Page 588 - Ten Times a Decade

30th Apr 2015, 6:00 AM
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Ten Times a Decade
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 30th Apr 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
As a DM, if you want to hinder the players somehow without being to obvious, you can try "helping" them instead: Tagging along an NPC that has the same aspirations but messes up in some small or big way. Of course, you'll need to previously have had genuinely helpful NPCs tag along so that they don't suspect the plot twist too quickly.

Oh, I'm not implying anything about Spike here, by the way. Sometimes the "helpful" tagalong is just there to poke fun at the players.

33 Comments:

Toric 30th Apr 2015, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
A team of colorful primitive gnomes hidden in your bedroom may seem like an inconvenience at first, but when they kidnap your ringmaster and take him to the woods for unknown reasons, they become a full-blown pain!

Even if the Woods were where the quest was.
ZhonLord 30th Apr 2015, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
That sounds like an episode of Humanity has Declined.
HiveLordLusa 30th Apr 2015, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
He's right, you know. It does sound more official.

As usual I can't Story Time, oh well. I do want to hear about "Troll NPCs" (TNPCs?) though.
FanOfMostEverything 30th Apr 2015, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
Players of Kingmaker may be familiar with Awks, the huge, brutish idiot who you can recruit after beating the Stag Lord. Our DM had a field day with him, showing far more creativity than should be possible for a character with Int 3 when misinterpreting our commands. Anything we told Awks to do, he turned into an excuse to hurt people. Eventually, we sent him to labor in a gold mine... where he befriended a rust monster and fed it pickaxes.

In the end, the miners broke into a cavern full of all kinds of fungi, and Awks was turned into a yellow musk zombie. None of us were in the least bit upset, except for my druid, who regretted having to clear out such a fascinating ecosystem.
aylatrigger 30th Apr 2015, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
This is different if you mean trolling NPCs, NPCs trolling, or NPCs who are the race troll.

I don't think I have had any of the last yet. But as for the first two:

Trolling NPCs: One time the party had suddenly appeared in a new town. Everyone in the town couldn't see or hear us. We went to the tavern. Eventually we heard the bartender give a plot hook to another adventuring party (barbarian, rogue, cleric, paladin, and wizard) about a cave of evil spirits. Being pretty much spirits at that point, we decided to follow them. As we were following the party, we got bored. So we started playing jokes on them, talking, poking them, and so on. ...My LG monk did not see the harm, as they could not feel, see or hear anything from us, and let it happen. Anyway, as we were going to the cave, we were getting more 'in tune' with the real world. So the ethereal knife that was placed in the wizard's head slowly started itching and hurting him, eventually driving him insane. He ran off. One of our party members talked to the cleric, but the cleric wouldn't listen. So he told the cleric that he was the cleric's god, and now hated the cleric for ignoring him. The cleric broke down. The paladin would not listen to our party, so our trouble makers instead convinced the barbarian that the paladin wanted to kill him, and he needed to kill the paladin first. ...The barbarian thought the voices were his consciousness, and went through with it. At this and the fondling done by our rogue, the rogue ran straight into the cave. Seeing the rogue run and the barbarian kill the paladin, my monk finally got a clue that something was wrong, and went after the rogue to try to console her. ...Being in the cave made me more real, but the rogue took this as a sign of being crazy. She tried to commit suicide. I tried to stop her. I did, but then she succeeded in her second attempt.
aylatrigger 30th Apr 2015, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
NPCs trolling: One game I was GMing had two trolling characters, neither of which trolling on purpose. One was our ranger NPC, who was the stalker/poisoner/yandere for our party's language professor and hexblade (our party was him and his failing students, all from That University). Anyway, her stalking tendencies including numerous attempts to make love to him, mostly through poisoning his tea. This did upset him a lot, and I would say mostly trolled the character as the player sometimes even took over the role of the stalker in order to troll his own character, who hated her. The other trolling character was definitely not trolling on purpose, as his Intelligence was 1. Orc was the High Priest of Bahgtru, orc god of stupidity (and loyalty and strength, but I think those are secondary). He was stupider than most animals, as most of his 1 intelligence was spent on knowing the orc language (he did not know common). Orc became a reoccurring character in our game, showing up to try to mess with the party, usually unsuccessfully despite being a 20th level cleric. ...He earned all of those levels from pure role playing, as his own stupidity foiled him in most battles. Anyway, while most of the time he was ineffectual, after I realize that you can get the ability to marry people pretty easily, he had some trolling. Namely, while the entire party was knocked out, he started marrying us. The professor was married to his stalker. My TA warforged wu jen...was married to a barbarian toaster I had fought earlier (barbarians got +10 ft move speed, but this unplugged her from the wall). Our male gnome bard was also married to the professor. Also I think that somehow we got the legendary hero of the continent, a CG 1st level bard...and atropal... thrown in the mix? Anyway, we had a bunch of marriages that were mostly trolling.
Disloyal Subject 30th Apr 2015, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I can satisfy the latter two, but haven't run it yet...
One of my favorites in my folder of "random" encounters is a Troll Archivist living under a bridge. She's actually a Good-aligned worshipper of Boccob, and keeper of assorted prophecies, so she can serve as a questgiver... IF they don't take the bait and murder her for being from a 'usually evil' carnivorous race.
FanOfMostEverything 30th Apr 2015, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Trolling with a troll? I applaud the recursion.
Joe the Rat 1st May 2015, 5:19 AM edit delete reply
I got one for the last one:
My current campaign is a spin-off from another GM (same world, different region). His was a very... fanciful setting. Story-driven, light fantasy, emphasis on humor. Aimed for Pratchett, landed on Piers Anthony. So he's big on a silly setting. I... am not so much. I've learned that when you're going for a humor game, it's best to let the players provide, and play it with a light touch. My Players troll each other enough that I have little that needs done in that regard.

