Page 79 - Enter Nightmare

7th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM
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Enter Nightmare
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 7th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Looks like we're headed for the climax of episode two. It's all been building up to this.

92 Comments:

Kaleopolitus 7th Feb 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Suddenly: Twilight is overtaken by the dark energies and forced to fight for the big bad!
Anybody ever had something like that happen?
Or alternatively:
Suddenly: Despite having planned for succes, everything just blows up in your face and you only worked against yourself!

Come on, bring it on with those stories >:D
InvisibleDale 7th Feb 2012, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
I don't know if this counts, but...

Back before she was my wife, a group we were playing a game of Top Secret/S.S.I. and the game master was slowly having the team members kidnapped one by one till finally it was just her and an NPC left. When the NPC was just about to leave her character alone, ie. about to get taken like the rest, she irl not rp stood up, walked over to the GM, grabbed him by his shirt and threw him against the wall, and screamed at him, "You're not leaving me here alone!"
What made this a game stopping moment was she was 5'2" vs. the GM's 6' height.

The rest of the group rolf for a good 10-15 minutes while she blushed and he was still standing, dumbstruck at what she did! She never did live that down.

That's what you get from being a member of SCA longer than a member of the RPGA.
Thisfox 17th Feb 2012, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
By the end of that quote I was thinking "SCA?" and yep, there it is. Can't keep our lot down. Helps to know how to HOLD people. Har har har.

So, was that the reason you married her? :D
Newbiespud 7th Feb 2012, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
Newbiespud
@Kaleopolitus: As long as I get at least a LITTLE feedback on the actual comic itself.
Kaleopolitus 7th Feb 2012, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Whoops! I'll make sure to push to that in the future. Don't worry Newbie, I'm on your side. Just lost my aim for a bit there.
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
Any time I have an enemy that can turn the party against itself (which is rare, mind control being one of those things that freaks me out), I do one of two things:

1. Have NPCs with the party that can be controlled instead. Preferably NPCs they have some history with.

2. If #1 isn't available, aim the power at whoever has the highest defense against it. Mind control? Aim for the high will guy. Or roll to randomly determine target.

I don't /single out/ the low will PC, that would be mean. If the low will PC just happens to be the target though, all fair.

Also: Preferably allow the player to control their PC. It's expected that they'll hold back a little, but that just helps imply that they're fighting on the inside.

It's really rather fun: Force them to follow the order they're given, but leave the order a bit vague...
Akouma 7th Feb 2012, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Well, in my sister's nautical Pathfinder campaign, at one point we came across an amulet adorned with the symbol of the thought-to-be-dead war god on someone's chest. Said person pinged Evil on all uses of Detect Alignment on her. Somehow, I forget how, we wound up giving the amulet to our captain to figure out something to do about this. Almost immediately, he starts acting strangely, and our Lawful (I think) Good captain started pinging Evil on Detect Alignment. Well, we figure the amulet just makes you evil, and the captain is beyond to reason listening since he's under its spell now so we're going to have to steal it from him. My Alchemist downs ones of his mutagens (which give huge stat bonuses to the physical stat of your choice, but give a penalty to a corresponding mental stat) to increase his Dexterity, and picks it right from the captain's neck. I'm asked to roll a Will save. I failed it. My sister brings me into the other room and explains to me that I am now under the amulet's control, and am going to do everything in my power to sabotage the ship without running around going "lol im evil gaiz plz kill me".

That would've been really interesting, except our... I forget what class he is it's something divine... noticed I wasn't handing the amulet over now that I'd successfully stolen it, and told me it was either hand it over or eat a warhammer to the face. I opted for the warhammer on the assumption I'd still be standing afterwards and could subsequently throw a fire bomb in his face and run away. He crit, confirmed, and rolled exactly enough damage to bring me to EXACTLY 0 HP and lay me out. It was actually pretty epic.
Burke 7th Feb 2012, 1:58 PM edit delete reply
Okay, I'm sorry, that seems a little cheesed in the players' favor. If you don't like mind control, don't put it in your game in the first place. But if you've got someone with the ability to use mind control and the brains to choose a target, they're naturally going to go for whoever seems like the easiest success. Granted, that heavily-armored meatshield might actually have a crazy-high Will save, or be under the effects of mind-protecting magic, or whatever, but someone who knows who the strongest-willed member of the group is shouldn't waste attacks likely to fail on them.

