Page 1349 - Nudge, Nudge

10th Mar 2020, 6:00 AM in Guest Arc: Equestria Girls
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Nudge, Nudge
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Mar 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: GreatDinn

Guest Author's Note: "I like to assume Pinkie Pie is drumming Communication Breakdown in the next room, while the rest of the girls wait. Which I obviously can't show in this comic. Because it would get a copyright strike, you see. Definitely not because trying to make all of the onomatopoeias for drums would be a headache on par with listening to Communication Breakdown at high volumes, and it would look like a goofy mess that no one understands unless I put it in the author's note.

Oh, I guess on the actual topic of the comic: Subtlety is an art. But as with all art that is intended to be shared, people have to, ya know...see it. You can't get mad no one came to see your gallery if you hid it in the forest. (Though I do feel for Sunset DM just a bit.)"

28 Comments:

Gamemaster80 10th Mar 2020, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes you can only be so vague. There are times you have to leave what amounts to a giant billboard saying "Please do this! This is what all my notes and planning lead to!" else the players will do something so out of left field in terms of your ideas that you have to come up with everything on the fly.
Digo 10th Mar 2020, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
I once had the "hand of God" appear from the clouds in the sky and point at the clue I was trying to hint at.

The players then understood with a mutual "Ohhhh" and that was followed by God giving a thumbs up.

I told my players next time they're getting Zeus with some lightning bolts. XD
zimmerwald1915 10th Mar 2020, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
No need to switch mythologies - Yahweh started off as a storm god.
A Quiet Reader 10th Mar 2020, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
Where did you hear that?
Guest 11th Mar 2020, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Maybe they're thinking of that early incident with the flooding and the drowning and the ark-ing.
Prof. Haystacks 17th Mar 2020, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
It's a hypothesis that's been floating around for awhile. It's based on the Song of the Sea in Exodus, but is considered speculative. Google something like "Song of the sea storm god" for more.
aylatrigger 10th Mar 2020, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
I made a god specifically for this due to one party.
Dues Machi (pronounces 'Duce Machi'), the God of Plot Convenience, McGyverisms, and things randomly going right.
I once had to say he hands the party a map with a big x saying 'go here'.
CrowMagnon 10th Mar 2020, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I identify with Sunset's pain so much...
Achtungnight 10th Mar 2020, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
Can Pinkie drum “In the Air Tonight” later or will that get copyrighted too?
DuoScratch 10th Mar 2020, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Sunset's pain is deserved. She's making the rookie GM mistake of expecting players to know what she's thinking. She didn't set up a heist, she set up a basic high school setting, and is now mad that people didn't see her secret heist mixed with said high school setting.

*shrug* we all do it, and we all learn from it.
albedoequals1 10th Mar 2020, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Worse, she's expecting the players to know what she's thinking and agree with it. The whole point of RPGs is that you can attempt anything. Only preparing for one potential plan will always result in disaster
DuoScratch 10th Mar 2020, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Touche, you are indeed correct.

Had a pretty good example of this in a recent game, where as myself and the rest of the party were proceeding to a finale of an adventure that had set up a petty kinglet tyrant using the powers of an ancient sealed up necromancer to kill off the indigenous residents of an island, to found his own kingdom. The GM's plan was to have us go after the Kinglet first, then turn our attentions to the necromancer, but made the mistake of making an event happen to where the necromancer was sending out tendrils of his power to sap away life from random victims, and kill them outright. We ended up choosing to follow the trail this left behind straight to the necromancer's tomb, to which we promptly opened, and confronted the necromancer, Mercian a bit early.

What our GM wanted from his event, was for us to realize that we needed to hurry, because shit was getting serious, but what we as a group decided, was that the hook was telling us that we had the order of operations backwards, and that Mercian was becoming too powerful to put off, and the Kinglet needed to wait, rather than the other way around.

What resulted, was probably one of the most fun sessions we had in awhile, due to our GM being pretty good at rolling with/adapting his story to, our shit. We ended up confronting Mercian, but he pulled a Till Next Time on us, after a pretty good fight, to which, we had to quickly redirect our efforts to the Kinglet, cuz the main assault had started, and things weren't going well, since we were the strike team meant to take down the 5 generals that lead the enemy forces. It was a massive cluster-fuck-scramble, and I loved every minute of it.

Even though that one worked out okay, it's still the same basic thing though, our GM set up what he thought was one thing, but was actually another, and expected us to be perfectly in line with his subtle way of thinking. Of course, he was quickly shown how wrong that was. XD
terrycloth 10th Mar 2020, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
Didn't they consider a heist and then decide it would be out of character for all of them?
Matiekay_13 10th Mar 2020, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
Matiekay_13
Yeah, they did veto the heist for staying-in-character reasons.
Anvildude 10th Mar 2020, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
There is actually something worse than that.

