Page 1029 - Raisin Debtor

22nd Feb 2018, 5:00 AM in The Best Night Ever, Part 2
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Raisin Debtor
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 22nd Feb 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete
It always feels good to finish something big. And this whole arc, culminating in that custom boss fight, this has been pretty big.

The challenge is planning for the start of the next big thing while you're still celebrating in the victory lane.


Clifford Snow 22nd Feb 2018, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Who else wants Discord to be the subject of the next arc?

Also, any thoughts on moving the party to 5e? The end of an arc seems like an excellent place to do that.
Rastaba 22nd Feb 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Me! Me! I wanna see it! Me!!!
albedoequals1 22nd Feb 2018, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Bleh, 5E is so boring. No variety.
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
What about tales of equestria
you know that guy 22nd Feb 2018, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
5e has no variety? You realize they're playing 4e, the edition where all the character classes use the same mechanics?
cyborg7221 22nd Feb 2018, 7:42 AM edit delete reply do realize that "all classes using the same mechanics" is just consistent game design, right? Even putting that aside, there's still something unique introduced in every single class.

For the sake of example, let's look at how Leaders heal, using the Cleric, Warlord, Bard, and Shaman- the first four that were introduced to the game.

Clerics and Warlords just have a basic Heal power: twice per encounter, an ally in range can spend a healing surge and regain 1d6 extra HP. However, Clerics can add their Wisdom modifier to that, while Warlords don't; instead, they get a different feature that lets them boost their allies' Initiative. Their leadership is less focussed on heals, and more on other combat buffs.

Bards get a similar power, but instead of rolling 1d6, they just add their Charisma modifier instead. They also slide their target 1 square, which can have a wide range of tactical use.

Shamans also have a heal, but they have one target spend a healing surge and a second target adjacent to their Spirit Companion regain 1d6 hp.

So as you can see, each of these classes' heals behave very differently, despite using the same underlying mechanic (ally spends healing surge + extra). And that's just one feature, out of one role, out of four different roles to choose from. If you look at Defenders, Strikers, and Controllers, you'll find that every single class brings something new to the table. I don't know enough about 5e to comment on it, but I think it's safe to say that 4e faces no shortage of variety.
Hariman 22nd Feb 2018, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
"Daily, encounter, encounter, at will, at will, at will...".

That's what many 4E sessions devolved into, with little role playing, and a bunch of random attack names.

Even with the different mechanics, the classes felt same.

Part of that is the group I was with, but it's also a flaw of 4E that the consistency ended with sameyness for everyone.
Colin 22nd Feb 2018, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
"All the same mechanics"? *hugs PH3 and Psionic Power to chest* Shh, it's OK, <i>I</i> think you're special.
Dusk Raven 22nd Feb 2018, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Having played 5e... while I haven't played 4e, I think 5e is pretty darn good, probably surpassing 3.5e (which I've spent the entirity of my tabletop RPG career knowing). I think it does things much more smoothly than 3.5, and is more user-friendly. There are things you can't do, but that's understandable for the sake of ease-of-use. My only real complaint (other than the occational, "damn it, I could do this cool thing in Pathfinder!") is that there isn't as many player options as what I'm used to, though I think that's because of 5e's relatively young age.

The main reason I'd want to see a transition to 5e is so I could actually understand the mechanics of what's going on, though. Otherwise it doesn't matter to me.
Anvildude 22nd Feb 2018, 4:03 PM edit delete reply
That really is the biggest issue with 5E. I'm in the same boat you are, Dusk Raven. I played 3e, 3.5, Pathfinder, then jumped straight to 5E (with a Pathfinder-converted character, to boot!) And the biggest thing about 5E is that it... chafes. It's so very limited.

Like, I'm currently playing a Sun Elf fighty character (desert nomads). Easy enough to find a homebrew Desert Elf sub-race archetype, or make one for that matter. But then, I wanted to have my character be a Dervish, specializing in movement and number-of-attacks.

