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Craster, Rhaegar, and Ser Arthur Dayne…


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#1 Some1new

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:15 PM

All three of these people have 5 strength; the highest strength (I'm pretty sure) on unique characters/non-army characters (except Balerion… who's an ancient dragon).  Now, I can easily understand why Ser Arthur Dayne has 5 Strength; he's the Sword of Morning, arguably the deadliest knight in recent Westeros history.  That said, how is it that Rhaegar, the crown prince prior to Game of Thrones, has 5 Strength as well.  To my knowledge, it was never stated that he was super skilled at fighting at least on par with Ser Arthur Dayne (which brings up the War Crest icon too, but whatever).

Rhaegar can slide in contrast to Craster though, which for some reason, he has 5 strength also…  I don't remember him being overly awesome in terms of combat or anything else.  I know he likes axes but does he deserve 5 strength?  And why does he have such high strength for a unique character?



#2 ktom

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:48 PM

No offense, but why are you basing your analysis solely on skills with a sword or other combat weapon?

The "STR" statistic is not just a measure of physical ability. It is the "effectiveness" of a person in dealing with the situations they find themselves in. So don't think of STR as a comparison of who could beat whom in with sword in hand (it's worth noting all three of those people are dead - two of them before the books begin - after all). Think of it in terms of "effectiveness" or "impact,"

Rhaegar certainly was "effective" or had an "impact" when it came to the situations and circumstances he found himself in. He was so effective that the consequences are still being defined and discovered almost 20 years after his death. If there was one Targaryen who could have rebuilt the dynasty to its former glory, pretty much everyone agrees it was him. Look at the profound effect he has had on Dany. She even named a dragon, and almost a child, after him - and she never even met him. He may not have been the best at swinging a sword, but in terms of changing the course of history, you'd be hard pressed to name a "stronger" character in all of ASOIAF.

Craster, on the other hand, was "effective" and "impactful" in another way. Of all the Wildlings north of the Wall, he was the only one who was not afraid to stay where he was in the face of the White Walkers. He was the only one who decided to make a go of it on his own, rather than join Mance Rayder at the Wall. He dictated terms to Mance and The Old Bear alike. When it came to plans and schemes, and controlling his own little corner of the world, very few people could (or would) think of meeting him on his own turf and trying to tell him what to do. Sure, he ended up in a bad way, but that doesn't change the fact that in his own little corner of the world, he was the "strongest" personality. (It's telling in looking at it this way that he does not come with a printed military icon, by the way.)

So, if you look at STR as "effectiveness" or "impact," rather than "ability to kill someone else with an edged weapon," it's not hard to see why these characters are seen as "big names" that deserve to be distinguished by a high STR, a game-defining ability, or both.



#3 Kennon

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:28 PM

While I think you're close to the right answer, Ktom, I think you should probably acknowledge that each of the icons represents a strength in rather different categories. The description that the OP provided does indeed correlate pretty directly to strength when considered for a military icon. The description that you gave for Rhaegar does indeed fit quite well for the power icon, though less so for military and intrigue as per his other icons. I don't really think, however, that Craster's strengths as presented in the novel or your description really are particularly in the "intrigue" realm, and don't support a 5 strength character with that as his sole icon. Truth be told, if the name and traits were swapped, that card would be almost perfect for Varys.



#4 dcdennis

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:24 AM

 Craster dictated terms alright. How'd that work out for him? :P



#5 ktom

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 04:24 AM

Kennon said:

While I think you're close to the right answer, Ktom, I think you should probably acknowledge that each of the icons represents a strength in rather different categories. The description that the OP provided does indeed correlate pretty directly to strength when considered for a military icon. 
No game mechanics is going to perfectly match all book scenarios. While I perfectly agree that each icon represents a different kind of conflict, and thus a different kind of strength, why is it that a character's STR is the same for all challenges they participate in? Giving Eddard the intrigue icon makes him as effective in intrigue challenges as Varys, for example. Really?

But the earlier description of the characters with the 5 STR was meant to be an example of how such high STR for a single, unique personality that wasn't much for swinging a sword could be justified. Some of it corresponds to different challenges, sure, but it ignores the fact that the characters have other icons, and that "weaker" characters have other abilities that, practically speaking, make them more effective than these characters. As dcdennis points out:

dcdennis said:

Craster dictated terms alright. How'd that work out for him? :P

A good point. I mean, Dayne was, almost beyond question, the best warrior for generations. How'd that work out for him at the Tower of Joy? How'd things work out for Rhaegar? To paraphrase the man - he was brave, he was noble, and he died. Just because someone is effective doesn't mean they're unbeatable (especially in Westeros). Stealth or Deadly on an opponent's character has the potential to make all three of these guys considerably less "effective" in the long run.

