Page 1192 - Batter Up

9th Mar 2019, 6:00 AM
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Batter Up
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 9th Mar 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
There's also practical problems of having two diurnal and nocturnal populations coexisting peacefully in the same settlements without disturbing each other... Luna manages it by basically having a soundproof room to herself, seems like.

Another episode of our 5e Spudventure is up today! And join us Sunday on Twitch for the conclusion of our Fate superheroes game!
The Forgotten Ones, Session 2: Podcast | Video

39 Comments:

Departure_DaveT 9th Mar 2019, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
One of Discords's more recent tricks?

An side effect of Celestia's early inexperience with moving the Moon?

A eugenics program by Night cultists to create servants for her inevitable return?

There are a whole bunch of ways it could shake out =)
Rastaba 9th Mar 2019, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Rastaba
One, Discord was trapped before Luna’s transformation into Nightmare Moon, and trapped until he was broken free last session. Luna came back and the batponies made their first appearance before Discord was released. He might have made them real batponies on a whim but that is almost literal chaotic demigod handwaving.

Two, how exactly would that work? Seriously asking how exactly a mass long distance based telekinesis spell related to moving the mass of the moon across the night sky would actually create bat ponies? If you have an answer Beyond JUST ‘cause magic’, I will accept it. But evolution ain’t an acceptable excuse in this case without also blaming ‘cause magic’ speeding it up since Celestia would have really needed to mess up for a looong time for them to feel a need to make something like that any degree of permanent.

Three, no arguments. I could honestly see that happening though that might be a touch dark for pretty colorful Equestria and the lands beyond where friendship is still pretty darn magical. Beyond that though totally no faults with that explanation. Bring on the Night Cultists! They can be the next story arc villains! Like the Shadow Brok-I mean Elusive.
Anvildude 9th Mar 2019, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Eugenics, yeah, that's dark. But a breeding program doesn't have to be. It could be more like... an agressive Goth dating website, where the Night Cultists did their best to 'hook up' the right sorts of ponies.
Needling Haystacks 9th Mar 2019, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Not BECAUSE of the moon moving. Those batzards came from the moon.

...At least that's one possibility. Season 9 previews show that at least one comic arc is definitively non-canon so the ones with Nightmare Moon ruling a moon-kingdom could be too. 'Course it's irrelevant to the comic, but what are the Night Guard in the show anyway?
Akouma 9th Mar 2019, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Akouma
Story time of convincing your DM to let you play something crazy? I've got a couple because I have a habit of doing this a lot on 5e.

My sister is running a game for our family to introduce then to the hobby, I come to her asking to be a Naga from the Amonkhet setting. It was a world based on Greek myth, so snake person wasn't SUPER out of place.

Another friend was running a game with an explicit ban on being human because they're boring. We get to the table as three Elves and me, an Aven. (Although to be fair, one of the other players is a half-Elf, half-Dragonborn that she custom made with the DM, so I actually don't win the weirdness award there.)

And then there's my new favorite, my Aetherborn paladin in my Sunday game. It's a game based on the Critical Role world, which doesn't have Aetherborn in it. But I talked with my DM and suggested that my Aetherborn was the first of their kind, directly created by the god of the fae on a lark because it's been a while since they created sapient life. My paladin is convinced they have some kind of grand purpose (they are, after all, a bespoke creation of the all-powerful Archeart), which means that the rest of the party also thinks there's some kind of grand mission they're getting wrapped up in. There is not. This is literally just the Chaotic Good deity getting bored and doing some good chaos.
Digo Dragon 9th Mar 2019, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I maintain that my most ambitious character was playing a unicorn (Trixie specifically) in what was essentially the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Picture a fight scene with a lineup of Iron Man, Captain America, Dr. Strange, Thor, and... a little blue unicorn in a big gaudy hat. XD
Anvildude 9th Mar 2019, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
I _still_ want you to write those stories. Fanfic, journal recordings, just a long-format reminiscing about the campaign...
Balrighty 9th Mar 2019, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
It was a Gamma World game, so it wasn't really a matter of convincing really, but one outlandish character I had was where I'd rolled "Explosive" and "Yeti". So, the character ended up being essentially Fluffy Puff (yes, the tribble pony best friend of Queen Chrysalis) with a Rambo headband, a mortar cannon sticking out of her fur, a tendency to smoulder and explode in a burst of fluff, and a fur claw that would sprout out of nowhere.

