Page 1005 - Race the Rainbow

28th Dec 2017, 5:00 AM in The Best Night Ever, Part 2
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Race the Rainbow
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 28th Dec 2017, 5:00 AM edit delete
Artist: ChrisTheS

As I mesh together these simultaneous but linear sequences into a turn order (that weren't built with a turn order in mind, but all the same), the character that makes this the most challenging turns out to be Pinkie Pie. She has a fair number of abilities that let her act out of order, but her natural inclination to antic also kinda stretches the boundaries of D&D's orthodoxy.

I'm having a lot of fun, though, don't get me wrong. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are still open until this arc is finished! Guidelines here.



Silver 28th Dec 2017, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
It's okay, interrupt actions mess with my head when actually GMing, especially when they affect the initiative order directly.

I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶I̶'̶m̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶d̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶E̶x̶a̶l̶t̶e̶d̶
Winged Cat 28th Dec 2017, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
What about initiative by interrupt? Start with those who automatically go first, handle their interrupts, handle the interrupts of interrupts, and so on until everyone has taken their action for the turn. (Or until all but that one participant who is fine with going last, having invested instead in more power.)
you know that guy 28th Dec 2017, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
Exalted is easy if you can count in Septal.
Dusk Raven 28th Dec 2017, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Interrupts actually became a concern in a project I was thinking of - where I turn the mechanics of Pony Tales: Aspirations of Harmony into the mechanics for an RPG video game. The thing is, turn-based video game RPGs generally don't have the sheer amount of interrupts and reactions that can potentially happen in a game of PT or Wanderlust... kinda breaks the flow of the action.

It isn't as much of a problem in tabletop RPGs because they're usually slower and more methodical, but video games set a different pace...
Tycho 29th Dec 2017, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
What if events have an expiry countdown? If a player dies or something like that, have a few second countdown that you can interrupt the killing blow. It might look odd when the player dies, then undies, but it may offer interrupt potential into a real time system.
Dusk Raven 29th Dec 2017, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
I thought about that - a case where there's a short timer where you can press a button (or even hold a button before the timer starts) and it popups a menu for whatever interrupts and reactions are applicable. Most likely I'd have it so that the player can set it one of three ways - you hold down a button as the event happens, there's a timer in which you can press a button, or it simply always asks whenever a reaction is available.

Either way, I'd put the timer before the event actually resolves - so the player takes the blow, or the attack approaches, the damage number pops up, and you get the option to intervene.
ChrisTheS 28th Dec 2017, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Full-res shots here.

Pinkie seems to me like that player who always says "Am I there?" constantly and gets involved in the scene even when she actually isn't.
Digo Dragon 28th Dec 2017, 7:08 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I used to have a player like that (rest his soul) and he was one of the reasons I adjusted the way I handle party splits with a timer and a map.
Super_Big_Mac 29th Dec 2017, 2:01 AM edit delete reply
I had once discussed with a GM what it would seem like In Character for a Bard to cast so many different song-based spells using Interrupts and the like, and we ended up coming to the agreement that it'd be a Medley, with the Bard flowing from one song of power directly into the next, pretty much literally controlling the flow of battle and playing everyone like a fiddle.

I never got a chance to use my Bard character in such a way, sadly...
Rokas 28th Dec 2017, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
This is one of the biggest flaws I find in tabletop RPGs, is the dice. I know an RNG of some sort is needed to introduce some element of chance and luck and therefore uncertainty in order to keep the game interesting, but it always strikes me as fundamentally stupid that any character that has spent months, if not years of combat training or arcane mastery suddenly turns into an incompetent boob with all the coordination of a comedic relief weeaboo just from a run of bad dice rolls.

It's like if Mike Tyson while in the ring suddenly missed every punch and then tripped over his own feet and landed head-first into a vat of gatoraid. "What do you mean I missed! My character's a level-eight warrior fighting a one-legged level-two kobold!" "Sorry, dice say otherwise. By the way, he crit'd his return strike, you're now on negative 5 HP." Is that really the best system we have for traditional pen-and-paper games?

Anyway, rant aside, Another spiffy page. Keep up the good work, Spuds man. Spuds MacKenzie. Spuds potatonerffin. etc, et al.
ChrisTheS 28th Dec 2017, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
FFG's 'Grimm' used a system whereby skill levels were mostly static and the dice just determined if the result was a little under or over par.