Remember, it's not you, the DM, singling out the lowest-save PC. It's the villain, singling out the person who *seems like* the lowest-save PC. And villains, as a general rule, don't play entirely fair.
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
I am not a killer DM. My belief is that the party should, more or less, go up against an equal threat. Mind control LOWERS the party's effectiveness and RAISES the enemy's effectiveness. THAT is why I skew it in favor of the players. But the reason I put mind control in at all is because I consider it an evil power by default, so it helps illustrate just how low the user's morals are.

Also, I've only used mind control three times. One was a "Target one random creature in area" type effective that totally failed. The second was a big bad of a campaign that used it to force all of his (defected) followers into attacking, throwing an entire city into chaos, basically as the last act of evil to ensure the party knew he couldn't be redeemed. It also served as a final insult against the PCs. "All that hard work you've done to foster peace? All that time spent allying everyone against me? It was MEANINGLESS!"... and then he fought off the entire party, single handedly, as they gave it their all... until he finally got worn down enough for a blade through the chest to finish him off.

The third and final instance was in a failed M&M campaign, where the party (heroes) were sent in to stop a group of low-level super-villains. The group's leader could mind control one character at a time. She singled out the party sniper (who had an average will save), because the leader had meat shields that could hold off melee combatants... but a sniper could completely bypass them. The villain was wise enough to spot a WEAPON that could completely take her out, but wasn't quite wise enough to give the hero effective orders. The villain was, however, a rather NEW villain.

In an in-character thought process, the villain had no way of knowing what powers or skills any of the heroes had... EXCEPT the sniper, who was clearly carrying a rifle.
Guest 8th Feb 2012, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
I use Mind Control the exact opposite way. While I don't use it too often, I often pull it out when the enemies are losing (all pre-planned, not invented on the fly) and hit the person who would be most effective to hit with it. Mind control is a great way to change the dynamic of gameplay. First, it can turn that invincible min/maxed fighter who used Wisdom and Charisma as his dump stats against the party. That's a great swing to an encounter, and a dramatic one. Turn the party's greatest strength against them, and remind the fighter that min/maxing has its costs as well as its benefits. Plus, it's so interesting to see the players suddenly hoping to roll low and trying to figure out the most effective-yet-merciful way to take their friend down and/or get them to snap out of it.

Player's turning on their allies make great reversals at the mid-point of the boss battle (which story structure implies is the moment for the boss to rise again stronger than ever before and seemingly invincible... Like Ganondorf turning to Ganon at the end of Ocarina of Time - striking Link's sword away. That was a memorable battle.)
John Walter Biles 8th Feb 2012, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
Classic moment in PC screwup. They develop an elaborate plan, everyone's in place, the fighter charges in as a diversion, the cleric/wizard readies his staff to drop death from above through a skylight, everyone else is charging in and...

Suddenly the cleric/wizard's player realizes he IS NOT PLAYING A CLERIC/WIZARD. That is his character on Saturday nights, NOT FRIDAY.

He's playing a Ranger and the entire plan is now impossible.

Half the party dies.
Kiana 8th Feb 2012, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
And... and the ENTIRE REST OF THE PARTY didn't realize he wasn't playing a wizard/cleric? Seriously?

That is an entire party screw up. o.o
Kaleopolitus 8th Feb 2012, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
... You know, you don't ussually forget wether you use a bow or fireballs conjured through ancient arcane magic.

If I were the DM I'd have intervened and informed him that he was oocly making a small mistake. There's no IC excuse for making that mistake, so why let someone make a mistake that should be impossible?

