Page 1497 - Sentiment Boundary

18th Feb 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Sentiment Boundary
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Feb 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Having a strong editorial instinct and being a good facilitator of a game are often at cross purposes.

Sometimes for the sake of the game and everyone's fun, the little voice in your head going "No that's wrong and dumb!" needs to shut up.

Note: Now accepting guest comic submissions! Rules here. Current deadline: November 10th.

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24 Comments:

Ransom4 18th Feb 2021, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Ransom4
Nice touch on the “Love Stolen vs Love Shared” distinction being foreshadowed this early.
bary 18th Feb 2021, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
twlight sparle
Nightmare Moon 2.0 18th Feb 2021, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
WARNING! WARNING! De-Railing is coming, I REPEAT! De-Railing is coming, everypony get ready! This De-Railing can't be aborted!
Composer99 18th Feb 2021, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
A-WOOG-A! A-WOOG-A!
Winged Cat 18th Feb 2021, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Applejack: If common spells and direct attacks won't work on her...

Twilight: ...then you have to use an uncommon spell?

Rainbow: Yeah, I guess...AAAHH!!

[Scene cut: Rainbow Dash is cranking a siren, Pinkie Pie is shouting into a megaphone, and Applejack is standing there with a boggled expression.]

Rainbow: This is a Changeling Banish Alert!

Pinkie: All ponies please take shelter as quickly as possible!
Composer99 18th Feb 2021, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
The guest players have spoken. So let it be. ;)
King Marth 18th Feb 2021, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
I had a phase where I was sick of "dramatic timing", the setup where heroes always arrive at a location precisely when something big is happening that can only be resolved by their immediate action. I took this and put lots of time and effort into the game I was running to have it clear that the dangerous situation was ongoing, had started before the heroes arrived, and would continue to slowly deteriorate if nothing was done; if they had been one day sooner or later, it really wouldn't have mattered much, but their involvement still made things much better. As a result, subtle hints were available from ongoing damage, and the powers that be didn't resolve everything on their own because they were already putting everything they had into slowing the bleeding. When a bunch of events did all go together at once, it was because of huge visible displays that drew in attention from all around, or that could be predicted ahead of time thus giving a reason to congregate at that moment.

My players were mostly confused as to why nothing magically appeared when they showed up. When they got the clues to predict something big would happen, it was perplexing to hear that it was a week out rather than in the next five minutes. While you definitely need to maintain tone and the feeling of things making sense, there's a lot of details that no-one else will care about. (Of course, it's always the details that you didn't even consider that players do end up caring about.)
Kittoradra 19th Feb 2021, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
As weird as that sounds, I like it. It gives the world a feel of being "alive". I'm still early in trying to run games... but I'm hoping to set things up over time to where the party **has** to choose between one action or another. Follow the lead about bandits in one direction, or kobolds in another? Rumors about disappearing bodies from a graveyard somewhere else? And the ones that aren't chosen will either continue to worsen (bandits moving from "highway robbery" to "taking control of an out-of-the-way town", for instance), or other adventurers (NPC parties) will take care of problems (sometimes in ways that the player party might not like).

While everyone likes feeling like the "main character" of the story. So when things of note happen without them, it throws them off... but that's something that people forget about. There's **always** things going on where the players aren't, so why should that be such a surprise?
Digo 18th Feb 2021, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Shining's player: "So do we make out or...?"
Cadance's player: "Hon, this isn't a LARP."
Digo 18th Feb 2021, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Wait, thought of a better one--

Shining: "Prepare ship for light squee."
Cadance: "No no no. Light squee is too low."
Shining: "Light squee is too low?"
Cadance: "We will have to go directly to... Ludicrous Squee!"
Party: *gasp!*
Shining: "Hon I don't know if the GM's campaign can take this."
Cadance: "What's the matter, Shining? Bugged?"
Otterfriend 18th Feb 2021, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
What the heck was that?
Cadence and Shining armor.
They've gone to heart-shapes!
Freki and Gary 18th Feb 2021, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
What have I done? My brains! Are being overcome by sqee!
Prairie Son 18th Feb 2021, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
As a GM, this is the point where you call a break while you try to figure out the mechanics. Personally, I'd let Shining Armor have the ability to cast the spell once, at the cost of draining Cadence of whatever she has left for Dailies and Encounters. No power without price.
MechaDitz 18th Feb 2021, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes you just wanna believe in the power of love
Anvildude 18th Feb 2021, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
It's a curious thing.
Ghost_Writer 18th Feb 2021, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
Make one DM weep, make the PCs sing.
Freki and Gary 18th Feb 2021, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Change a boss to a little white dove.
Winged Cat 18th Feb 2021, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
"These horns of ours are burning pink! Their loud roar tells us to grasp happiness!"
Anvildude 18th Feb 2021, 3:08 PM edit delete reply
Technically, they could go with "Hooves" and still call it "Shining Finger". 'cause horse hooves are fingers. Single, loooong fingers that they stand on the tips of.
KtarraMoon 18th Feb 2021, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
https://youtu.be/3p6UsXWmaFw
AnonTheMouse 19th Feb 2021, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
But my planned climax!
Kaze Koichi 19th Feb 2021, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
GM: Do I have to say anything in this?

Poor GM. You let them sweet-talk you once, and now they think it's completely normal to steal narrative from you. You should bring DiscordDM back, remind them how it feels to be on the other side of bullshit.
It's ok if the players win by quick thinking, or by using a rule you forgot about. But not like this. This is just insulting.
Warlock 20th Feb 2021, 3:54 AM edit delete reply
"But" what, GM?

Despite my opinions on this section arc, I will say this: So far, the GM has gotten their way on the story pretty well. But as pointed out in comments and even the comics to a degree before, what *is* your end game plan? You invited a pair of players that, for the most part, have been relatively... well... absent from the main scene (whether that's fine or not is moot for this). Proceeded to establish how important things are by setting them up as high-profile folk in a realm, had an army drain the stamina of the main 6 (protracted fights weigh both on characters and players alike, fun or otherwise). The elements of Harmony have been clearly blocked off by narrative impasses (mostly by too many obstacles in previously mentioned protracted fights draining stamina), making the players surrender.

Two things strike me at this point: First, you have a pair of guests being *handed* the spotlight. Use it. It's not just obvious, but also respectful given how this arc is kind of more about them than the group. Secondly, the whole 'love makes her stronger bit'.... I'm somewhat surprised that nobody would point out Friendship, which powers the elements of harmony, is just another *type* of love. If blasting Crystalis is going to make her stronger with one, as a GM, are you prepared to start trying to create a green lantern spectrum of what 'love' is?

Leading to: If you have no idea where the players were going with this, and you have an idea in mind, either take time out to spell it out, or let it go. As someone once said, "GM creations are like sand castles, and the party is like those toddlers on the beach playing. Get ready for them to stomp all over it with no appreciation." At the risk of being cliche, "Speak now, or forever hold your peace."
zimmerwald1915 20th Feb 2021, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
The bit about guests being handed the spotlight strikes a chord - in the EqG arc, Twilight was handed the spotlight by the regular players too, to Sunset!GM's great consternation.