A DM specifically saying "You have complete freedom, and I'll work with what you come up with" when they actually have a specific idea in mind and expect you to agree with it.
Toric 10th Mar 2020, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
On this, I think there's a detail missed in the above threads. She expected Twilight to catch on to the heist, not necessarily the others. She's presenting these as clues Twilight specifically should have put together to organize a heist, possibly because she thinks the other players wouldn't think of it. She expected Twilight to fall in line, and then steer the others into it.

In short, she chose to make everything about Twilight thus far, and she's surprised that Twilight is taking the spotlight. Sure, this is mostly because she doesn't feel like she can reach the other players, but she really put all her eggs in one basket, and arguably she's lucky things have gone as well as they have. Curious to see if she tries to "course-correct" into a heist, or if she rolls well with it.
Digo 10th Mar 2020, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
I find few players that are good at picking up subtlety. Therefore, whatever I think is a reasonable subtle tone for a clue, I add +2 to the volume. It's not loud, but it will get picked up by many more players.
Guest 10th Mar 2020, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Man, subtlety is freaking hard.

The idea is to say something one way but have it be taken another way by the intended audience. Usually, that intended audience is a future version of the current audience, like with foreshadowing.

But when a GM tries to be subtle, what they actually want is for the players to catch it. Which is obviously insane, because the point of subtlety is to NOT be noticed. How do you make something obvious while making it look like it's trying not to be obvious?

Best I can figure, you have to tell them ahead of time. They won't be on the lookout for something if they aren't already looking for it, so before doing anything subtle your players need an idea of what they're supposed to be looking for that's so unusual. Especially when we're talking about fictional settings where "weirdness" is standard operating procedure.

Maybe when they're taking a caravan to another city, the npc driving them there heard rumors about a secretive cult abducting people. Maybe the npc insisted on charging double because, as he says out loud, he doesn't want to get involved with those evil cultists. Then when the party get there, everything seems perfectly normal on the surface, only now they're actively on the lookout for cult-related weirdness.

Or at least, that's the one time I tried being subtle and they actually picked up on it. Probably because I'd basically trapped them in a cutscene with this one wagon merchant where the only thing to do was ask the npc why they didn't like that city, but it got the point across.

Primers. The way I figure it, you have to prime them to look for what you want them to find.
Pablo360 10th Mar 2020, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
Pablo360
Really, the problem is that Sunset wants two things — subtlety and clarity — which are diametrically opposed (foes)
KSClaw 10th Mar 2020, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
It's called communication, Sunset. I know it's a weird concept, but it's surprisingly effective.
Classic Steve 10th Mar 2020, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
When my GM wants us to know something that no NPC is going to say, he tells us to roll an intelligence check. Of course, that works only so well.
Winged Cat 10th Mar 2020, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
There's subtle, and then there's writing in infrared and wondering why no one sees your message. None of the players have reason to suspect a heist is being set up.
Jennifer 10th Mar 2020, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
The Alexandrian blog recommends a "three-clue rule."

On the grounds that the players will miss the first, misinterpret the second, and finally get the third entirely by accident.
Malroth 10th Mar 2020, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
Malroth
3 clues per necessary piece of information with 3 ways to get each clue
Lurker 11th Mar 2020, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I don't even bother with plans in my campaign. The way I built it up is that I have a world full of characters doing their own things, and through this the big story happens. I know that players will always throw any plan into chaos, so I don't bother with a "plan", I basically just show them what is going on, and let them figure out how they want to deal with it. So long as what they come up with is viable in the world/system, it can totally work, which means any group of players who try the campaign will have a wildly different experience based on which npcs they interact with and what angle they come at the various problems from. I've run it a few times now, and so far it seems to work quite well.
A Quiet Reader 11th Mar 2020, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
I'm curious--Did any fellow readers realize Sunset!DM was angling for a heist mission? I certainly didn't.
Toric 11th Mar 2020, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Before the food break, she all but said that was what she was expecting the group to do, and started getting upset that they didn't seem to be going for it. The availability of the school plans was so far disconnected from everything else and brushed over quickly, Pinkie Pie was just said to be planning the formal where it would be awarded, and there was never a convincing thread to make the heist particularly obvious.
Story Time 11th Mar 2020, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes the GM want to do something, s/he give you hints, and try to be "subtle" telling you what is the plan, sadly sometimes players are stupid.

Any good story of players missing the "Clues"?