Page 1090 - Alternate Absurdity

14th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Alternate Absurdity
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
This schtick is harder to write than I anticipated. I either need to watch more classic action movies, or... fewer.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Hankroyd 14th Jul 2018, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Come on GM ... Let Discord do his stuff ...You will see, it will be OK.
Jennifer 14th Jul 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
This reimagining is coming out surprisingly well! I hope it all works out in the end.
FrostLock 14th Jul 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Applejack and Balloonicus are staring at each other.
Colin 14th Jul 2018, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
This is making me remember the Adventure Sphere RD from Anthology II.
ThatGuest 14th Jul 2018, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if RD's scene will actually be her knowing exactly what Discord is trying to do because "It takes a troll to spot a troll". And her flying away in the maze will actually be her leaving physically because she doesn't want to stick around anymore and let him jerk them around for his own stupid amusement. Then the chase later will be them actually chasing her down to try and convince her to come back for another session.
Borg 14th Jul 2018, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
She came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and for the first time in her life she's out of bubblegum.
NexAngelus405 14th Jul 2018, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Watch Army of Darkness. You'll get a lot of mileage out of the stuff Bruce Campbell says in that film.
Everglue Horace 14th Jul 2018, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Bonus, because there's an actual tabletop rpg of it. I'm kind of wondering how Rairity will be jinxed assuming the traditional order is followed.
Guest 14th Jul 2018, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
I am now imagining the phrase "gimme some sugar baby" in Pinkie's voice.
Needling Haystacks 16th Jul 2018, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
I'd suggest the "Dollars Trilogy" aka, The Man With No Name movies. Clint Eastwood plays him as darkly humorous but it's easy to miss. I could see Pinkie attempting to be serious winding up like that.
Everglue Horace 16th Jul 2018, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
Technically, He had a name, but "Trinity" was associated with another actor. Plus, Since it was a remake of a Japanese movie he was a 'Sanjuro' expy. Then again he could also be called 'the professor' since the original incident that inspired the events may have occurred in the 20's and can was either reported by Dale Carnegie or Napoleon Hill. The latter having infamy for claiming he interviewed satan himself seems like a less reliable narrator.
Needling Haystacks 17th Jul 2018, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
He was only a Sanjuro expy in the first film, as best as I can figure. That's debateable, though: the director claimed he based "Fistful of Dollars" on the same book the Sanjuro film was based on.

At any rate, the character is almost always referred to out-of-universe as "The Man With No Name".

Did not know there was an original incident... I'll have to check that out.
Digo 14th Jul 2018, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
If that isn't a big enough hint for Twilight's player to figure out something is wrong then... Well, total lost cause...
Enigmatic Jack 14th Jul 2018, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
I haven't really liked this arc as much as previous ones (and have been kind of vocal about it), but when DiscordDM brushes off the regular DM wanting to talk about things for a moment (after doing some kind of shady things previously) it really gets under my skin. I know that my style and such is different than the DM's in the comic, and that it IS just a comic (that has to at least follow the available art from the show), but this is the point that the session would be over and the guest DM would be kicked out.
Infected Genes 14th Jul 2018, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Infected Genes
Yep totally agree!
ThatGuest 14th Jul 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
I think part of this is going to be character development for the DM. I think by the end of this she'll be more confident in her own skills and will stop letting everyone run roughshod all over her. I could see this arc ending with Discord complaining about how they can use the elemts again and the DM responds with. "Well it's -my- game, -my- friends, and -my- house!" before physically throwing Discord DM out the door.
Tempestfury 15th Jul 2018, 1:13 AM edit delete reply
Did you miss the part where DDM says 'Yes, we can talk about it, just give me a second to enjoy the results of my actions?'

Because I felt like you missed that part. I don't see anyone being flat out brushed off here.
Hankroyd 15th Jul 2018, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
I, for one, really love this.

At the beginning the GM though he needed some help to get his players out of their 'confort zone' and DGM helps him with that. And so far it is working.

I think even if this happened IRL with me as the GM, I wouldn't kick out CoGM for doing things in a way I don't appreciate. At the very worst I would let things run to the conclusion then say 'Sorry girls this CoGM idea was a bad one, let's say this was non-canon and restart a new scenario next time.'
Discord, for me, seems to be a good GM : He doesn't want to 'win' but to give a challenge to the players.