What I think everyone can agree on, though, regardless of the exact model or explanation they choose, is that the STR statistic is meant to describe so much more than what is likely to happen on the tournament grounds, sword in hand.



#6 Stag Lord

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:27 AM

 

 

I think ktom has the right of it – in particular with Rhaegar. Once you acknowledge his impact on Westeros as a whole – it becomes pretty hard to argue for him as less than a 5 STR in any sense of the word. Certainly in terms of the POW icon as you acknowledge, but also in terms of military as well, given his access to Targaryen military might. INT might be a little less – but ultimately, we can only assign one STR value to a card, and given that he was a Crown Prince, it is sort of hard to leave either INT or Mil off his card.

 

Craster (as ktom argues) can’t be compared directly to Dayne on a STR by STR basis especially given the icons. The OP talks about fighting ability, but given that Craster only has an INT icon, it’s a false equivalency and a strong case can (and has been) made that Craster is about as crafty as they come in his little corner north of the wall.
 



#7 Freerider

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:43 AM

Maybe they don't all deserve 5s as opposed to say 4s, but certainly an argument could be made in every case. I think we all pretty much agree that Ser Arthur Dayne pretty much earns his 5 as one of the most famous of the Kingsguard and arguably the best warrior in recent Westeros history.

Regarding Rhaegar - at one point in the books someone mentions that Rhaegar was in fact an expert at basically everything. I think this was Selmy when telling Dany about him (as Selmy knew him when he was younger). Rhaegar loved books and music most of all but then one day he suddenly decided he needed to learn to fight and so he put aside his harp and learned the sword and lance and all the rest of a knight's skills. He supposedly took no pleasure in any of his skills and hated to fight, but became an expert at anything he bent his mind to learn. I believe he was also noted as being the one person that could match Arthyur Dayne in combat. So yes, he was also a great warrior. Robert still killed him, but a lot of people in the books always seem kinda surprised Robert did.

As for Crastor - he doesn't get a huge amount of time devoted to him really, but of all those north of the Wall, he stands alone. He has just his "brides." No brothers, no clan, no tribe and nobody messes with him. He is both Wildling, and "friend" to the watch. When the Walkers come he seems to have known before almost anyone even in the north and he deals with them. Mance has an entire Wildling nation with him all basically fleeing from the Walkers, and Crastor is hanging at home safe and unconcerned. It may not be a pretty solution, but the fact that he found one at all and was still there is really the most impressive thing about him. So really, who is the most epic Wildling here, Mance, or Crastor?

Of course since it's Game of Thrones, we all know that strength isn't everything. All the strength in the world won't help against stealth, let alone deadly. And sometimes it just takes a trick or two up your sleeve to deal with someone - works in the books, works in the game. Sometimes no matter how "good" someone is someone else just has a better day or better luck, or the right event card hiding up their sleeve.



#8 Maester_LUke

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:49 AM

Another thought to keep in mind, Craster does have the most blatantly negative ability to counteract his strength.  In a dedicated Wildling deck, he's a 1-cost, 6 STR, stealthy INT icon, which is, as pointed out, incomparable short of attachments. (Hrmmm, Cores Set Aemon + Devious Intentions with 4 power on him ? <2 gold for the self-save & non-negative ability?>) 

As to dcdennis' comment, I think his ability would reflect 2 or 3 crows coming down from the Wall (or back from the Fist) and "ignoring the Old Bear's status quo" to attack Craster.  Throw deadly in for "flavor" and the card draw is just "plundering his pantry," however necrophiliac an image that my conjure.



#9 Mathias Fricot

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 02:14 AM

Maester_LUke said:

Another thought to keep in mind, Craster does have the most blatantly negative ability to counteract his strength.  In a dedicated Wildling deck, he's a 1-cost, 6 STR, stealthy INT icon, which is, as pointed out, incomparable short of attachments. (Hrmmm, Cores Set Aemon + Devious Intentions with 4 power on him ? <2 gold for the self-save & non-negative ability?>) 

As to dcdennis' comment, I think his ability would reflect 2 or 3 crows coming down from the Wall (or back from the Fist) and "ignoring the Old Bear's status quo" to attack Craster.  Throw deadly in for "flavor" and the card draw is just "plundering his pantry," however necrophiliac an image that my conjure.

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