Page 1374 - Apology Tour

7th May 2020, 6:00 AM in Guest Arc: Equestria Girls
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Apology Tour
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 7th May 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: GreatDinn

Guest Author's Note: "People put a lot of their time, energy, and heart into these games. Emotions run hot at the table. Friendships can get made or shattered. When a fight breaks out at the table, I don't think you always have to apologize or be apologized to. Sometimes, we pick the wrong group. Sometimes, there are just people you don't get along with.

But sometimes, you do have the right group. And sometimes, people have bad nights. And sometimes, people say things they regret.

I hope the next time any of us reach a tipping point during a game, we can step back and remember that people are playing because they care, and that you already share a common bond.

Because the alternative is a lot to carry with you."
(Pop-out)

18 Comments:

ANW 7th May 2020, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Story Time

As a DM, have you ever had to take someone off to the side to talk about something?
Jannard 7th May 2020, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
I've had to do that, but it's not something I'd rather talk about.
Big Lurker 7th May 2020, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
I've been lucky enough that the times something like this happened, it hasn't been so had it couldn't wait until after the session. Usually when emotions are running hot, a short break to let people cool down does the job...
Warlock 8th May 2020, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Arguably, I usually have to do the opposite. Allow me to explain.

I'm the type of person who GMs with other GMs. Meaning, we all have our creative means and have a nice rotation where we all get to be a player from time to time. Unfortunately, I'm also what I call the "recruiter". The guy who is open in the real world about the hobby, inviting folks to games, etc...

Naturally, this means I usually get taken to the side to act as 'mediator' for a number of problems, a fair chunk of them petty. While some problems are best handled this way, I do tend to try to suggest hints to other players about their actions towards anonymous folks reporting them.

But then, there are times, where I have to invoke a personal time out for folks to air their dirty laundry for others to see. Being trusted as the mediator means I mediate between two folk, allowing their actions to come to light and face the accusor too.

However, I've had also the time where I've had to intervene on stuff that I didn't find fun either. GMs have the right to have fun as well, and when you and your half-orc dungeon slave spend two real-time hours trying to determine if you're pregnant via any number of birthing means, you probably are going to kill a mood, much less the momentum of the narrative.
Toric 7th May 2020, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
So, following the advice of some people on the previous pages to go back and read the whole arc all at once, I've changed my perspective a little.

There's some debate on Twilight's conduct, and here she is apologizing for not being the best guest. As near as I can tell though, Twilight only did a few things arguably wrong. First, she was a bit unenthused by the early game, and shared those sentiments with the main DM (but this was done privately), not really openly criticizing the game. Second, she maybe replied a little snottily to Sunset DM a few times, but usually after they had made a pushy, assumptive, or rude comment first. Third, she didn't have her phone turned off at a point when Sunset DM was building towards a dramatic reveal. Otherwise, Twilight was actively trying to build enthusiasm and activity from the other players, and trying not to countermand Sunset DM in front of the group. I could certainly see apologizing and guilt for the situation in Twilight's character, but I also think it is ungenerous to accuse her of bad behavior so much as possible error.

Likewise, it is also fair to say that, while unhappy about the direction the game had taken, Sunset DM was working to accommodate the group's plan. Granted, they still had a railroad station for them to reach, but that's true of most campaigns anyway. Sunset DM did not put a ton of effort into building the results of their efforts, but it did seem like they were at least warming up to the engagement by the players. In a way, reading straight through almost makes the outburst of the last few pages seem even more like a flash in the pan, though the conflict between Sunset DM and Twilight still feels very real.

Anyway, just some thoughts we can fight about if we want.
Jannard 7th May 2020, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
I also followed my own advise and realized I was right (or at least, I was right for my own case), so I'll proceed to congratulate myself (?)
Warlock 8th May 2020, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
Another way to view Twilight's apology: Humility isn't always right, but it is correct.

For the folks who see that Twilight did nothing wrong, or has no cause to apologize, why not? Logically, yes, but logic can be cold, sterile, and may alienate the crux of another problem: SS feels far more alone than she ever thought she could in her own safety net of friends. By self-depreciating her own actions, Twilight reduces this risk by attempting to suggest common ground.

Now true, one *could* argue that measuring pain, as a form of contest, trivializes it, and in essence, does little but act as a narcissistic demand for attention, but I doubt that with the followup explanation, that's the case at all.