I consider it a screw up on the DM's front.
Rentok 7th Feb 2012, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Well, there was this one time where our undead hellborn dread necromancer with no personality but more mechanical power than a +5 Vorpal Chainsaw was forced by a god of fire and hatred to kill the rest of the party in order to prove himself worthy.

Though the god wasn't as evil as he seemed and it was a test, the rest of us having been transported out of sight at the same instant as he created copies of us for the necro to fight. A test the necromancer failed by refusing to kill us, despite the fact that the only thing the character had that even resembled motivation or personality was an excess of "..." when he talked, and the fact that he would do literally anything if it had the chance to bring him more mechanical power. (Though that's more the player than the character)
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Well, that implies he has at least a LITTLE personality. Sure, he's clearly a power gamer and not much of a conversationalist, but he apparently has enough conviction not to kill his allies.

Well, PC-allies if nothing else. So he had a teensy, tiny heart.
VAE 7th Feb 2012, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
To the contrary, i'd say that it was a somewhat metagamey lack of personality, since the character played honest to himself would actually have killed them. X3
In one of the games I'm playing in now, inter-party conflict is driving half the plot at the point, what with the characters having wildly different worldviews and motivation - hell, last session my character almost died trying to collect scrying tokens on someone whom at least half of the others consider an ally - (the NPC is an adrenaline loving CG paladin of freedom with numerous arrest warrants, while my character is a very LN inquisitor of an organisation branched off St.Cuthbert's church)
Bronymous 7th Feb 2012, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Or he's like me, and knows the best way to not get what you want in the game is to try to kill Party members.

Even if you succeed, nothing will save you from their new characters, who despite their best efforts, will have that META attitude of, "I don't really trust this guy. We don't include him in the loot, let him out of our sight, etc."
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Well, underneath all my complaining, I'm an optimist. I always hope for the best in people.

I just never expect it.
Kaleopolitus 7th Feb 2012, 2:37 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
My life philosophy: "Hope for the best, expect the worst."

Sounds a lot alike :)
Guest 8th Feb 2012, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
If I were the DM i'd narrate it as being schizophrenia, with him having delusions of being a cleric.
Then perhaps impose a will save penalty for the rest of the day XD
Shikome Kido Mi 8th Feb 2012, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, that seems more inconsistent than good roleplaying. It's okay to be an evil guy with a fondness for a small group of people you wouldn't betray (and no doubt shower with presents ripped from innocents' cold, dead fingers).... at least as long as they don't betray you first. But it's best to establish that's your personality before pivotal moments like that.

Of course, such characters are still somewhat hazardous as any perceived betrayal by the special few they do care for will lead to a completely disproportionate level of 'revenge'. Nobody holds a grudge like one of these types that thinks they've been turned on.
Ranubis 7th Feb 2012, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis
NMM: "So, I really have the wizard separated from the rest of the group? I actually have the one person who can activate the items of my defeat at my mercy?

...

This can't be it. After everything I've been through, it's has to be the bard in disguise or something."
Kaleopolitus 7th Feb 2012, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
'Keeping the party of idiots alive to keep the campaign going 101', right there.
terrycloth 7th Feb 2012, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
There are other wizards -- there aren't other elements of harmony. Well, as far as she knows.
kriss1989 7th Feb 2012, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
NMM: I refuse to admit that my plans have been thwarted for so long by ponies so monumentally incompetent.
MasterMask 7th Feb 2012, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Actually, based on the skill sets it would probably be Rarity in disguise. ^_^
As well, it's never really "alone" when the rest of the party is within five minutes walking distance, either...
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
If you're the squishy wizard, you don't want your allies more than one or two ROUNDS of RUNNING away from you.

Five minutes, in most game systems, is more than enough time to brutally murder an entire squad of orcs. No one wants that much time between them and reinforcements.
KFDirector 7th Feb 2012, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Evil campaign, D&D 3.5e. The whole length of time, my character, a skeletal cleric, had been scrupulously pretending to be interested in the actual plot hook (travel to the plane of the Nether Wyrm and obtain his awesome powers) while working on his other plans - summoning his own Lovecraftian god and source of dark powers to the material world.

