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<   No. 429   2004-03-30   >

Comic #429

1 {scene: in a dungeon}
1 Alvissa: Kyros, did that strange tome we found have anything interesting written in it?
2 Kyros: Oh yes. It had a cool new spell that I've learnt. Sort of a shaped fireball.
3 Kyros: It shoots a two-fathom-wide sheet of searing solid flame to a range of 20 yards, at a height of five feet.
4 Lambert: Alvissa, remember that time you asked me if there are any outstanding advantages to being so short? I just thought of one...

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2013-03-13 Rerun commentary: Fathoms are cool archaic units that always add interesting flavour to fantasy games. The fathom is a weird unit. Although a unit of distance, it is typically only used to measure depths, and never widths or breadths. It's fascinating that a unit that could be applied to any of three dimensions is pretty much restricted to use in only one of those dimensions.

Of course I break that convention here, which is part of what makes this strip so fantastical-sounding. (At least to my mind.)

It's also interesting that the height of the sheet of flame is specified to be five feet, and not five-sixths of a fathom. (Lambert is about half a fathom tall, so safely escapes the spell.)

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