Personally I prefer a hand of cards (redraw when empty) so the results are still kind of random but the player has a little more control over where the results fall by choosing actions strategically. I suppose you could accomplish something similar by rolling a handful of dice in advance.
Winged Cat 28th Dec 2017, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
A hand or deck of cards also limits the number of critical fails in a row.

A competent fighter tripping once during a match, but otherwise being competent? Possible. The same fighter doing nothing but trip during a match? Not possible.
Digo Dragon 28th Dec 2017, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Record I've witnessed for a single player rolling a '1' in successive throws: eight times.

He threw that die against the wall so hard it shattered.
ChaoticNeutral4Life 3rd Jan 2018, 4:08 PM ChaoticNeutral4Life edit delete reply
Once a die has FAILED you, KILL IT.
Thor 29th Dec 2017, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
I disagree about a competent Fighter doing nothing but screw up. The odds you are talking about start to get stupid impossible as well. For a player to crit fumble 5 times in a row you should have to run 3.2 million 5 round combats. For 10 rounds which is only 1 minute of combat you would need to run 10.24 trillion fights. Maybe your personal experience is different but having something completely screw up and then I don't recover for 60 seconds and am useless happens a hell of a lot more often than one is 10 trillion. I'm talking about things I'm trained in too.
Wulfraed 28th Dec 2017, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
The RuneQuest fumble table (as I've mentioned previously) was supposedly based in part on actual fumbles which occurred during SCA combat (helmet strap loose, helmet knocked to the side, lose 2 turns getting it back into place; hit nearest friendly; that type of stuff). Of course, it also didn't use "levels" -- a character could be a swordmaster, but have beginner chances if having to grab a club (skill with weapons went up based upon actually using the weapon successfully in combat -- though the higher the skill was, the harder to improve)
Boris Carlot 28th Dec 2017, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Well, the player is usually up against someone who's not far below their own skill level and equally determined not to allow them to hit them. The clownish "dropping sword and then falling flat on ass" stuff only happens with critical failures, which is why I hate them and never use them in games I run.
Erin Palette 28th Dec 2017, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
I try to make critical failures fit what's going on. Someone charging? You ran past them and now your back is exposed. Shooting a crossbow? It jammed and now you need to repair it.

Most critical fumbles in my game work out to "You're flat-footed this turn" or "Opponents in melee range now get a free Attack of Opportunity on you."
Digo Dragon 28th Dec 2017, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
As a DM, if a player keeps fumbling too many times in a row, I turn their bad luck into something infectious to my baddies. Like the fighter trips up and falls, but slams into her opponent on the way down which trips him up and he falls.
Jennifer 28th Dec 2017, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
When developing the first tabletop miniature wargame, HG Wells had the same problem - he decided that a system that allowed for a lone outnumbered soldier to kill every one of his nine enemies wasn't realistic enough. So he switched the mechanism to "every soldier is as brave as every other; they kill each other one-to-one. Once one side is outnumbered two-to-one, it surrenders."

The shooting mechanism was worse - it involved firing spring-loaded cannon at each other's lead soldiers.
Anvildude 28th Dec 2017, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
"The shooting mechanism was worse - it involved firing spring-loaded cannon at each other's lead soldiers."

I think you mean BETTER here!

Also, dang. Did he never hear of Mad Jack Churchhill?
Guest 28th Dec 2017, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
But if the game is at all reasonably balanced, the string of bad dice rolls sufficient to turn the character into an incompetent boob is extremely unlikely, just like somebody with years of training looking like an incompetent boob. Every now and then your enemy trips in such a way as to accidentally dodge your attack, or an insect crashes into your eye and startles you, or you just mess up something you're good at and can never figure out why, or something like that.

Of course, that's not to say that every system does balance the odds properly, but nobody is too experienced to ever critical fail.
Guest 28th Dec 2017, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
"or an insect crashes into your eye and startles you"

I might use this sometime. For just one player, and only every couple sessions or so. Because at some point in the distant future, they'll roll a one and I'll get to say "you hear a familiar and ominous buzzing..."
Anvildude 28th Dec 2017, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
This is where 5E falls behind 3 and 3.5 (no idea about 4th, but I presume it's very similar to 5E.)

In 3rd and 3.5, you have a Base Attack Bonus that scales with your level- directly, in the case of fighty classes, a little bit behind for more jack-of-all-trades, and at about half rate for focused spellcasters.

