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Growing irritations w Dresden series Spoilers ALL BOOKS SPOILERS

#61 User is offline   Gwynn ap Nudd 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:33 AM

View Postchamp, on 22 August 2014 - 06:15 PM, said:

It was in a Q&A that Butcher admitted he put potions on the back burner as they could have been an easy out.

Yep, potions and other things (the bear belt buckle for one). I never really know how much I should say in threads like this as it is obvious many here don't read Jim Butcher's forums and he does spoiler some stuff for fans (the spoilers come from singings, Q&As etc, but are collected and discussed there).
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#62 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:17 AM

Just stick it in a spoiler box marked 'signing spoilers', like, for example, (signing spoilers)

Spoiler


Or similar.

This post has been edited by Illuyankas: 25 August 2014 - 03:18 AM

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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#63 User is offline   Silencer 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:35 AM

Preferably with some indication of which book they might spoil specifically if relevant.

As a general rule, spoilers are fine up to the point of progress of the OP.
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#64 User is offline   Gwynn ap Nudd 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:56 AM

Well, any comments based on the JB stuff will be in spoiler tags then as much of what comes out is related to future books.
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#65 User is offline   acesn8s 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:15 PM

View PostSecond Sword, on 22 August 2014 - 07:01 AM, said:

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$


You had a good point, so I jumped into Storm Front to see if there was a plausible reason why Harry doesn't use a lot of potions in the latter books. I couldn't find a magic bullet (i.e., short shelf life, etc). One thing I did notice was that some of the ingredients are little more costly. In your escape potion example, the shadow is a captured flicker of a shadow that Harry kept wrapped up, which implies that it isn't an everyday ingredient. The bus ticket was an unused one.

For the Love potion, Bob wanted Harry to use some ground up diamond dust, but settled for a torn up $50 bill.

So they are not dirt cheap, but I do agree with you that they are so useful it is surprising to see Harry not using more of them.

Spoiler

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#66 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:34 PM

Yes, it's a shame because if the elixirs were to be powered down slightly, they would provide Harry with an 'edge' over much stronger oponnents. Alternatively, I could live with a story where Dresden drinks one of his creations but it goes wrong and he grows a pair of donkey ears or something. Seeing him struggling to solve a case while trying to shut up Murphy giggling and making donkey puns all day would be fun to read and it would also gave Harry an excuse to give up brewing. As it is, he completely forgets about elixirs unless the plot demands it.

Andorion made an interesting point about Harry's impulsiveness being a foil to the villains. I had expectations of something similar but slightly different. Not hot iron vs cold iron, but active vs static. Monsters/Demons/Vamps start way higher on a power scale than humans. But most of the time, they stay on their fixed level. In contrast, Harry has not only magic, but also imagination and stubbornness of the human race behind him. Unconventional tactics, improvised weapons - that is what we excell at. Elixirs would fit here like a glove. Fighting power with power on the other hand does not appeal to me as much.
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#67 User is offline   Ceda Cicero 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:54 PM

I'm not getting this. Parsing through technical details in a series like this to me is like having excellent crack and wondering why it's not an incredibly tasty oatmeal stout. Makes no sense.

Smoke the crack and stop asking questions.

View PostIlluyankas, on 07 April 2011 - 08:37 PM, said:

How do you rape a cave? Do you ask, "You want to fuck, yes?" hear the echo come back, "Yes... es... es..." and get your barnacle-gouged groove on?

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#68 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:23 PM

It depends on what you want from your 'crack'. I would rather it showed me a different, captivating world. But that is extremely hard to pull off, because I refuse to be fooled easily.
It it is only entertainment you seek, that is fine too. Though I think you are missing a lot in this case.

This post has been edited by Second Sword: 25 August 2014 - 11:24 PM

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#69 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:58 PM

View PostCeda Cicero, on 25 August 2014 - 09:54 PM, said:

Smoke the crack and stop asking questions.


I want this on a t-shirt immediately.
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#70 User is offline   Blend 

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:36 PM

View PostAbyss, on 26 August 2014 - 02:58 PM, said:

View PostCeda Cicero, on 25 August 2014 - 09:54 PM, said:

Smoke the crack and stop asking questions.


I want this on a t-shirt immediately.