Now, Pathfinder or 3.5, I had TONS of options. I coulda been a Monk with Flurry of Blows. I coulda been a Fighter or Ranger specializing in 2 weapon fighting, with extra movement feats. I coulda been a barbarian, or a Dance-focused Bard, or a mobility-focused Rogue, or any number of Dervish-flavoured classes, archetypes and prestiges.

But in 5E? You get 3 attacks. That's it. Can't get any more, at all, ever, until you're a, what, 15th level Monk or Fighter? And that's 1 more.

I took Barbarian with a level in Fighter for the 2wf ability, but it's still just... not quite what I wanted.

But yeah, that's definitely because of the youth of the system- because everything's there for the potential, but just hasn't been codified yet.
Rathonje 22nd Feb 2018, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Ooh, are we doing edition wars? Fun!

I've never played 4e, so I'm not qualified to comment on that. 3.5 is my main system, but I've been doing a bit of 5e recently... it certainly has struck me as lacking in variety, but it'll probably open up a bit as more sourcebooks leads to more subclasses. The loss of prestige is a shame, but subclasses compensate adequately, and I can certainly live without the concept of "feat tax." The multiclass system is, if anything, much better, as caster multiclass is viable now, and there've been great efforts to evenly distribute class features and prevent dead levels.

A lot of 5e's problems are actually 3.5's problems. The skill system, for one. I always thought that 3.5's skill section relied overly on rulings rather than rules, and wasn't fleshed out enough for being the meat of any non-combat interaction. In 5e, skills are now basically a footnote. The PHB has a 21 page chapter on how to randomly generate a personality, and a 7 page chapter on how to exist when nothing's trying to kill you. CR is another one. 3.5 had horribly over- or under-CRed creatures everywhere you looked... in 5e, CR is slightly more accurate, but it's also now used as a balancing mechanic rather than only a guideline. Anyone who's ever cast "conjure animals" knows there's a vast gulf of difference between the baboon and the giant poisonous snake...

...Although admittedly, that's still much more balanced than 3.5's use of hit dice for such things.

I guess that points to the biggest source of my gripes about 5e - it's supposed to be balanced.

In 3.5, casters won everything. In 5e, casters still win everything... but not by such a wide margin that they're playing a completely different game from the mortals. In 5e, with its much narrower design space, you actually will see wizards that throw fireballs everywhere, and the fighter, who can't get huge power spikes by dipping Barbarian and Psychic Warrior, suddenly feels like they aren't able to deal enough damage.

In 3.5, your attack bonus was "yes." In 5e, every +1 counts, and you have to scrounge and optimize just to keep up.

3.5 was patently absurd. You could build a really stupid character, go from 300 damage per attack to 100, and nobody would care. Your combat style might be "hits it again," "rainbow rock concert," or "teleports everywhere for no good reason." You could even play a monk. And to some degree or other, you could make it work, although it might require e.g. taking the Divine Metamagic feat on a character who really shouldn't have it.

But in 5e, when you build a ranger instead of a paladin and your attacks go from +7/3d8 + 1d12 + 10 to +5/2d8 + 1d6 + 8, you really feel it. There's pressure, not to carve out a niche, but to keep up with the Johnsons. That's my experience, at least; I feel more encouraged to be boringly effective in 5e than 3.5. That might be a matter of perspective though, or a quality of my playgroup.

And in 4e... you get your CHA to healing and a 5-foot slide, apparently. I have to say, I don't find that a very compelling sales pitch for the system when my last 3.5 bard was the King of Flaming Badgers.
Guest 23rd Feb 2018, 3:27 AM edit delete reply
Pah, edition wars. Here's the short version: 3.5 and its variants (Pathfinder, etc) are modular. When you make a character in 3.5, choosing a class is more like choosing a "kit" (that is to say, it's a set of skills and abilities you start with and/or get access to later), then you use skills, feats, and other classes to add stuff to it until you have the character you want.

In 5th and others, the process is inverted; the class you pick defines what you do, full stop. It's more like a video game than a tabletop game. Easier to work with, sure, but at the cost of mechanical depth and complexity.

