Page 1209 - Background Crisis

18th Apr 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Background Crisis
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Apr 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
It's not often one gets to do the whole "drop a critical and shocking piece of information in a casual sentence" bit in a game, but boy do I love it.

30 Comments:

UrzaMTG 18th Apr 2019, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy-player is taking to her yak role _extremely_ well, I am impressed!
Guest 18th Apr 2019, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
having not seen the episode these screencaps are from, I'm imagining the voice of the yak to sound like Fluttershy when she was under the curse in the episode that introduced Zacora. (the episode that sold me on the series to be honest)
Anvildude 18th Apr 2019, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
You're... not too far off, actually. A little higher pitched, a little rougher...

Of course, I'm trying to imagine Yona's lines being done in Fluttershy's voice, and it's hilarious.
Techwatcher 18th Apr 2019, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
This is a classic set-up for PCs to immediately:
1) instantly be suspicious of the NPC for revealing such sensitive info carelessly
2) capture said NPC for interrogation
3) interrogate said NPC to find out what nefarious plan they are up to
4) kill said NPC for being suspicious
5) watch helplessly as GM fiat prevents them from carrying out items 2 - 4.
6) face TPK when GM decides to reveal that this really is the Big Bad they are supposed to fight several levels later
Gamemaster80 18th Apr 2019, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
And this is why I use pre-made adventures. Every time I try to run a homebrew, the players see right through everything and try to bum-rush the main bad guy.
Luna 18th Apr 2019, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
I tend to let them if they knowingly try to do so just to either spite me or prove a point (oh noes, we don't want to be railroaded). Either they're not prepared and face TPK, or they somehow win this and hey, congrats, we have no longer a campaign to play ! Who likes monopoly ? :D

Hopefuly, they'll think it twice next time. ^^

To clarify and avoid confusion, I usually try to be as "loose" as possible in my dming, making the game as open as I can, but I always find it annoying when player invoke the damn "railroads" at everything happening even when I'm more than half improvising, just because they think trying to follow the plot in itself is submitting to railroading. I mean, if they don't want a plot, they can just say so. But whenever I did go for a plotless game, letting them do what they really wanted to do... well, players usually complains about nothing happening XD
NoOneofConsequence 18th Apr 2019, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
I think a good tactic might be to have "save points" so to speak.
They rush the big bad, they die. "You aren't gonna that again yet are you?"
They rush him and win, "Welp game over. Either 'reload a save' to actually play the game or get out the playing cards."

Might be a bit video-gamey, but as long as you don't let them save-scum it could work well enough.
Techwatcher 18th Apr 2019, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
This set-up of an NPC casually revealing sensitive information to PCs that they should not have and items 5 & 6 are usually a sign of bad GMing. The NPC is clearly showing suspicious behaviour, but the GM won't let the PCs investigate properly (or improperly if they just kill the NPC).
Guest 20th Apr 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Not necessarily. If the point is for the NPC to be suspicious so the players investigate, then that's just working within the players' tendencies to produce a story. Otherwise known as good GMing. (And, considering how the season goes normally, that looks like pretty much exactly how it went down.)

I mean, I know we all like the classic "murder mystery" setup, where you don't know whodunnit until you put in the legwork. But sometimes it's fun to mix things up and put the villain right in front of the party and say "okay, now figure out how to beat this asshole without becoming the villains yourselves." The baddie is sitting in a seemingly unassailable position, and the puzzle posed to the players is to figure out how to go about assailing them.
Archone 19th Apr 2019, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like you need to have a talk with your more problematic players. "Look, this is all bout collaborative storytelling. You don't want to get on the rails, we're not going anywhere. You want the rails to go in a particular direction, tell me where you want to go."
Nimbostratus 18th Apr 2019, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Nah, it's a setup to make them THINK this NPC is the Big Bad, but they're really a big ole' red herring.
Malroth 18th Apr 2019, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Malroth
They bum rush and kill Cosy Glow. 10 Seconds later some other pegasus pony twitches for a couple seconds and then speaks in Cosy Glows voice continuing the conversation as if nothing happened. Every time they kill one Another Pony Colt is taken over by the nefarious personality untill the problem is actually solved.
Winged Cat 19th Apr 2019, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Malroth's idea is how to get the PCs to depopulate the entire school, then?
What if? 18th Apr 2019, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
What if is that what they want? They put a bait in front of you, a suspicious person in a suspicious time and the chance for the group to take it... Only to fall for the trap of the DM that knew you were going to do that so instead of derailing, you did what he wanted.
GrayGriffin 18th Apr 2019, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
I mean, the DM has already described Cozy Glow as "unbearably" cute and helpful, so at least he's anticipated the likely reaction to her.
ANW 18th Apr 2019, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Time's running out, and I do mean it's running out.
You don't have time to mess around.