We finally reached a place where we could attempt the ritual spell that would transport us, and as it happened, only a cleric could read the main part of the ritual. So I did so, using Spellcraft checks to insert my own clauses into the ritual, and thereby transported the entire party to the realm of MY dark god.

This alone was worth some applause, especially when the wizard's failsafe trigger to keep me under control (a contingency trigger with some bolts of undead-fragging) against me...failed...(in the presence of my dark god, the DM declared that my undead nature had been undone and that I was back to being my fleshy human self), and the DM proceeded to narrate my final victory, as a wave of tentacles consumed the party and proceeded to devour the world.

Then, the DM announced that it was all a dream sequence. We had indeed been teleported to this plane, but there was no dark god here - just a disturbingly-shaped rock that had given the true gods of the settings nightmares eons ago, and had somehow come to be worshiped by cultists like myself.


Four sessions later, I STILL won, just not by my intended means. But man, it took some fast talking to avert a summary execution right there and then....
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
"Will save against ancient-god-nightmares!"
kriss1989 7th Feb 2012, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
The simple solution is to do what I did. "I was controlled."

In the only evil campaign I was ever in that didn't self destruct, my own evil cleric encountered a Mind Flayer...and succeeded in his will save against mind control. However, my cleric then cut a deal with the Ithilid to rule the city together. The price it demanded? My other party members. So I agreed at a preset ambush point.

Getting the party there we ran into not one, not two, but THREE Ithilid. Turns out they secretly controlled the city we were plotting to take over and it didn't want the competition. Figuring I'd already cast my lot in with the Flayers, even though with three of theme there was little chance my character could force an equal partnership, I proceeded to attack the party but not in the most efficient manner I could.

Cut to the party killing the Ithilids, and I announce that my character stops what he's doing, drops his weapon, looks around, and asks "Um, guys, where are we?" End result? "Haha stupid cleric got taken over by the mind squids, now heal us up stupid."
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:55 PM edit delete reply
And this is why every Evil character should put points into Bluff.
KFDirector 7th Feb 2012, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
As for the "suddenly engulfed by Dark Energies and forced to fight the Big Bad"...that's pretty regular for me, actually. I'd say at least 20% of the final battles of the campaigns I run are reached by such a method. Generally, it's when I start to get impatient with the party, clearly on the precipice of the final battle, clearly having enough power to fight the Big Bad as I've statted him, but still dawdling around, trying to finish up every last side quest like this was a video game RPG. Then I just start making them roll and waiting until a really small number, ideally a natural 1 on some kind of saving throw comes up, and *BAMF* they're in for the final battle.

Alternatively, in one campaign (where they knew the Big Bad's stats because they had fought and been TPKed by the Big Bad in a previous campaign), I sprung the Big Bad on them in a fight where they expected, at most, a random encounter with a selection of mooks. They panicked at first, but I didn't - I had done the math and knew that this was the last possible level at which my as-statted Big Bad could even pretend to threaten them, and given the nature of the campaign (revenge against the Dragon who killed us all last campaign) it didn't feel write to upgrade his stats much (plus, I wasn't that good at monster-building at the time. Today it wouldn't have slowed my down a second).
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Aw, Pinkie. Be nice. You wait until AFTER the battle to tell off the others. (Speak With Dead rituals ARE available over the counter, right?)
Masterofgames 7th Feb 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
No, you need a perscription from a licensed cleric for Speak With Dead, though you CAN get the generic brand "Speak With Dead Via Twitter", or the intentional typo variant, "Speak With Bread".
Akouma 7th Feb 2012, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
I much prefer "Speak W/ Ded." It's just "Speak With Dead," but you can only reach out to those condemned to the specific circle of hell for those that use chat-speak in situations that don't call for it.
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
Rather large circle of hell, then.
reynard61 7th Feb 2012, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
If you want to get *REALLY* arcane, there's "Speak with The Fed" which lets you discuss the nation's monetary policy...
Masterofgames 7th Feb 2012, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
Good lord, what have I unleashed?
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
Technically, I unleashed it. I started the conversation, after all.