In terms of convincing, I also had a technorabbit gunmage (think Bunnie Rabbot with a rifle that shoots spells). The DM didn't take my original request for homebrewing the race (though all the fluff stayed and what he did on the game mechanics side still worked), but the gunmage homebrew I suggested went through completely.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2019, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Twice in the same system (FFRPG 3E), though different campaigns.

First, Sween Tiernanson, ratfolk scavenger and orphan. Since this was based on Final Fantasy, I gave him a backstory worthy of it, including some of the adventures of his parents and an ancestral machine gun passed from grandfather to father to Sween. He was built to demonstrate the mechanical problems with certain custom equipment - for instance, that machine gun was better than any non-custom weapon in the game, but it was legal under the design rules. He had a bunch of other tricks that we ruled were no mere mechanical artifacts, but things he was actually doing in game (such as Sonic-grade speed tricks: he didn't just move X meters per round, he literally outran certain bullets)...though the in game justifications, where they added to the plot, may have been why the GM let him build up said abilities.

Second, Alex. Spawn of the god Alexander, sent to the world with no memory (he did not know at first that he was a person-shaped golem with light for blood) to do good and fight a particular war. Cliche, right? He was a white mage; in this system that was supposed to be "healing and buffing specialist". By the end of the campaign he was the blaster master, and would have fit in any D&D party as a mid-level warlock...except that his healing power scaled with his blasting power; the more intense fights saw him healing the whole party each round, to the point that when facing intelligent opponents, "gank the mage" began to describe their tactics. His apex was when he was able to chain spells to make the party completely invulnerable (special circumstances which only lasted for a single combat - entirely within the rules, no customization of encounter, the GM just tripped across it - freeing the rest of the party to abandon all defense and pile on damage), to the point that the enemies simply gave up. Again, all of this was roleplayed out.

Compared to those two, my axe-wielding super-jumping princess (later queen) who had part of the setting chasing after her on her adventure because she was supposed to be back at the throne, or my Star Trek moogle (where each hair of his fur was actually a separate sensor, not to mention essentially having a replicator in his belly), were almost mundane.
Naimah 10th Mar 2019, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
Let's start with the exotics I DIDN'T need to convince my GM to let me play;
Space Terrorist Cthulhu
Rogue Killbot
Gargoyle Rogue
Kaiju Lady
Gaia (but from a different world and also a dragon)
Dark Souls Black Knight

As to ones I've had to convince my GM to let me play, the list is even stranger, but my favourite one of them is RAZE-188/AAW, or as it was more colloquially known; Spider Tank. 30 ft. long, 20 ft. tall, armed to the nines and strong enough to knock down buildings. That was a fun character to play. Especially since I insisted on being involved in the non-combat encounters too.
Digo Dragon 9th Mar 2019, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
This is something that bugs me on some of the pony games I've played in too--The GM sets it up where you only can pick from the basic three races (maybe zebra as a 4th if they're generous) and then as you adventure they throw at the party changelings, deer, kirin, seaponies, micro-dragons, batponies, minotaur, diamond dogs, etc. And suddenly you wonder why are there so many populations of these other races and none of them qualify as adventurers?

This is especially noticeable in space campaigns with swaths of alien races populating the galaxy, but you only pick from like... 4-5 choices. It's the Star Trek problem as I see it: You have a Federation ship that supposedly represents several dozen races, but your ship's population is 95% human with one token member of a few other races (sure, these shows have budgeting issues so they can't mock up too many actors in costume, but considering how many aliens look fairly human and modern CGI effects, it seems like it never got better).

