Ellen's 18 stat

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Ellen's 18 stat

Post by Raptorian »

So, at one point, Tailsteak said that Jamie, Max, and Ellen each have an 18 in one D&D stat. Throughout the comic, we learned that Jamie's is DEX and Max's is CON. But I don't think we ever learned what Ellen's is.

Just something I've been wondering about. Tailsteak, mind telling us?
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Re: Ellen's 18 stat

Post by Arcblade »

I'm positive hers is INT, but I'm not sure Tailsteak has specifically confirmed it. Have this and this, though.

Honestly, regardless of what's said in those threads... she works computer repair, power games tabletop games to a degree that's beyond most power gamers, and she beat Jamie at basically every one of his board games. Also, she has demonstratably made a lot of low Wis decisions, like the hedgehog, the nutmeg bombs, the booze incident, etc.
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Re: Ellen's 18 stat

Post by KrenkoMobBoss »

I believe I've made some contributions on this topic before, but I enjoy D&D-type discussions - minmaxing and alignment aside - so I'm all for a little redundancy.

We can probably eliminate CON, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being that it overlaps with Max's 18. DEX is out too, not just because it overlaps with Jamie, but the author states here that Max's DEX score is higher then Ellen's, but lower then Jamie's, ergo, both of them have less then his 18.

I think it's reasonable to eliminate STR as well, simply by her lack of using it. Can you think of any examples of Ellen lifting or pulling anything heavy, or kicking someone's ass, or doing anything to indicate an 18 in STR? It's a pretty overt, cut-and-dry sort of thing. I see no evidence to suggest it.

That leaves the mental scores, INT WIS and CHA. Ellen repeatedly shows off her smarts throughout the comic, but what kind of smarts are they? Are they INT smarts, or WIS smarts? Or a mix of the two? Definitely of note: Ellen posits that Jamie has a high INT score, and the author states that Max has a high DEX and high CHA score, so it's entirely possible that she has decent-to-high scores across the board for mental stats.

A quick recap of those scores and what they do: INT is booksmarts. In D&D, it determines your bonus to Knowledge skills, and how many skill ranks you get. WIS is streetsmarts. It determines your Perception bonus, Survival bonus, Heal bonus, and your Will save, basically mental fortitude, resistance to compulsion coercion and psychological trauma. CHa is force of personality - related to attractiveness, but distinct from it. It determines your bonus to Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate. (all three also determine your capacity with a type of spellcasting, none of which are relevant in Leftover Soup because nobody can cast spells)

So, does Ellen have an 18 in INT? Well, she seems to have Jamie pegged as a high-INT low-WIS type, so in theory, that would make her similar in mental capacity to him, unless her own WIS is high also. But Jamie makes a good watermark for what high INT looks like where high WIS does not: note the differences in how the two of them approach Nicole's knitting lesson. Ellen roll's her eyes and has to be dragged in, Jamie volunteers to sit in. Jamie also seems to pick up the skill a little faster, though this may partly be due to their backgrounds, as he states. The bottom line is that Jamie is eager to learn anything and everything, even if it may never come in handy ever again. But Ellen? Ellen has no time for your old-fashioned clothcrafts.

You may be tempted to point to her skill with computers as a sign of high Intelligence. This is not unfounded, but remember that she has Jamie pegged as having skill ranks in Perception. With enough ranks, it's possible to overcome a mediocre or even poor base ability score and become skillful in something. To determine the INT of somebody, one must say judge based on the overall merits in all categories, not in a single one.

They key to finding Ellen's 18, I think, is to examine the moments in which she demonstrates genius. She shows tremendous skill in every game she touches over the course of the comic, which is crucial data. But INT or WIS? In a game of D&D, a player - not a character, a player - with either score high enough will surely be very good at it. But remember, Ellen plays far more then merely D&D: she seems to master every game she so much as looks at, even if the rules have only been explained to her in the last few minutes. She also tends to face off against Jamie, a fellow thought to have high INT and low WIS. Perhaps an 18 might beat his 14-17, but surely he would get a small bonus when playing games he invented himself? And surely she would take a penalty for playing a brand new game?

But the real deciding factor, I think, is in her treatment of social situations. From the start of the comic, Ellen is as sharp as a tack vis a vis social cues. She immediately determines what will happen when she meets Jamie, she knows exactly which of her friends will behave in what way in response to what stimuli, and, most telling of all, she repeatedly sees straight through to Lily's core and dismantles everything she says and does to expose the reasons she acts the way she acts.

There are people who balk at the idea of Ellen having an 18 in WIS. "She sat on Pinball!" they cry. "How could she have an 18 in WIS if she didn't notice him?" Well, for starters, it sure seems like everyone decided that was a CHA check she failed, not a WIS check. But let's say it was a Perception check she failed and not a Handle Animal check: so? Remember, failing a reflex save does not mean "not 18 DEX," failing a fort save does not mean "not 18 CON," so why should failing a Perception check necessarily mean "not 18 WIS"?

I think Ellen's 18 in in Wisdom. She's quick-witted, she's savvy, she knows people, she adapts fast, she has experience and it shows. She probably has a fair INT score as well, but her WIS score is most certainly higher.

(as for CHA..... I'll be honest, I don't have a great argument lined up for that. I don't have a great metric for gauging the CHA of Leftover Soup characters. u~u)
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Re: Ellen's 18 stat

Post by rexstuff »

I can help shed some light on this. A very small amount, but it IS directly from Tailsteak...

So earlier in the comic, I engaged with a bit of back-and-forth with Tailsteak over the main character's stats. Long story short, here is what he told me, verbatim:

"Your guesses:

Max - Charisma
Ellen - Intelligence
Jamie - Dexterity

Your score:


You shall receive no further hints on this matter. I will say this: one of the eighteens will be canonically mentioned in the comments before the end of the year."

And of course, Jamie was confirmed as having 18 DEX, so we confidently say that Ellen's 18 stat is NOT INT, and Max's is NOT CHA.

On the other hand, Tailsteak did say that the characters have "at least one" 18 point stat, which could mean that he marked me wrong for not guessing both for Ellen and/or Max.

EDIT: I later found this messag from Tailsteak, which rules out my "at least one" theory for being wrong:

"No, Ellen doesn't have an 18 INT and Max doesn't have an 18 CHA. It should be noted that Jamie's estimation of Max's charisma is highly subjective."
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Re: Ellen's 18 stat

Post by ValiantBlueKnight »

I actually think Ellen may have an 18 charisma, if she doesn't have an 18 intelligence. She has, multiple times, convinced people of really improbable things really quickly. Namely, convincing Max to forgive her for killing Pinball in like 20 minutes, and convincing the nerd dude who's name i can't remember to like... not be such a creep. She gets away with pulling all her bullshit nonsense in dnd, people aren't really mad about it. This is kinda impressive, considering her Give No Fucks attitude. Hell, she was so charismatic (in a negative way) that she got made into a meme from the strength of her batshit crazy voice alone! Maybe we're missing this one because it's not so typical.
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Re: Ellen's 18 stat

Post by MarkGyver »

KrenkoMobBoss wrote:I think it's reasonable to eliminate STR as well, simply by her lack of using it. Can you think of any examples of Ellen lifting or pulling anything heavy, or kicking someone's ass, or doing anything to indicate an 18 in STR?
I think this is more a demonstration of training + DEX, but this and this is a clear demonstration of Ellen kicking someone's [strike]ass[/strike]knee (and kneeling on said someone's back), showing at least good STR.
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