But I digress.

As a nod to its origins, I try to have a few humorous bits and pieces in the world. Gary the Concussed Goblin, aka Elfbeard the wanna-be sky-pirate. Gildermeer the absent-minded spymaster. Every kobold ever. Half(ling)-and-half(ogre) transport, LLC.

And top chef trolls.

In addition to being large, ugly, vile monstrosities that can regenerate from a hangnail, they are often quite talented in culinary arts. Perhaps it's the sense of smell, or the lack of fear when it comes to sharp implements. But when they are not simply devouring people raw, they can put together delicious (if dubious) foods. The party has already picked up some exquisite artisinal sausages of unknown origin (pork, herbs, a bit of apple, and "other". Next trek through the southern woods, they'll meet the maker. Their next session will include a lake-troll encounter. If they chase them back to their home, they will find a cave that smells of warm chocolate, and another troll pulling cookies from a crude oven.

Nessie troll-house cookies.

Your players throw a pun at you like that, you gotta take a swing at it.
Raxon 30th Apr 2015, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
"Joe do smart thing!"

I dreaded these words so deeply. There was a troll named Joe. Joe was actually retarded. We're talking I had to help him dress every morning, or he would run naked everywhere with his lil goblin dragging. Joe seemed specifically designed to piss us off, and hoo boy, did he ever.

He told the drow queen her dress was pretty, and asked if he can try it on. He was constantly eating assorted poisonous things off the ground, requiring us to reserve cure poison spells just for him. He even found a wild dire badger and brought it back to camp, then accidentally dropped it on me. I did not get my hp back for resting that night. In fact, I lost some extra.

The DM thought Joe was cute and whimsical. We all wanted to murder Joe in his sleep. However, we were stuck with him, because we knew that DM. If any one of us killed him, then the fact that the rest of us didn't stop him in time meant we were his accomplices. We would all have our alignments changed to chaotic evil, and we would be wanted fugitives. We would get caught and sentenced.

The clincher came when Joe died. He wandered off in the night again, brought trouble again, and one of the enemy hit him with splash damage, critting and killing him.

We found diamonds and a scroll of ressurection in the loot.

The cleric said, "at last, I can bring back my wife!"

DM: "No, you want to bring back Joe."