Heh, imagine the looks you'd get when you wore this to your grandmother's funeral....
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#71 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:41 PM

View PostBlend, on 27 August 2014 - 06:36 PM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 26 August 2014 - 02:58 PM, said:

View PostCeda Cicero, on 25 August 2014 - 09:54 PM, said:

Smoke the crack and stop asking questions.


I want this on a t-shirt immediately.


Heh, imagine the looks you'd get when you wore this to your grandmother's funeral....


The jacket and tie would conceal most of the text.
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#72 User is offline   TheRetiredBridgeburner 

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:55 AM

I've just started Skin Game and whilst I've enjoyed the books so far, having read them all back to back I can understand the "growing irritations" with all the repetitions. Had I read them all neatly spaced out I'm sure it wouldn't irritate me half so much.
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#73 User is offline   Tarcanus 

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 08:23 PM

I like how the biggest con for potions that I'm reading in this thread is that they'd be too much of any easy way out or deus ex machina, and yet Harry is notorious for pulling just that one mega-juju of power out of his ass right when he needs it, to survive or kill what needs killing. If that isn't a built in 'easy-way-out' in the form of magical nick-of-time power-ups, I don't know what is. And we're discussing potions as the mechanic that might break the series?

I scoff.
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#74 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 06:50 PM

Yeah, Harry is like me with a plate of cakes. Swears that he had enough but magically (heh) finds room for ten more. But that is probably what made the Dresden Files so popular, so let's give it to Butcher, he does not disappoint his core readers.
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#75 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 07:53 PM

What is more exciting, a story of a man who gets stuck in a field with a raging bull and through endurance, guts and willpower manages to beat the bull unconscious with his bare hands, OR a story of a man who shoots the bull dead instantly? Potions are guns for the purposes of this metaphor.
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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#76 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:18 PM

A man with a gun still has to fight against his instinct to run away against a bigger foe, steady his hand, aim for a critical spot on his target and in the end take a gamble on the power of his bullets as well as hope that a gravely injured animal won't kill him anyway.

While Harry pulls himself up by his bootstraps so hard that he jumps to the moon.
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#77 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:29 PM

The point is potions are even easier than that to use.

Harry has limits, potions do not. Besides, I prefer Harry solving problems by utilising a clever solution rather than drinking one.
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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#78 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 08:59 PM

Potions seem like exactly the kind of thing Harry would avoid becoming reliant on as to avoid making them a crutch. They could be the addictive drugs of the magic world. Not that Butcher ever said that, but it would be a decent enough out if he wanted one.
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#79 User is offline   Saitama 

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:03 PM

View PostIlluyankas, on 10 September 2014 - 08:29 PM, said:

Harry has limits, potions do not.

Harry's limits are a curious thing. He says he has them, the story shows he has them, but when he is actually 'out of mojo', he simply wills himself to do better. Being a reality warper doesn't have much in common with being clever.

As for potions, unlike Harry, they have hard limits:duration, range etc. I may seem fixated on them, but I in fact don't even like potions in games/stories and the like. It's just that Harry fights against such hard hitters that utilizing everything in his arsenal of tricks shouldn't even be an option.

Edit:

View Postworry, on 10 September 2014 - 08:59 PM, said:

Potions seem like exactly the kind of thing Harry would avoid becoming reliant on as to avoid making them a crutch.


And that would be perfect. Personally, I love characters that refuse to depend on external (and unstable) resources. But for that to make sense, Harry would have to improve his tactics even more. As he is, he exchanges one questionable dependance for another - elixirs for his mojo reserves.
Though it is worth mentioning that Skin Game Harry is my favourite Harry so far.

This post has been edited by Second Sword: 10 September 2014 - 09:18 PM

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#80 User is offline   champ 

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 02:13 PM

Just been reading the SE AMA and thought that this comment of his was relevant for the discussion here with Butcher repeating the descriptions of certain things...

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[Ė]StevenEriksonAMA Anthologist[S] 4 points 14 hours ago

Karsa gets a trilogy. As for series ... Black Company, Glen Cook. Oddly enough, I'm actually enjoying Destroyermen (apart from the constant repetition, which always reminds me of why I avoided doing it in the Malazan series -- after all, if you're seven books into the damned series, you don't need constant descriptions of things and people already described. I know, it's a fine balance between doing too much and not enough, and I admit to being inclined to to do not enough).

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