Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

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Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-24 06:38am

Simple scenario:

Harry Dresden, Wizard P.I, Warden of Demonreach, and Winter Knight faces off against Emperor Palpatine, the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sideous.

Dresden is immediately post-Skin Game, and has access to all his usual (pre-Changes) gear- a staff, blasting rod, revolver, shotgun, enchanted coat, shield bracelet, force rings, Warden's cloak, and any other minor magical paraphernalia. He also has Bob with him.

Sideous has his lightsaber. Since Dresden gets Bob, Palpatine gets to bring his usual entourage of guards.

Scenario One: Palpatine lands in an unarmed shuttle craft on the island of Demonreach, about five hundred yards from Dresden's house. He intends to try to take control of the island and tap into its power for a Dark Side ritual.

Scenario Two: Dresden is teleported into the throne room aboard the second Death Star.

Both combatants are in-character, and at full strength. Dresden is familiar with Palpatine's capabilities by virtue of being a Star Wars fan, and knows that this is the real Palpatine and not some shape-shifting fae or something. Palpatine has a basic knowledge of Dresden and his capabilities through the Force.

Can the wizard defeat the Sith Lord?

Edit: To clarify, Dresden will be facing RotJ Palpatine.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Crazedwraith » 2017-03-24 07:27am

Interesting, if you give post-Skin Game Dresden his pre-changes foci how much of a buff does that give him? Has he entirely moved past the need for them or will they stuff give him a boost in efficiency.

The problem I always have in these scenarios if how much precog figures into it.

Just featwise, Dresden lays down the hurt much more quickly and efficiently that Palpatine. The only thing I can think that Palpatine does that's more impressive is TK senate pods.

Depends how well Palpatine can dodge fire balls and lightning and whether he can breach or get around Dresden's shields.
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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-24 07:40am

I'm going to guess that the shield could block Force lightning (while its not quite natural electricity, hasn't Dresden used his shield against lightning canonically?), but not TK, since its not a physical attack but something through the Force itself, which connects all things.

His coat can also absorb some damage.

Of course, he's fucked six ways to Sunday if Palpatine gets into melee range. I do wonder if a Warden sword, or still more a Sword of the Cross, could block a lightsaber, but Dresden does not normally wield either.

Edit: I also just realized I gave Dresden a huge advantage by putting the first scenario on Demonreach. I wanted a remote location where collateral damage wouldn't be a big issue, I guess, but I suspect that I inadvertently weighted it too heavily in Dresden's favour.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Vendetta » 2017-03-25 05:48pm

Harry is explicitly unable to use one of the Swords as anything more than a sharp bit of metal, because his faith is in magic over the power they represent. He also doesn't have a Warden Sword (because Luccio can't make new ones and they're specifically tailored to the individual, otherwise they're just a sharp bit of metal)

Might change, might not.

I also wouldn't bet on a Warden Sword against a lightsabre (and nor would Harry), they're probably enchanted to be more than usually durable (they're made of silver so they'd have to be in order to be functional), but unlikely to hold up to the cutting power of a Lightsabre.

The Swords of the Cross are explicitly indestructible unless used in contradiction to their purpose, so they'd hold up better (and post Skin Game one of them is a lightsabre), but Harry can't use them to their potential (and only has Amoracchius left in his care), Harry is unlikely to risk trying to use it again because of how he fucked up and nearly got it destroyed.

So this is going to be him using his magic and gun. He's certainly shown more straight up magical firepower than movie Palps, because blowing shit up is his magical forte, and since he has more explicit knowledge of who Palpatine is he's almost certainly going to go for a massive first strike.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-26 02:31am

Vendetta wrote:Harry is explicitly unable to use one of the Swords as anything more than a sharp bit of metal, because his faith is in magic over the power they represent.


Harry, at least late series Harry, isn't lacking in belief in God. He's just wary around the Christian religion because he's not sure that God will look kindly on him and the choices he's made.

But as we've seen, its not enough to have Faith to use the Swords. You have to use them in the way, and with the intent, that they were meant to be used. You couldn't use one for selfish purposes, or for vengeance, and so on. Failing this test was how Murphy (temporarily) broke the Sword of Faith in Skin Game. Dresden is likely self-aware enough to know that he'd probably make the same kind of mistake.

He also doesn't have a Warden Sword (because Luccio can't make new ones and they're specifically tailored to the individual, otherwise they're just a sharp bit of metal)

Might change, might not.


Yeah.

I also wouldn't bet on a Warden Sword against a lightsabre (and nor would Harry), they're probably enchanted to be more than usually durable (they're made of silver so they'd have to be in order to be functional), but unlikely to hold up to the cutting power of a Lightsabre.


Maybe. We've never seen a Warden's sword broken as far as I can recall, and I'm not sure we have any way to know precisely what their limits are.

The Swords of the Cross are explicitly indestructible unless used in contradiction to their purpose, so they'd hold up better (and post Skin Game one of them is a lightsabre), but Harry can't use them to their potential (and only has Amoracchius left in his care), Harry is unlikely to risk trying to use it again because of how he fucked up and nearly got it destroyed.


That's pretty much right.

The Swords also seem to partially negate at least some opponents' supernatural powers (they can apparently affect Outsiders, who are generally magic-resistant, and one of them shields Harry from Nicodemus's shadow, Anduriel, during their fight in Small Favour. So one might be able to at least partially mitigate Force powers.