This was the same DM who argued that defying authority, even corrupt authority, is an evil act. The same one who, when I actually dared to make an evil character, had him arrested before he had committed any crime by the local guards and he got the choice of rotting in prison, or reforming and joining the holy order of neutered niceness, or whatever it was called. Either way, dead end for my character build.

And, might I note, he was just a bystander, and a thief threw some money at him to create a diversion. The guards arrested him, and our DM said, "yeah, but he's evil, so the system works."

EDIT: You know, looking back, I wonder if that DM actually did have some personality disorder. There was sort of a running theme with him that everything had to be black and white. Bad guys always have to be punished for being bad people, even if they have done nothing wrong. Yeah, a paladin losing his paladinhood for resisting a corrupt authority is a sign of a bad DM.
ANW 30th Apr 2015, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Over here on the left, weighing "Don't you dare", Applejack
And on the right, weighing "You want to get hurt", Rainbow Dash
Who do you think will win?
Guest 30th Apr 2015, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Appledash!

No, no, wait... Rainbow Jack!
you know that guy 30th Apr 2015, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
obviously Twilight will win, because magic. Magic always beats wings, and usually beats hat.

I am hearing the bottom panels in the official voice actors' voices! Probably should get that checked out by a neurologist.
Draxynnic 30th Apr 2015, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
What about magic hat?
Disloyal Subject 30th Apr 2015, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Don't be silly, everyone knows hats aren't magic. It's the beards!
Specter 30th Apr 2015, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Specter
The barrels. cause they weigh "Whatever".
aylatrigger 30th Apr 2015, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Based on how much real life ponies weigh, probably 800 lbs. give or take a few hundred. I estimated around 830 lbs. for both of them based on images of them, larger ponies, and horses and the general heights and weights of horses and ponies... And yeah, I id this years ago for Ponyfinder. Of course, if we instead base it off 'more realistic' weights for using rope and doing other things cuts that to 1/4 according to my group...and I've seen others that say it is more 100-200 or 200-300 lbs. range.

Of course, we could just do actual weights. Applejack and Rainbow Dash both weigh 3.2 ounces, according to the data on Amazon for their basic toys.

...So anywhere from 3.2 ounces to 800 some pounds, depending on human-world-like, functional-in-d&d, or toy-like.

And I don't care who will win, as either one would kill me for the weight analyzing.
Disloyal Subject 30th Apr 2015, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Did you incorporate the fact that they're specifically 'Little' ponies?
Besides which, Dash is going for the Wonderbolts. I imagine being weighed is part of that; she's probably used to it.
ANW 30th Apr 2015, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
How did a predation poll ended up about weight?
Digo 1st May 2015, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Predator-Prey relationships can be a heavy subject. :3
j-eagle12212012 1st May 2015, 3:01 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
Take a wild guess who I pick ^_^
No! 30th Apr 2015, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
You can't call something annual until it's actually been repeated. It's 'inaugural' for the first one.
Boris Carlot 30th Apr 2015, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
That's what they WANT you to think. Check out my article, 10 Things About Running Events THEY Don't Want You to Know About.
Jennifer 30th Apr 2015, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Neat, I never noticed the tournament-style tents before! Seeing these screen-shots helps me spot lots of details I don't notice in the animation. I'm grateful to Newbiespud for that; he wrote once about how hard it was to put voice panels over the art, and I think the comic does bring out some of the detail that's harder to see while watching the show.
Anon 30th Apr 2015, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
One of our GMs sprung that on us in an Encounters session. We had an acolyte of Kelemnvor along, who by this point in the adventure was in so far over her head she needed a tank and flippers. We had finished skulking through the catacombs and come across the ritualist du jour who was planning... something, and had just sicced his minions on us for disturbing him. Our GM had the acolyte dash forward during he crush, to either heal or Spare the Dying on one of our bulwark, houting "HELPING!" as she did so. (Poor thing was so overwhelmed that's about as coherent as she was going to be.)