But you guys have given me SO many ideas for a Discount Scrolls store.
Akouma 8th Feb 2012, 4:18 AM edit delete reply
Ze puns, I demand MORE!

"Speak With Red" allows you to talk, not with red objects like one might assume, but specifically with the elemental embodiment of the color red.

(Make sure not to attach any form of actual summoning to that spell, just keep it strictly verbal over long distance. He likes to burn things and get blood everywhere. Not something you want directly in front of you.)
Kiana 8th Feb 2012, 5:40 AM edit delete reply
And here I thought Speak With Red was just what everyone in the Pokemon games was using...
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
You lot forgot the obvious one, that you use when you've spent far too much of the night reading the FiD archive...
Speak With Bed.
Philadelphus 8th Feb 2012, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
And don't forget "Speak with Dread", for when you really need to inspire fear in the one you're talking to.
Ranubis 8th Feb 2012, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
Ranubis
How about "Speak with Mead", for those dwarves who need extra persuasion?
Cain 8th Feb 2012, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
Cain
I know, Speak with Greed for contacting Scrooge McDuck.
Kaleopolitus 9th Feb 2012, 1:02 AM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
@Ranubis Hey, I already said that one! Thief!

(The reply system is sooo screwed up...)
Cain 8th Feb 2012, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Cain
I just did a session where we had 3 lv3 goblins a piece, modified stats to manage it, and we had to see which goblin was the dominant one in the party. It happened to be the only female goblin at the table (long story) and she wore leather armor. We started and spent several hours doing one fight due to a misunderstanding and some very in character RP, then at the end, one of the DM's (they switched off halfway though) pulls out the final monster. A Beholder, 3 turns later all the goblins are dead and only about 10.5 damage dealt to it. Causes of death, 9 beholder, 2 from infighting (one had it's heart pulled out and thrown at the beholder for the .5 damage.) and the female fled to be never seen again.
Ranubis 9th Feb 2012, 12:28 PM edit delete reply
Ranubis
@Kale Whoops, sorry about that.

As for Cain's story, that was a weird session. Basically our whole group was summoned as assorted goblins to find some goblin artifact. Side note: When going on a fetch quest, always get a description of what you're looking for BEFORE trying to raid a building. Walking up to a church, my fighter goblin tried to ask the usher where the treasure was. The usher said, "Don't worry about what material goods you gather in this life, but strive to build up the treasures in your heart."

At which point the session started an HOUR-LONG battle as the other goblins tried to cut out my heart for the treasure. Which they ended up using as a weapon against a Lvl 19 Beholder in the end.
Cain 9th Feb 2012, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
Cain
The heart was also used as a target for a magic item that never misses, if you fail to pierce the target with it, you roll a dice to determine who it hits with perfect success removing all but 1 health. I threw one not saying who it was targeting, the second DM thought it was the Beholder, and then I grinned and said it was aiming for the heart and that the randomization roll had it hitting the beholder. the other DM turns to him and says "according to the rules, it's at one health." the response? "No it only took 10 off."
sjosten 7th Feb 2012, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
I can't wait to see how this plays out! I'm still wondering if the same ponies will get the same Elements, or if they're the same Elements in the first place.
Lyntermas 7th Feb 2012, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
I think I pretty much called this. (Although that's not quite as impressive when we've all seen the source material and generally know what's gonna happen next).

Also, here's a thought. If the Elements are inactive, and NMM wants to destroy the elements, they should be dust by now. She had a head-start, she generally knew what to look for, but she spent a good deal of time slowing down 6 "mortal" ponies. It's like Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat.
Bronymous 7th Feb 2012, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
You get the feeling the writers wanted the show to CONTINUE after the second episode, which is hard to do under "NMM wins, eternal darkness, sadface for Ponies."

