Except in his case, 'change the game' means usually 'use forzare as much as you can'. Generating shock is a sound strategy, but works only once. When he gets famous in the supernatural circles, it shouldn't work as well as it does.

I guess my main complaint is that because Harry has limited (for the most part) modus operandi relying on brute strength, he gets away unscathed from seemingly hopeless situations because he is the protagonist. Imagine an anti-terrorist squad that loudly announces their arrival and storms through the main entrance. They wouldn't be widly successful as far as rescuing hostages goes, would they? But Harry succeeds. When he gets surprised by the enemy (which happens often) he gets knocked out, but never killed. Then he uses some more forzare or his friends arrive at the last moment and bail him out of trouble. It is hard for me to connect with a hero like this because I know that he will be fine. There is no sense of danger. I now actually prefer when everything goes well for Harry because I can't stand the cliffhangers anymore. 90% of them end up the same: 'you thought it was bad? lol, nope'

Now, I'll be the first to admit that in the last few novels, Jim Butcher stepped up his game considerably. And even despite Harry being Harry, the first books are still great. So I don't want anybody to think that I hate them or something. I just wish he used his head more, so Butcher wouldn't have to bail him out of trouble with cheap tactics, so in turn I would actually care about the cliffhangers.

I also realize that my favourite type of hero (from the novels - Marcone) has no right being the protagonist because he is too competent and thus interesting only in small doses. Contrary to what Abyss suggested, I don't want an ultra-logical hero. What I want is a guy who takes responsibility for his life by improving himself and refusing to rely on luck. Not a tantrum throwing man-child.

View PostIlluyankas, on 21 August 2014 - 09:43 PM, said:

tall bumbling almost-autistic-acting doofus

That quote is just too perfect :)

This post has been edited by Second Sword: 22 August 2014 - 06:02 AM

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#38 User is offline   Mcardle 

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:30 AM

@Illuyankas what can I say the Malazan series has left me emotionally... Crippled! Its a fair point that I'm being harsh as we only see things from Harrys side but she lost me when she tried to arrest Harry when the Lugaru(sp?) was going wild in the police station. Didn't really understand why Harry wanted her along for the Black Court suicide den attack with Kincaid, I would of looked to Michael myself... Though was Harry purposefully avoiding Michael due to his possession of the coin? The potions have some expensive ingredients don't they, diamond dust, gems and powdered uranium?
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#39 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:01 AM

Dresden files wiki lists ingredients for the 'escape potion' as: jolt cola, motor oil, pieces of feather, chocolate-covered espresso beans, a shadow, mouse scampers, a shredded bus ticket, and a broken chain link . So the 'get out of trouble' costs Harry something like 10$
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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

Wasn't it explicitly mentioned at some point that potions have a rather short use-by date?
I may be wrong, but I thought it was brought up specifically that he couldn't just make heaps ahead of time because they lose potency and quickly become useless...
Thus why he spends more time on the rings and blasting rod/staff and duster than potions. Never mind the investment of time required to make potions clashes with his time spent doing magical research,detective work,etc.

If there's one thing in the Dresden books which I thought was pretty well covered,it was the fact that potions were not the best solution to most problems due to the above issues plus the fact that their effects are somewhat unpredictable and that there can be really nasty aftereffects like falling unconscious randomly, throwing up a lot, internal bleeding, spontaneous combustion and/or radiation poisoning...didn't Dresden basically close his eyes and hope every time he downs a potion specifically because he doesn't know ahead of time if he got it right?
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