Unfortunately, that shout woke up a couple of ghouls from a chamber we had bypassed on the grounds it was too big to search quickly, and we had been on a time limit. So now on top of a magic knight, some kind of hounds and some kobolds to deal with, we had paralyzing flesh-eaters coming up from behind.

(We survived, barely, but I suspect the acolyte either retired or put in for adventuring duty after that.)
Specter 30th Apr 2015, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Hindering NPCs, don't know if I can count what happened, since it ended sort of weird (got caught, party didn't do anything to them).

What about players who hinder NPCs? Granted it's sort of obvious, but what if it was players (or just one) who just kept trolling one unfortunate soul (I really couldn't think of a good way to put it)? I only wonder cause a party member I was with did it so bad, that they turned one into a villain, and it was the entire party's favirote.
Masterweaver 30th Apr 2015, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Masterweaver
I could point to a number of characters in FiD.

But I won't.
Exgallion 30th Apr 2015, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Or, Rarity, you could be going and start making the dresses the Mane 6 will need for the Gala.
Digo 30th Apr 2015, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
Now that the Ricin scare has died down, my story (yeah, the scare made the news and everything).

NPCs that "Aren't Helping": In the Fallout Equestria game I'm in, we had one NPC who was a very polarizing character. Lawful Neutral by design, she would help by making certain decisions for us in an encounter so that we follow the local laws. This then caused the party to argue among themselves on whether following said laws or going vigilante was the better choice in the long run (because these laws were really more like guidelines set up by bad ponies).

It got so bad to the point we discussed it OOC and had to eliminate the NPC from the game entirely in order to save the game.
JSchunx 30th Apr 2015, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
y'know, the only time I brought a useless npc along, I legitimately thought he would be helpful. I foolishly overlooked the fact that a spellthief becomes far less useful when the majority of the enemies he's facing are 1: immune to sneak attacks, and 2: not spellcasters.

For some reason, I really thought he'd be good to have along, though. And for most of the trip, he was, at least, inoffensive. Buuuut, in the final battle, he fumbled a roll and accidentally broke the bauble that was keeping them from feeling the ambient effects of the region they were in. They won, in spite of that, and closed the planar rift that was causing said effect, so it all worked out, but suffice it to say, this spellthief was more-or-less out of work after that debacle.
Mykin 30th Apr 2015, 9:32 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
The only thing I can say to this is that I had one time where my DM said a couple of lines then out of the blue told me to say them in an announcer's voice. I can't do a normal announcer's voice, so I did my monster truck announcer impression instead. Ironically, this derailed the game for a good 15 minutes as everyone attempted to do better than me before the whole idea was dropped in favor of continuing on with the game.

I honestly wish I remembered exactly what we were doing that required me to do such a thing.
Bacchante 1st May 2015, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
In a 3.5e game I'm running the party's picked up an NPC Psion they've been keeping with them. He's a level or so behind the party, but they're still pretty attached to him; as he's one of their only real sources of AoE damage.

... buuuut he's also about sixteen, and Neutral Evil. So the party fighter, a very large, angry woman who's startlingly effective in combat in spite of being a Fighter, has to keep an eye on him. He has a habit of doing rather vindictive or cruel things if left alone. Like using the power 'Matter Agitation' to finish off downed enemies.

1 Fire damage the first round, 1d4 the second, 1d6 from then on. Described as causing skin to burn, hair to ignite, and any metal they're wearing to become red-hot.

Really, it is a rather efficient damage power...
Rubahhitam 1st May 2015, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
I had an NPC who trolled a player a few years back. Maude the Orc. 300 lbs. of 6 Charisma. The Rogue got drunk, failed a Perception check, and went to bed with what he deemed (in his drunken stupor) was a "hottie". Cue Maude the following morning. Cue Rogue jumping naked out the second-story window. Cue Maude flirting in Fat Albert's voice. She trolled a few more times, the Rogue being drunk on almost all of them, and a percentile roll determined she was pregnant. Cue Maude's brother, an Orc smith named Claude. Our D&D veteran got kind of annoyed after a while, and the joke got old, so I stopped using her. Mayhap one day she shall return...>:)

-Ru