Anyway! So as a GM if you make a campaign with lots of sapient civilizations, you gotta allow yourself to open up a bit on racial choices for the players. Let them be bugbears or lizardmen if they wanna. Build up some culture so that their race isn't just a one-hat species. It takes work, but I think it's worth it for your world-building.
GrayGriffin 9th Mar 2019, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
I mean, depending on setting, it could make sense to limit starting races. If, like in this comic, the characters are mostly supposed to have lived in the same, majority-pony town all their lives and know each other.
Digo Dragon 9th Mar 2019, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm sure there's an upper limit that is reasonable. In my example, the basic 3 pony races is too low a limit. A more reasonable number could be 6.
ZamuelNow 9th Mar 2019, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
I actually like the base three so I mostly stick to that when I GM or the rare time I get to play (with rare exceptions here and there). That said, I don't suddenly pop everything else out of nowhere. Different styles I guess.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2019, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I (somewhat) solved that space campaign problem for a setting I recently wrote.

In the RPG setting Traveller, a long, long time ago some aliens known as the Ancients abducted a bunch of stone age humans and distributed them around the local part of the galaxy for reasons. Also, for the past several thousand years, a wave of energy has been crawling at light speed across the galaxy toward said local part; it induces insanity on worlds as it passes if measures aren't taken, but this is presumably far less than what it did near its origin. One of these human colonies was near the galactic core when this wave started.

So...I had some survivors from the core flee to the local part of space (given the faster-than-light tech, this is doable in around 50 years, and there is good cryo available so most of the evacuees can be revived upon arrival). Many of them stopped short (50 years is a long trip) and set up locally for a while, until the wave caught up and they had to move on. Back before the wave started, they had been given a map pointing them to a specific region of space, about a hundred light years across.

The initial colonists set up this region as a human-dominated set of planets. Those who came after - the same human genetic stock (if culturally diverged), or aliens that either traveled with the humans, followed them, or stole their maps - ran into said human dominated area, and had to assimilate or die (weary travelers after long interstellar voyages, with no clue what they will run into, don't usually do well against fortified defenders if things turn hostile, and for various reasons just about no one was able to simply leave once they got there).

Further, just beyond this area was another set of Ancient-displaced humans, who had grown to dominate their world. The arrivals uplifted them technologically, and for a time the two groups of humans were united politically, the local "home" world contributing many of its people.

Result: of the survivors (by the time the wave of craziness finally caught up to and washed past this area), more than 50% are human. Thus, naturally, starships from this political entity have crews that, on average, are more than 50% human, even if there are dozens of alien races, and the capital world is just over a trillion people (as in Coruscant, though harder sci-fi and thus quite a lot of open land and single-story buildings...alongside a lot of arcologies and orbital habitats). Exceptions exist but that is the trend.
jdb1984 10th Mar 2019, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
I'm part of a "Tales of Equestria" group, and my GM allows other races. We have 2 gryphons, a changeling, and a Unicorn/Zebra hybrid.
Naimah 10th Mar 2019, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
I feel you. A while ago I tried to run a game based on Endless Legend (still going to run it one day), and I decided that limiting player choice was silly, so I let players pick from ANY of the major or minor factions (except the Cultists because they can't get along with others). Of course, it meant I had to write up a different race for each PC, but it would have been worth it for true party diversity.
Chakat Firepaw 12th Mar 2019, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
The short list of PC races typically stems from a similar cause as the mostly human casts in movies/TV: Resource limitations. It generally takes work to provide each racial option as a PC choice, so people tend to only do what is needed for 90-95% of the population in the main/starting campaign region.

Personally, while I don't drop a whole bunch of effort into providing options no one is likely to take, I do almost always include a bit along the lines of "want something else? talk to me." I may not guarantee a yes¹, and you might find some work on your plate² but if it will work, why not?


1: e.g. "Sorry, no dhampirs: I'm running with hyper-rare undead and if any exist they are going to be significant NPCs."