I mean, they could have done that, but I don't think it follows with the attitude they were trying to portray.
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
I think it IS the Dick Dastardly thing. "Good always triumphs, because evil doesn't understand priorities." Or sense, in some cases.

Ever thought about that? On the occasions the show has a definable antagonist, the antagonist tends towards being selfish, grandiose and foolish. Trixie springs to mind as a good example.

Tixie: Makes a big entrance, insists on humiliating all challenges instead of trying to actually MATCH them like she claimed she could and finishes up by making claims she can't possibly back up.
NMM: Makes a big entrance, insists and hampering the protagonists instead of rushing ahead of them, waits for a dramatic moment to destroy the elements instead of crushing them at the earliest moment and leaving the girls pretty much directionless and lost.
Burke 7th Feb 2012, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps they were warded while still on the pedestal, and she needed some foolish mortal to take one off and break the ward before she could act?
Shikome Kido Mi 8th Feb 2012, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
To be fair to Trixie, she didn't expect to actually run into the incredibly rare monster in the middle of town. And she actually tried to save the two morons that led it in instead of running away immediately.

You're completely right about her being needlessly antagonistic during her early showing off, though.

Glinda the griffin is another example, actually, since being pointlessly cruel to Fluttershy (who is one of Rainbow Dash's friends) is a terrible move for the "get Rainbow Dash to like me more than Pinkie Pie" agenda, even if it wasn't the thing that ultimately tripped her up.
Rugsrat 8th Feb 2012, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Actually... Having Nightmare Moon WIN would have opened up a much more... adventure-ish version of My Little Pony.

Picture this: Nightmare Moon destroys the physical embodiment of the Elements. The Mane 6, defeated, retreat back to Ponyville, and try to figure out what to do. Twilight is despondent over the apparent loss of Celestia.

But not ALL hope is lost. Twilight has a vision of Celestia. And she says that the Elements are not completely lost. They still exist. She just needs to find them.

Twilight and co set out on a quest to find the Elements. Along the way, they encounter the forces of Nightmare Moon, and through this quest become fast friends.

Finally, after still having apparently not found anything, they are confronted by Nightmare Moon herself, who has had enough with these thorns in her side.

All hope seems lost. And then Twlight has her epiphany, and the climax is all about the same as episode 2.

Twilight gets confuses when she sees Celestia again:

"You said I needed to look for the Elements."

"Yes, and you found them, it takes time to build friendships, but true friendship brings out the best in ponies, and with that friendship amazing things become possible."

Basically... just stretch the first 2 episodes over the course of a season.
Leon 8th Feb 2012, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I think that LF may have intended that as the original plot for the show, I remember hearing that somewere
Rugsrat 8th Feb 2012, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
I know LF wanted to have more of an adventure theme for the show, but I hadn't heard anything specific regarding a similar idea to the one I had.

I'd be interested in a link if you happen to find the reference again.
terrycloth 7th Feb 2012, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
Maybe she wanted to keep them for herself (we know Alicorns can use them) and only destroyed them as a last resort?
Akouma 7th Feb 2012, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
It's not that alicorns can automatically use them (I think), it's that together, Luna and Celestia could simultaneously represent all 6 elements with just the 2 of them. I figure it broke down like this:

Honesty - Luna
Laughter - Celestia
Kindness - Luna
Generosity - Celestia
Loyalty - Celestia
Magic - Split between the two.

Also, Nightmare Moon isn't just evil, but blatantly so. She revels in how evil she is. She can't be considered to embody ANY of the elements except Magic, so she definitely can't use them to assemble the Orbital Friendship Cannon. Really, she had no reason not to destroy them immediately unless that whole warded thing was actually the case.
kriss1989 7th Feb 2012, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Celestia got Laughter, Honesty, and Kindness.
Rugsrat 8th Feb 2012, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
My headcannon is that it broke down like this:

Honesty, Loyalty, Kindness: Luna
Laughter, Generosity, Magic: Celestia

And when Luna became Nightmare Moon, her personality was twisted into pretty much the opposite.