In fact the only thing I didn't enjoy in this arc is the ending of this panel : the GM apparently starting to whine it wasn't what he expected.
Hankroyd 15th Jul 2018, 3:36 AM edit delete reply
I have a funny theory for the rest of the arc :

Discord will conquer Equestria and so will become the main GM. Both GM and Rainbow Dash will leave out of protest because this story arc sucked.

In the end, Discord will allow him to be defeated, but his friendship with the GM will be ruined over this fiasco ... then a few month later, GM will give a new chance to Discord but as a player (Either in memory of their friendship or maybe because Discord and Fluttershy started dating IRL.)
DeS_Tructive 15th Jul 2018, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Yeah. i don't see it being "brushed off", either. DGM is just asking for a moment to savor the scene.
ThatGuest 15th Jul 2018, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
I think Discord is slightly taking advantage of the DM. The DM seems to have a problem being assertive and whenever someone blindsides them with something they just crumple. There are plenty of times earlier in the comics when they could have simply come up with a way that the players didn't get to ruin the plot. Or just plain say "no." I've seen that plenty in my group. Someone comes up with some way to cheese the final boss and the DM just plain refuses to allow it and I chime in with something like "We're fighting a god for the final boss, we're not cheating. I want my epic boss fight damnit."
Infected Genes 14th Jul 2018, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Infected Genes
The Pinkie Pie one barely made sense and so to did AppleJacks one barely work but dont be too strcit to the events of the episode because there are one or two moments that make absolutely no sense in the episode in how the characters reacted and make EVEN LESS sense as a D&D session.

Just don't go so full hog into the episode events that you end up making the players and their characters act unrealistically.

To put it simply at least two of the characters should NOT be corrupted by Discord possibly even three partly because of the characters themselves but mainly because of how a Role Player would react to it.
The MunchKING 14th Jul 2018, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Why can't a Role Player end up going against the previous characterization because of Mind Control?
Guest 14th Jul 2018, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
Online roleplaying started as freeform. then freeform got rules which most people generally agree on one of these is no controlling another persons character.

What genes fail to realise is this is not freeform roleplaying charm person is a 3rd level spell basicall they are objecting to having your character jacked which #1 you should talk to your gm about ifi t makes oyu uncomfortable #2 isin't even what's happening here

They are going along with this so the fault lies on them if they say nothing

Also Genes don't generalize you don't speak for all of us having your character jacked can be hilarious just ask my fallen paladin sure she lost her soul but now she get's to kill all her friends
Capn_Boxers 14th Jul 2018, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
I strongly disagree. Both examples thus far were very clever ways for the Discord DM to screw with the roleplayers on a meta-level and the results are very entertaining.

Plus, these players are far too use to getting their own way. It's great to watch a DM that can really give them a hard time, even if I suspect that he'll go too far at some point in the session.

Until then, I will happily enjoy the ride.
Everglue Horace 14th Jul 2018, 11:18 PM edit delete reply
When you say "these players are far too use to getting their own way." I hope you aren't implying they deserve to be treated like a game of thrones Malfoy because they are as satisfied as a cat when they catch a break. I kind of think it would be like justifying the diamond dogs temporary enslavement Rarity because of how she treated Spike, her personality in general, or because she thinks too highly of herself.
Kaze Koichi 14th Jul 2018, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
You should remember that Discord is a cheater. He can curse anypony by force, and his little game was there just to cover that fact.
DDM is the same. You got corrupted, no saving throws, no matter what you do. What are you gonna do about it, not play the game?
evilauthor 16th Jul 2018, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Very true. That makes me really interested in how Fluttershy is going to play out. In canon, Discord had to resort to force because Fluttershy was too nice and oblivious to fall for his mind games.

In this comic, Discord can't REALLY mind control the players and thus has to convince them to play along with his curses. And unlike Applejack and Rarity, Fluttershy is NOT a role player who sticks to character no matter what. She's a newbie who is essentially playing herself.
Aprion 14th Jul 2018, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Loving avery moment of this. keep it up :D and to tartarus with you neigh sayers.
Jesin 14th Jul 2018, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
I'm liking this. The "action hero" interpretation for Pinkie was clever, and I look forward to seeing what else you have planned for this... though yes, GM and DM do need to talk.
Archone 15th Jul 2018, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
I'd like to point out two things. One, a lot of people are taking such issue with the DDM, saying he's being mean and that they're predicting and/or hoping that he gets his comeuppance... even though he's specifically going out of his way to keep things entertaining. Not just for himself, but for the players. Pinky's player in particular must be struggling to keep a straight face while trying to roleplay as an action hero looking to take down the Predator.