What this means, is that, assuming at least a +1 weapon, a strength of 14 or higher, and possibly positioning or spell bonuses, a level 8 fighter CANNOT MISS an average, unarmoured person. And even with someone or thing with higher than average Dex, or wearing some armour or using a shield, it's something like a 5% or lower chance of missing- because rolling a 1 represents blind misfortune, and you rolling a 2 (which would still net you, what, a 13 to-hit without flanking or buffs?) represents desperate struggle on the part of the hittee, something that isn't always predictable for a seasoned fighter.

But then you have 5E, where even a "Strongest in the WORLD!" 20 strength Fighter at level 8 only has a +7 to-hit natively, and the dice therefore play a MUCH larger roll than character skill.
Malroth 28th Dec 2017, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
4e is a little closer to 5th, everybody gets +1 AC and +1 to hit every other level so your odds of hitting an equal leveled target are always close to 50%
ChaoticNeutral4Life 3rd Jan 2018, 4:11 PM ChaoticNeutral4Life edit delete reply
Yep. Just started playing 3.5. The one person in our group who doesn't want to switch is the one who always plays the Warlock 1/Rogue 3/Druid 2/Sorcerer 5 or some equally ridiculous combination, and NEVER PLAYS A FIGHTER.
KathiraNarae 28th Dec 2017, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
I'm getting quite a few ideas for reducing dice-caused character incompetence from this, if I ever want to run a serious game.

I am, however, personally relying on the 'you fall over' or 'On miss: hit yourself. Idiot.' for crit fails, because my game is purposefully slightly in favour of the PCs and relies on Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny. It probably helps that most runs-of-crit-1s happen on my end, rather than the players...

Plus, I use crit fails on skill checks as well (despite my other table having, in his own words, 'that guy' who always goes "But the rules say...!"), because thinking up humorous failures is an exercise in creativity and usually gets a laugh. For example, one of my players has a multiclass bard/wild magic sorcerer...and named him Discord. We ran with it, a crit fail on an investigation of a couple of statues of dragons to analyse their worht resulting in a wild magic surge that turned all four statues into wyrmlings. One of which ended up tamed.
terrycloth 28th Dec 2017, 7:02 PM edit delete reply
In 3E+variants, that doesn't really happen. A combat-focused character basically always hits except for really tough opponents, *really* bad dice rolls, or long-shot extra attacks. You get multiple attacks so missing on all of them is extremely rare.

5E gives most classes two attacks around 6th level, which lets them be pretty reliable, and fighters get some extra attacks before that. In practice missing happened but it was never a dominant factor.
ThatGuest 28th Dec 2017, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
When I played a bard in 4E I used to say that my turn was "Whenever I wanted it to be."
BackSet 28th Dec 2017, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Obligatory comment because I have nothing better to do.
Haledrake 28th Dec 2017, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
This looks like a job for Dice Jail... They know what they did.
Malroth 28th Dec 2017, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
When i bought new dice i would roll them 1000 times, the ones that averaged 9 or less would get melted down.
Fhaolan 28th Dec 2017, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I have a friend who, if a particular die rolls badly too many times in a row, smashes them with a hammer. And then puts the pieces in the dice bag to act as a warning to the other dice.
Destrustor 28th Dec 2017, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
I usually preroll all my d20s at once, and only keep the high-rolling half for the game proper.
Any of the winners that rolls a 1 during the game joins the losers in the box.
Repeat before every session.
Thor 29th Dec 2017, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
I love all the superstition about pre-rolling dice. It makes no difference at all and yet if you look at my dice pile in a game you will see every single one is set with it's maximum value.

I'm an engineer, I know that this does nothing, yet in the back of my mind a tiny voice whispers "but what if it does?" overriding almost 15 years of school/experience.
Wulfraed 29th Dec 2017, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
Heh -- for all those who try to banish low-rolling dice... Find yourselves a copy of the old RuneQuest rules... Success rolls are LOW (one rolls under their skill %age), failures are the high rolls...
ChrisTheS 29th Dec 2017, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Doesn't help. THEY KNOW.
Guest 29th Dec 2017, 2:52 PM edit delete reply
I feel RD's pain. I really do. My "good with any weapon" warrior ended up snapping their bow over their knee after a series of bad rolls in the first session, then trying to use it as improvised bolas...and getting a nat 1.