2: Want to play {strange race}? OK, give me a reason for coming in from off the map and some cultural notes.
Cygnia 9th Mar 2019, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
I still love Egophiliac's bat ponies. <3
FanOfMostEverything 9th Mar 2019, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Best explanation I've seen for bat ponies is that Nightmare Moon created them through forbidden biomancy... though that theory was put forward before Season 4 and the flashback potion.
Guest 9th Mar 2019, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
Can we PLEASE not speak about Season 9 in this comments? Thank you.
aylatrigger 9th Mar 2019, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
In my Ponyfinder campaign, I did make some bat-ponies, Nightwings.
They went extinct around the time Celestia and Luna were born.
An evil Alicorn (which in this case was actually a different race, also called Alicorns, and only mostly-god-like), King Solar, wanted power and found certain rituals... He siphoned the power from the D&D realms (idea I got from https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Hades matching Discord's power too much). The Night Kingdom ruled by the Sleipnir Queen Aurora Cannelure fought with him to try to stop him. He abandoned his own people to try to control the seasons, weather, and general flow of nature. Many were corrupted and became Wendigoes or other pony-esque evil creatures. Those that remained joined forces with the Night Kingdom. It was a brutal war. Heroes of each race rose up to try to defeat Solar, but mysteriously disappeared. And 6 of the races were driven to extinction (Kelpie, Nightwings, Puka, Kirin, Hippocampi, and Stags). Many cities were destroyed, and civilization was sent back to pre-historic levels pretty much. Queen Aurora finally sealed King Solar, but gave up her life to do so.
In my game, about 100 years after the events of the show, the seal starts to crack and the PC's go and stop Solar. He was sealed in one of his own towers/labs, and there is a library which has a bunch of expo. ...And in play, apparently had enough 'Gentlepony Adventurer' to last 3 sessions because the PC's wanted to see if there were any 'books like Daring Do'. Anyway, after resealing him they find similar towers elsewhere, and one of them contains the heroes, who are in suspended animation. From them the extinct races are brought back, and like 500 years later have a stable enough population to also be PC's.
aylatrigger 9th Mar 2019, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
oh, and the races in case you want to have them:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I7a7ZDEQR9IqASAyJHW0UmQbmMrhSTt2s1cRkvsFUKc/edit?usp=sharing
the Sleipnir and the Old Alicorn race are both high ecl's...and I have not created them yet. Not as powerful as the current Alicorns, which were ex-ponies infused with most of the power siphoned from the other realms. Almost all ponies have some of the power, as it takes the form of cutie marks.
ANW 9th Mar 2019, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
I thought Newbiespud made a rule about stretching the page.
aylatrigger 12th Mar 2019, 7:57 PM edit delete reply
He did? I did not know...
Malroth 9th Mar 2019, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Malroth
Their parents were killed by criminals while taking them to the Opera. Ever since they decided to use their fear as a weapon against those who would harm the innocent. They are Vengeance. They are the Night. They are Batpony.
albedoequals1 9th Mar 2019, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Thank you, Spud! The fandom is so obsessed with batponies, even though the show only has two cases of ponies in batpony costumes, both on Halloween.
Tempestfury 9th Mar 2019, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Dude. This is MLP.

Every background pony has a 50-page backstory with unique traits and personality.
terrycloth 9th Mar 2019, 11:22 PM edit delete reply
Most of them seem to be based on Fluttershy's Vampire Fruit Batpony form, which wasn't exactly a costume.
albedoequals1 10th Mar 2019, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Most of them were based on Luna's costumed guards. Fluttershy's cursed form obviously can't be a race, since it was created by Twilight botching a spell, and cured in the same episode. Fluttershy's incident also came long after fan batponies were a thing, and is likely a deliberate fan-service for them.
terrycloth 10th Mar 2019, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
It could be a race if she had batpony blood that was activated.

And after Bats came out, most of the batponies started being fruit-eaters obsessed with mangos instead of terrifying vampires.
Xelmon 9th Mar 2019, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
Hm, what was the most out-of-whack thing I ever got my DM to agree to... Ah yeh, hehehe, that was cool.

Picture; Exalted, specifically Dragon-Blooded origin.