Nightmare Moon herself is a false representation of Luna, the opposite of Honesty, she became very cruel, and attempts to overthrow her sister.

Celestia was easier to break it down for, at least for me: She's a bit of a troll (laughter), clearly care a LOT for her subjects. She took one look at the Apple Family and gave them what would become Ponyville as a homestead (Generosity). And she's never been shown as anything but really magically inclined, and for her to teach these things to Twilight Sparkle, she must know the things Twilight learned. Magic.
terrycloth 8th Feb 2012, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I'd think Luna'd get Generosity (since she was so pissed off that no one liked what she tried to give them), Honesty (since Celestia never tells anyone anything, and Nightmare Moon was pretty straightforward about being an evil queen of darkness), and Magic (she's a LOT more flashy magic-wise than Celestia, even after being de-powered).

Plus Kindness, Loyalty, and Laughter all fit Celestia pretty well.
Tsiar 8th Feb 2012, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
Maybe it was one of those "need full device to actually destroy it" things, or "can't touch it till hero's have touched it first", or even "Something about the device blocks my sight until the heros find it for me" kind of things.

Of hell, there's all those Mind Control comments above this, it could be that Luna is really giving NMM a hard time and making her do things stupid.

There was a fanfic where she just about drove NMM insane, and NMM didn't even notice till the rainbow was about 6 feet away.
Anvildude 8th Feb 2012, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
I want to read that fanfic. What was it called?
Panoptes 8th Feb 2012, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
I still prefer the idea that NMM is just a megalomaniac and compulsive misery-causer. Her actions make perfect sense if she genuinely thinks she will win no matter what--if her victory is assured, stopping to cause a little misery right now rather than doing something to ensure a lot of misery later on is icing on a cake that, in NMM's mind, is already made and waiting for her at the castle.

In other words, "it's insanity, I ain't gotta explain s#!t."

By the way, is there anything in canon to suggest which elements went to which princess?

(Also, I love it when people spell it "headcannon" [no offense]--just to be obscure I may have to start saying "cranial culverin".)
Kaleopolitus 8th Feb 2012, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Cranial Culvering... Laughs were had. Many many good laughs.
Little Pink Beast 10th Feb 2012, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
I don't think they split the elements up like that when they used them, personally. I think the two of them just had a strong enough friendship between them that it was enough to empower all the elements together, rather than each one taking three to empower.
Guest 21st Feb 2012, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
Not to mention the fact Celestia used them all by herself on NMM.
AJBulldis 7th Feb 2012, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
Ah, the "you don't get to achieve something just because you say you did it" ruling. So many times I've lacked sufficient actions in a turn, or attempted to do something after it was already too late to do it.
Matt 7th Feb 2012, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
Though really, all you'll need for most situations is Speak With Head.
Kaleopolitus 7th Feb 2012, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
I prefer Speak With Mead, myself. Alot cheerier.
Akouma 7th Feb 2012, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
Don't forget "Speak With Read." It let's you talk to any book that you've already finished reading.
Darkside 7th Feb 2012, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
And then there's "Speak with Deed," so you don't have to read all those boring contracts.
TheDoomBug 7th Feb 2012, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
One should remember "Spook with Dead" next time you need to scare off would-be heroes.

Warning: Does not work on actual heroes.
Curb 7th Feb 2012, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
All I can think of is a quest I was on and I kept telling some of the party not to poke around the dungeon, but nooo, they didn't listen and next thing I know, they set off the guardian creatures in main chamber(we could have bypassed them) and took a beating...and I just sat there, me and the GM...shaking our heads...
GM - Didn't you listen to the mage?
Group - What?
Me - I told you not to mess with the symbols on the walls until I finished checking them...
Group - Oh...
Me - *Facepalm*
Darkside 7th Feb 2012, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
That reminds me of the only Evil campaing I was in. I was a Half-Red Dragon Sorcerer (my allies were a Half-Vampire Cleric and a Half-Succubus Fighter), and we were supposed to destroy this encampment of knights. I suggested waiting 'til night until everyone was asleep in the barracks before burning the place down, but they told me to breath fire into the kitchen right there.