3.5 treats classes the same way Dark Souls does: something you choose when you make your character, but largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. 5th treats classes the way nearly every other game does: as a core part of your character's identity, a way of defining who they are and what they do in combat.

Personally, I prefer GURPS.
Sani#2341 23rd Feb 2018, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Personally my biggest problem with DnD, Pathfinder and DSA is much more basic than what classes can do/how restrictive char creation might be.
It is the fact that for most checks you just roll one single die, in most cases a d20 meanign either everythign depends on the die, or you would succed anyway.
I much prefer systems with dicepools, either usign them success based like WoD/Exalted or addding them up like WEG Star Wars D6 or Iron Kingdoms
Dusk Raven 24th Feb 2018, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure the Dark Souls comparison is apt (though it is for GURPS, since you brought that up), given that each class still is expected to do certain things and largely have their capabilities outlined by that in some way.

Due to that, while there are a lot of ways you can build a character, a lot of them are ways you really should't go for. Tthere have been times I've wanted to choose a particular concept, but it would essentially mean being relatively useless to my party.

Likewise, there are ways to really break the game in 3.5, and as before, that kind of power discrepancy is not fun unless there's something you can do that the munchkin can't (which is unlikely if the munchkin is playing a wizard, from what I hear).

On a side note, but sort of related, I like how your power (and stuff like attack bonuses and AC) don't quite go as high in 5e as they did in 3.5e. Keeps things a little more under control, and keeps the gaps in PC capability lower.

As for other positives, I also like the different archetypes of classes (something Pathfinder has but 3.5e didn't), as well as the various backgrounds you can have that have an actual game effect.
Anvildude 24th Feb 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
I think part of that 'power' discrepancy is that 5E is actually optimized for Role Playing. Due to the more even playing field, and the better defined, more limited number of mechanics, you don't have to pay as much attention to What your character is, leaving you more time and brainpower for WHO your character is.

You can kinda see this in, say, Critical Role- the big moments of that game aren't the "I use this,this and this rule, changed by these feats I have, to guarantee that I hit and quadruple my attack dice to push the enemy into a wall where he's going to provoke AOOs from all my allies and..." etc. etc. They're more in the vein of "Please Mr. Boneman, I'm so cute and innocent, and I knew your favorite student, could you help us and not kill us?"- it's the character, not the class, that becomes important.

And that is part of why it's so much easier to get into. Yes, it's more video-game-like, but less due to mechanics, and more due to a different focus.
Jefandrew 22nd Feb 2018, 7:01 AM Hoping for Draconequus edit delete reply
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
I'm kinda wondering how it'd work out, if that's what's happening. Discord kicks off Season 2, but it's the changelings who close it.
BackSet 22nd Feb 2018, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
I must admit id like to see discord. Though, other villains wouldnt hurt either.
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
My guess for the following arcs,
Crystal Empire then Discord, which ends with Twilight getting her wings.
Novice DM 22nd Feb 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
I like 5e a lot. But it seems to me like Newbiespud may well like 4e, since he's stuck with it so long. It's all the same to me, really - I read the comic for the comic, not to decide which edition is to rule them all.
Dragonflight 23rd Feb 2018, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
I haven't been a fan of anything after 3.5/Pathfinder, because 4e and 5e are essentially MMO's on paper. And that's just dull.

Rather, what about importing the characters to Ponyfinder? That would actually make a cute meta-nod to the community as well, as you'd have people playing a fictional MLP universe which doesn't exist in their world, played with an RPG supplement which is markedly different from its source material to avoid legal entanglements. It's like a mobius loop of self-referential winks!

Pinkie would *love* it...
Hariman 23rd Feb 2018, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
I think it's easier to keep them in 4E, as that's the system the setting started in, (or upgraded to, I forget), and it keeps everything consistent.
Dusk Raven 26th Feb 2018, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
I once converted the ponies into Pathfinder characters, though they were "humanized" as I was basically importing to them in my own setting. But I know others who have done more direct conversions.