While the details escape me at this point, the jist is that there were some *very* bad-ass sets of armor in the book. I remember that it was "The Red Armor", and it was about equivalent to Plate Mail +4 if that would exist, due to the perks and such that it got. Like, it was super light and basically had very few penalties.
The entire group was drooling over it.

As luck would have it, my rolls ended up having me as something along the lines of a mid-ranking noble, so I could actually afford it!

Thing is, then we started looking at the fine print if what it took to *wear* said armor. As it had it, you had to be of military background (Done), it had a very steep upkeep with something like 2 points of essence per *hour* in-game.

To those unfamiliar, that is very steep, since essence is basically used to do all the cool stuff, and you have about 10 or so. Replenishment is also slow for essence, so the armor would've made the character just super generic heavy armored, non-ninja/anime/bad-ass fighter, which is the opposite of Exalted.

So I asked them DM if he would look the other way and forego the up-keep, by taking redundand armor proficiencies, another skill to use magic items, and use up a good bit of my funds...

He looked at me super bevildered, as that burned up a lot of points otherwise useable for some very bad-ass ablities and such. He double checked if I wanted to make this "deal with the devil". By the time I explained the character, skills associated, and everything else, he was convinced that the armor fits perfectly with the build, and he agreed to the deal.


Ran that character for I wanna say 2 or 3 sessions, and he was definitely *The Tank*... While he didn't do as fancy leg-work as the others, he was still a monster and a half.

It also helped that my nobly-ass had a rather militaristic background, and had a retinue of something like 50 men (minus casualties) follow him around. xD
Architect Ironturtle 10th Mar 2019, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
Easy fix. Bat ponies are Thestrals, a tree dwelling carnivorous subspecies of pony native to the southern jungles. They have slit pupils to see under the canopy and naked wings to aid with stealth and agility at the cost of speed. They're also infamous for being cannibals, which is why we haven't seem them yet.
Jennifer 10th Mar 2019, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
The GM's right. They must have been glamoured up.

They disappear after delivering Luna, after all. Whereas the two that accompanied Celestia in the Phoenix episode stuck around. This is another clue that Luna went out on her own initiative, and I never noticed it before!
Evilbob 10th Mar 2019, 5:56 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
"There's also practical problems of having diurnal and nocturnal populations coexisting peacefully in the same settlements without disturbing each other..."

And the problem would be... what, exactly?

Because this is basically the case of any major city with 24-hour activity, eg NYC. You basically just either pony up the cash to live further away in the suburbs where there isn't this going on, or soundproofing your bedroom, or just dealing with it.
Auren Dawnstar 11th Mar 2019, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
I'm a bit curious about bat ponies in show canon myself. Especially after the Nightmare Moon alternate timeline in season 5.

Rainbow's armor was definitely enchanted to some degree since her eyes switched between normal and slit pupils when she wore the helmet. And of course her wings and tail were glamoured since we know she's a pegasus with a rainbow colored tail.

However, the other 5 guards in that scene also have the addition of tufts on their ears that Rainbow's helmet doesn't add. Just like the ones that pulled Luna's chariot back in Luna Eclipsed. Which could mean they are real and just haven't been explored by the canon.

The point about having at least part of the population being awake during her nights is an interesting one that I don't think I've seen before, but could probably still work if you think about how that would likely only be a quarter of Equestria's total population. So Luna could still have been jealous about the other three quarters preferring her sister's daylight.
DragonGeek 11th Mar 2019, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
Let me try to predict here...
-Gallus: Rarity. Tragic backstory (about as tragic as MLP gets) means great roleplay potential.
-Smolder: Rainbow Dash. High combat abilities, and personality is similar to what her player has already shown (because RD isn't a roleplayer, so she'll just act like herself.)
-Yona: Pinkie Pie. She enjoys playing over-the-top characters with a few gimmicks and good comedy potential.
The others are a little harder to guess...
albedoequals1 11th Mar 2019, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
I'll guess that Ocellus is Twilight, Silverstream is AJ, and Sandbar is Fluttershy, because he doesn't do anything. :p
Idea 12th Mar 2019, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
A mad scientist pony that tried to get inmortality and become the first vampony that later infected other ponies?