Instead, the CYA (cover your arse) approach is a bit glossy thick, but it's also to acknowledge even if she is aware of some slights, she may not be aware of other slights she caused unintentionally, and perhaps with her experience, should have done better to contain this sooner. Hindsight may be 20/20, but judgement also requires a steady hand, one that sees past the clear results and explores the murky process that got there.

Thus, while SS is perhaps the more overt offender of the moral code, she also lacks the experience that Twi had to understand the situation as it unfolded. Perhaps even Twi lacks the experience to spot it to prevent it, but at least she had enough to halt it and begin damage repair before the ship fully sank.

It is why this is a group game. Everyone's complicit in regulating everyone else, because the first rule states, "everyone has fun".
Free 7th May 2020, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
D'awww…And there we go, conflict--well, like the major conflict (specifically the stressful one)--resolved! "Hey, bro, I'm still not totally cool about what just went down, but I've been where you are and we're both sorry about how we got here. We don't gotta be besties, but let's just be chill." I like it. It's simple and it conveys all it needs to without being overblown or drawn out, and really, that's kind'a how all my conversations/apologies have gone down in the past. Leading up to the moment is super stressful, but then you just take a breath and get out the "I'm sorry" and…it feels so much better and it's not usually the super big deal you built it up as in your head. (Well…when who you're apologizing to is a reasonable person and what you did wasn't actually that bad…but that's a different story entirely!)

Considering most of the conflict at this table amounted to being a bit impolite (Twiggles) and overly controlling and emotional (Sunny), with no long term consequences for anybody or bodily harm or damaged property, like, what more do you need other than a sincere apology? Can't say it's perfect, but it's a great page! Good job. Sunny rejoining her group is really what's gonna sell the resolution of this whole arc, so I'm looking forward to the next.
Jannard 7th May 2020, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
It should probably be worth noting that I didn't watch EQG. In fact, I've also stopped watching MLP:FiM after season 4 (Kudos to Newbiespud for creating content that makes me wanna keep reading even if I no longer follow the source material).

I wonder how much not knowing the narrative arc of the source material may have influenced my perspective and opinion on how things could or should pan out... I guess I'll never know. But again, nice job GreatDinn, all in all and in spite of the tension in the comments.
SomeGuyNamedDavid 7th May 2020, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, the sincere honesty of "Of course I'm mad" might in itself even be almost as comforting as the reverse.
Digo 7th May 2020, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
I just want to add that it is VERY dangerous to corral your players into the kitchen. You will lose a lot of soda that way. ;)
Cygnia 7th May 2020, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Joke's on them -- all my players will find is carbonated water!
Lethologica 7th May 2020, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Whatever one thinks of Twilight and SS at this point, keep in mind that part of the conflict was due to differing perspectives. SS was presented with rather a fait accompli where Twilight was the new star of the show and the rest of the party just went along with it. Twilight knows that it came from an organic brainstorming session with the players and they made her the star, not the other way around. SS forgot about making the players happy, and Twilight forgot about making the DM happy. Debates can be had about the relative size of each oversight, but the ultimate point is that both parties had lessons to learn.
BackSet 7th May 2020, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
You know, in the original they forgave Sunset for turning the entire school populace into a zombie army in order to invade and take over Equestria, and trying to kill them, forgiving her for being /kind/ of a bad friend is a step down.
Faen the Monk 7th May 2020, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
On one hand, I appreciate where you're coming from. But as far as an actual narrative, a conflict among friends that is resolved is easier to buy than random pony magic ex-machina. If anything, if we pretend hasbro was DMing the EQG movie, their meltdown to have a dramatic battle at the end felt off the rails.
That lackluster finale and apology despite being a monster in the film AT LEAST made more sense with Rainbow Rocks, where no one bought her apology and still treat her coldly.
BackSet 8th May 2020, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
Hasbro would be the worst, most railroad-y gm imaginable. If there's a fight it's either in their plan or punishing players for trying to break the railroad.
redwings1340 8th May 2020, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
"Of course I'm mad"

Love that line, because its easy to think in terms of absolutes. Either someone is mad and hates me, or they are an incredible friend and are super happy with me.

In reality, its more complicated. Twilight is mad, and she also understands. Ultimately she realizes that its best right now to try and learn from this than to let anger be the dominant emotion, even if its still there.