Ever had a game where it turned out that because you wasted time on something, something bad happen?

I don't mean wasting a turn in battle, I meant from a story perspective.
Zorro362 18th Apr 2019, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
All the time..... our dm is big on factions and “living worlds” where things don’t stop progressing just because the players are not there.
Meaning we never really have much screwing around time during our adventures
SilverShadow4 19th Apr 2019, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
In our current game we went traipsing around the country doing other (equally important) quests and didn't bother to investigate the mysterious plague in the poor district of the capital. It's a huge city with an entire church of people with restorative spells, they've got this right?
When we returned the plague had spread, people were dropping like flies with no warning symptoms and being evacuated out of the district into a shanty town outside the city walls. We tried to investigate, got pretty much nowhere and decided to go tackle another big problem we could handle lol
SilverShadow4 19th Apr 2019, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
I suspect a significant portion of the capital's population will be dead by the time we return. We've already been gone almost a week and will probably still be here for a while longer
Digo Dragon 18th Apr 2019, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well that escalated quickly.

I do love to occasionally drop a critical and shocking piece of info on my players, but I hate when they just shrug and ignore that piece of info. A great example is a recent session in a Starfinder campaign I'm running--

The PCs were exploring a secret lab that appears to have been abandoned. Bits of clues start pointing out that someone or something killed every researcher here. Eventually, the party finds a robot research assistant that is happy to help the party with answers to some of their questions. The party's tech expert takes a look at the robot's core programming and sees that someone edited its functions to ignore all safety protocols that would keep it from harming anyone. Plus there's some added instructions encoded that appear to be malevolent in nature.

The tech adds a line in the code so that the robot assumes he's its owner and the party moves on, taking the robot with them.

Um...
Gamemaster80 18th Apr 2019, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes you just have to be blunt. You could keep it in universe by having notes in the code. I've done a touch of coding before when trying to go for an IT degree. Turns out when you put a # in front of anything you're typing in code, it makes it not run as code. It's a way for coders to leave notes like:

#This line makes it so it does the thing.
code
code
code #this line makes it stop doing the thing

So you'd put:

Code #this makes it ignore all previous lines
code #kill all humans

If they still ignore it, well that's on them :D
Digo Dragon 18th Apr 2019, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
DM does not stand for "Baby Sitter". ;)

I'm not gonna coddle the PCs. The clues I gave them were straight-forward: the robot was programmed to kill. If their priority is to steal the robot over disabling its kill coding, it's on them when they're attacked by it in their sleep.
Some Guy 18th Apr 2019, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Much like it's on them if they figure drinking the fancy wine bottles they stole from a big crate marked "Poison" is a good idea.
Borg 18th Apr 2019, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
As somebody who actually works in software development, I can attest that any code that is not well-seasoned with comments to explain what it's doing is bad code. If that code is responsibly written, a critical part like the safety protocols should be especially thoroughly commented, explaining exactly what it's doing and making it clear this piece of code should never be edited unless absolutely necessary.

As somebody who actually works in software development, I can attest that the code that keeps the robot from killing everybody is most likely devoid of comments and located in a method cryptically named checkTheStuff().
Hankroyd 18th Apr 2019, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
If your code works, and nobody know how, you can't be fired.
CJT 18th Apr 2019, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Sure you can be fired. They'll just hand your undocumented code to the new hire, and say "make this also do all of this stuff; you have (half the amount of time needed if you were already familiar with the code)". This is actually the normal way of doing things.

If for unrelated reasons they decide they want to keep you, then you're stuck maintaining an undocumented system that you yourself have forgotten the details of (and have to reverse-engineer every six months), instead of working on something new that you aren't tired of. This too is normal; it happens when there isn't enough project time to write development and maintenance notes (i.e. most of the time).

Part of the reason I love my current job is that my boss does try to give me time to document things (about half the time needed, but such is life).
Archone 19th Apr 2019, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
That's... not really a bad idea on the players' part. Assuming they're going to open the robot up and customize it more thoroughly (including editing the code to ensure loyalty and prevent murder), once they get it back to their ship and/or secure and dedicated facility for doing the work. Then they've got themselves an HK-47 on the team.
GrayGriffin 20th Apr 2019, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin
I mean, "don't kill people" should be the first command you give, you know? They were already looking into the code, they could at least have put the safety protocol bit back.
Classic Steve 18th Apr 2019, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
I just noticed how close "stamped" is to "stampede."

That's where my mind is.
Mr_Some1 19th Apr 2019, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
Mr_Some1
Oh okay, going straight into season 8 finale from right after season 2 opener. Seems legit. I understand why you did it though, coming up with how discorDM will redeem himself will take quite a bit of time. Also this is a really fun season finale, so I get wanting to cover it.