Then blamed me for the ensuing mess.

I was bad at playing a Sorcerer, too. I used my spear against the enemy commander instead of blasting him with my Wand of Magic Missle and ended up dying. Haven't played a spellcaster with a melee weapon since.
Digo 7th Feb 2012, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
It's always difficult to have the boss swoop in and get away with the "McGuffin" so easily. I recall one campaign where an evil cult was after an ancient book. With the book, the boss was going to summon a powerful demon that can grant a wish. Despite all the preparations and traps the PCs laid out, I cheesed a bit and the boss got the book anyway.

However, just as the boss was going to teleport away with the book (waving it as an insult to the PCs), the party cleric (who was much like Fluttershy in terms of combat prowess) suddenly shouted out "I SMITE THE BOOK!"

This stopped the party because we've *NEVER* heard her should like that. I decided to let the cleric use her non-magical crossbow to make a sunder attack against the book before the boss gets away.

She rolled a nat 20.

And maxed out the damage.

One hole-y book later I never heard an adventure arc grind so loudly to a halt before. LOL! Although the boss teleported away, you can imagine the cult's effectiveness was perminantly wounded.
Kiana 7th Feb 2012, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Remember, kiddies: You only have to thwart the villain's plans. That doesn't necessarily require killing them.

Besides, recurring villains are good for continuity.
Digo 8th Feb 2012, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Oh I agree on the reoccuring villain idea. It's a standard personal rule that I must make at minimum two unrelated reoccuring villains.
If the PCs don't have a personal grudge against the villain by mid-campaign, then I'm not doing it right.
Azureink 7th Feb 2012, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Azureink
And now comes the big showdown between NMM the Dark Queen and Twilight the Wizard. Cue teleporting noises!

Also: Poor Twilight rolled a 3. I hate when you have an overwhelming bonus like +10 and you roll so low otherwise.
Guest 8th Feb 2012, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
I'm looking forward to Twlight's charge-chicken/teleport trick. Loved it in the show as a simple but effective example of 'fight smarter, not harder' trick. Should make for great dialog
Trae 9th Jan 2014, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
How about being subject to a Finger of Death spell?

13 Fort, but rolled a nat 1. The DM was nice and let me roll a second save which I passed. Instead of being killed outright, my character suffered a heart attack and dropped to -5.
leafia6 7th Feb 2012, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
Rainbow Friendship Rays any minute now.
invisibledale 8th Feb 2012, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
Just be glad they're not Care Bears with their rainbow bellies.
Ranubis 8th Feb 2012, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis
"Taste the rainbow, mother******!"
Panoptes 8th Feb 2012, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
**Nightmare Moon detected.**
**Firing orbital friendship cannon.**
Video Beagle 8th Feb 2012, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
I just learned of this comic today, and I've hit the end!!!!!!! AIEEEEEEE!
Pteroid 8th Feb 2012, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
Exit light, enter Night(mare...Moon)

...I'll go...sit in the corner.
Kaleopolitus 8th Feb 2012, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
Kaleopolitus
Don't worry (and I apologize in advance), I'll only love and tolerate you untill you wish you were dead.
Bugle 8th Feb 2012, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
Unless I'm mistaken, this is the first time any of the characters has been referred to by name (AJ calling Twilight "Twi"). Usually they've just referred to each other by class (the druid, the barbarian, etc). I admit I was hoping for them to let slip their real names like in Darths and Droids, but it's still nice to see them actually start to be using names, so I approve.
Quietkal 8th Feb 2012, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
The bard's right. She did tell them.
First time commenting. Gotta say this comic makes me /)^3^(\