So this is going to be him using his magic and gun. He's certainly shown more straight up magical firepower than movie Palps, because blowing shit up is his magical forte, and since he has more explicit knowledge of who Palpatine is he's almost certainly going to go for a massive first strike.


Dresden-verse wizards are vastly more dangerous if they have time to prepare. What is Dresden's high-end, without endangering himself, without substantial ritual preparation?

In Dead Beat, it was basically "flip a car over", but if he's willing to push himself beyond what's entirely safe, and/or fuelled by particularly strong emotions, he can probably surpass that by quite a bit, particularly if working with fire (high-end their, to the best of my recollection, is probably torching Bianca's mansion in Grave Peril. But his high end post-Skin Game is probably quite a bit more impressive. Certainly he's faster on the draw, and less dependent on foci, after his rehabilitation/training with Mab in Cold Days.

And of course, Dresden's heightened awareness on Demonreach gives him the edge in any fight their.

The guns probably barely matter in this fight, except for delivering the killing blow to Palpatine's guards, since doing that with magic would break both the White Council's laws (which may or may not be applicable to him now that he's Mab's Knight- I'm not really clear on that) and Harry's own moral code about how magic should be used.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-26 02:42am

You know, now that I think about it, Michael vs. Palpatine might have been a fairly even match, if the Sword could negate ranged Dark Side attacks.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Ralin » 2017-03-26 04:25am

The Romulan Republic wrote:since doing that with magic would break both the White Council's laws (which may or may not be applicable to him now that he's Mab's Knight- I'm not really clear on that)


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Regardless of what the White Council wants or says, Harry now has an iron-clad exemption from the 1st Law. It's called "Fuck you, I'm the Winter Knight."

He's in the same category as a White Court vampire that uses mind control. The Council might kill them, but they won't even pretend to try to apply their rules to them.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-26 05:05am

Well, that, and killing him would risk pissing off Mab. Mab is not a safe person to create a diplomatic incident with, and she can hold a grudge for a very long time.

Edit: Of course, Harry's own morals would still tell him that magic is not supposed to be used to kill mortals. But we've also seen that under certain conditions (like someone threatening his daughter), Harry's morals can be rather flexible.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Ralin » 2017-03-26 05:24am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Well, that, and killing him would risk pissing off Mab. Mab is not a safe person to create a diplomatic incident with, and she can hold a grudge for a very long time.


Pretty much what I said.

This hasn't been stated or anything, but as inferences go I would be shocked if that's not how it shakes out in future books.

Edit: Of course, Harry's own morals would still tell him that magic is not supposed to be used to kill mortals. But we've also seen that under certain conditions (like someone threatening his daughter), Harry's morals can be rather flexible.


Yeah, no question there. The White Council's teachings about magic are for all practical purposes Harry's religion.

Just one more temptation for Harry to take the easy way out when he's in a bind.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Gaidin » 2017-03-29 05:46pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Edit: I also just realized I gave Dresden a huge advantage by putting the first scenario on Demonreach. I wanted a remote location where collateral damage wouldn't be a big issue, I guess, but I suspect that I inadvertently weighted it too heavily in Dresden's favour.

Deamonreach senses vs Force precog? Not necessarily weighted. Depending on what weight you want to give Palpatine.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-29 07:23pm

Demonreach senses will give Dresden an extremely detailed idea of everything that's happening on the island, but it won't give him warning of what's going to happen.

The question is how well he can control Demonreach's more... active and aggressive defences. That's something I'm still not really clear on.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Gaidin » 2017-03-29 09:56pm

Nobody's truly clear on that. At least not on the fast defenses, short of the Demonreach avatar coming out to play. I'm presuming that's out of the question.

I'm just saying you put it anywhere else, you heavily weight the fight in the favor of precog unless Dresden so utterly blindsides him. Demonreach basically lets him track Palpatine in utter detail, and move insanely fast for knowing the island terrain and how not to trip over his own feet in insane detail(if you remember the battles where he had the island). It seems to even it down to just power arguments.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-30 07:21am

Yeah, I didn't include the avatar in Dresden's backup, just Bob.

I don't recall, off-hand, Dresden ever operating the defences save with assistance (Listens To Wind in Turn Coat).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby Ralin » 2017-03-31 01:57am

Harry says at the beginning of Skin Game that Demonreach has defenses he didn't know about in Cold Days. Defenses that can only be activated by the Warden. He expresses confidence that if the Walker brings another army he can shut it down single-handedly.

He doesn't say that they're precise enough to target individuals on the island, but it seems like it would be a pretty damned big oversight on Merlin's part if they can't.

EDIT:

And before anyone points out that Harry said unleashing Demonreach on individuals was likely to lead to everyone being squashed during the showdown at the end of Cold Days because Demonreach just doesn't exist on a scale where it can make distinctions about targets that small, it stands to reason that that's the sort of gap Warden-directed defenses would be intended for. This is speculation, yes, but I'd be very surprised if it was wrong.

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Re: Harry Dresden vs. Palpatine.

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-01 06:11am

I suppose the only way we're likely to know the details beyond what's already been revealed, and how well Harry can operate said defences, is if Demonreach is attacked in a subsequent book (which, given the apocalypse is still on its way, is likely).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.


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