...Also, that's the first time I've heard anyone describe 5e as being MMO-like.
Digo Dragon 22nd Feb 2018, 5:57 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yeah, the GM's work is never done. Always a constant work-in-progress with each new adventure starting up as the previous one winds down.
Winged Cat 22nd Feb 2018, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Right up until the entire campaign ends, and you have to plan that too. But it's worth it - much better than the alternative.
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
What is raisin debtor a reference to?
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
"Raison d'être" the most important reason or purpose for someone or something's existence.
AchtungNIght 22nd Feb 2018, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
I support either Discord, the Bison Conflict from Season 2's Appleoosa episode, the Crystal Empire, Tyrac, the Storm King, or whatever other next main plot conflict Newbiespud wants to play out next. I also support them if the Grand Galloping Gala and Elusive as Villain arcs are not yet over (we can't yet be sure they are). The only things I won't be happy with is if the comic ends here or if the comic lowers its quality somehow (don't think either will happen, but you never know). Keep up the good work, Newbiespud and co!
Dusk Raven 22nd Feb 2018, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
"Tyrac" is the name of a very old character of mine, who'd work great as an antagonist, so for a moment I was thrown off while my mind tried to process that you meant Tirek. I assume
Winged Cat 22nd Feb 2018, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
The bison conflict could be a good lead-in to a larger conflict.
Hariman 22nd Feb 2018, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
And a good place for a dice curse call back. ;)
Needling Haystacks 22nd Feb 2018, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm... well I hesitate to say this 'cause then you may not do this, but I could really see a combination of "Return of Harmony" and "Keep Calm and Flutter On" working. Like, they're supposed to re-seal the ancient abomination, but even after being briefly possessed, Fluttershy wants to make friends with it. Maybe get a crit on her diplomacy roll...
The Old One 22nd Feb 2018, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
"Ah, we've finally finished the lengthy plot arc that I spent 2 years on and rewrote twice for you guys"

"That's great! How much XP did we get?"

*Long, drawn out, SIGH*
Winged Cat 22nd Feb 2018, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
And the GM's already established this campaign goes by levels, more than XP.
Guest 22nd Feb 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
I could see Shining and Cadence as guest players for the Crystal Empire arc. And of course they are way to lovey in RL so that shows up in the game. It would also make the 'throwing the wife at the problem' big a series of epic rolls.
Digo Dragon 22nd Feb 2018, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Does Flurry get based off their real child then? :3
Cliff Robotnik 22nd Feb 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Y'know, i think we are all Expecting the Changelings to invade before Discord is released...

But a bunch of us are also afraid it'll be even longer.. might even get Sombra first(PLEASE do more with him then the show did, maybe use his Origin Comic as a One-off campaign that turns out to be covert foreshadwing)...

I mean, on one hand, it'd delay Da Best villain, but at the same time, could really play up the Physical God Aspect more the later in the Comic Discord comes...

Rofl... Just imagined a Session for the Ex-villain Team-up Special where you let the PC's each pick a Former villain to use, and Dashie demand Discord...

Sorry if i am overthinking this, haven't slept in two days.

Imma go get on that... XD
ZamuelNow 23rd Feb 2018, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
I pretty actively DON'T want Discord but unfortunately I'm in the minority.

Though...I'd certainly enjoy it if after petrifying him again, his statue unceremoniously smashed and that was the end of him.
Guest 23rd Feb 2018, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
... I'm having a really hard time imagining why an average D&D party wouldn't do exactly that.
GW 23rd Feb 2018, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
A popular fan theory at the time was that smashing the statue would free him.
Ganny 23rd Feb 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
And I can already see how releasing him goes. Its easy:

Twilight: "Oh! I know about this statue! Legend says its an ancient being of dark power sealed away in stone.

Rainbow Dash: "So, I'll get the amulet's power if I smash it?" *Smashes statue*

Rest of Party: "Dammit Dash!"