Two: Imagine the DDM's lines all being delivered by the voice of John De Lancie himself. Does that make him seem more likable? (Especially when you remember that he was keeping balloons and other props under his coat, just to add to the fun)
Alex 15th Jul 2018, 8:36 AM Yep edit delete reply
I don't get the fuss.

Everything seems perfectly fine here. Until I see evidence otherwise, I assume the players are having fun.

Everyone needs to chill.
ThatGuest 15th Jul 2018, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
I think one of the things people don't like about Discord (which he's the villain here so us not liking him is kinda the point so well done) Is that it's clear that he's using the knowledge about the players he's obviously heard from the DM to punish them in a way and stick it to them. It's kinda clear by this point I think that at least Twilight and definitly AJ aren't really enjoying themselves and I'd bet that by the time Rarity comes back even Pinkie will start getting tired of trying to be serious becuase she doesn't find that fun.

It's clear that this idea has faceplanted and isn't going to be fun for anyone but Discord will likely manipulate the DM into letting it continue. Discord isn't trying to torment the characters, he's trying to torment the players and that's no good.
Poo The Shoe 15th Jul 2018, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
I think that he's more giving them a taste of their own medicine.

Think about it. The whole reason the OG DM decided to call the DDM was because he needed to see how someone he knew handled the players, because all of them have been finding loophole after loophole in the last several arcs

Now, they're dealing with someone with genuine experience, someone well versed in dealing with players like the cast here.

I don't think AJ or Pinkie are really upset by this. AJ's player is clearly experienced enough to roll with the punches, and the DDM discussed the matter with Pinkie's player regardless.

Twilight might be a little pissed, simply because she's not involved with these discussions. That issue might come down to the nature of screencap comics, of course
ThatGuest 16th Jul 2018, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
That's the problem though. This isn't a game anymore. This is getting personal. I've seen this problem a lot in person and really all a DM has to say is 'No.' or ask the players to not abuse loopholes or some kind of crazy power combo as an insta win button.

Hell, my DM has outright outlawed certain combos of classes and feats from expantion books because they're OP and he doesn't want anyone abusing them to become a one person unstoppable army.

And AJ and Pinkie might not be upset or mad (yet) but it's clear that AJ isn't really enjoying herself. Twilight -really- isn't and Pinkie will probably burn out herself soon. Once a game stops being fun it usually impodes fast.

I suspect this will end with the players reminding the DM that she's their friend to and all she had to do was talk to them rather than assume they'd be mad she was asking them to stop breaking the game.
Hankroyd 16th Jul 2018, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
I think there is a big difference between 'getting personnal' and 'exploiting one's knowledge'.

Discord wants to push them out of their confort zone, and use every tool he had to do so.
Again he seems to be a good GM, so he knows that the purpose of a GM isn't to defeat the players but to propose challenges that they can overcome.

Anyway I remember the sentence said by the Standard GM at the beginning of Pinkie's corruption "I don't think this is gonna work."
I though it meant GM didn't believe Discord could corrupt Pinkie ... But now ... I guess that when he say that he meant "I don't like where you are going with my players" ... Answer about that tomorrow !
Tarrangar 17th Jul 2018, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie don't have to be serious, she has to be a different kind of silly than she normally is, there isn't much serious about Hardboiled Pinkie, the silliness is just in how over the top edgy it is, Pinkie can begin to do a classic detective monologue if she begin to get bored.

Discord is a different kind of DM from the usual one, but it's not like he's planning to stick around long, he's here to let them have fun with something different for a few sessions, and to try and teach the Players and the primary DM to work more together.

I agree if Discord planned to drag this out, it would end up being bad for the group, but I get the feeling Discord is planning to be there for 3-4 sessions, and then this will be over win or lose, hopefully his example will have made their DM a little more assertive, and gotten the players to remember that the DM can push back, at which point Discord says to himself, my job here is done and I had fun doing it, and go back to whatever game he's normally running himself, with an offer to come back for the occasional guest session if they want him to.

We must not forget that he's a guest DM, his purpose isn't to be the DM that's fun to play with for a 100 sessions, his purpose is to be the DM that's fun to play with for a few sessions, his style would indeed get to be too much after a few sessions, but he's not planning to be here more than a few sessions, the primary DM was always planned to go back to solo DMing, so Discord just have to concern himself with if what he's doing is entertaining now, not if it will be entertaining, if it's still going on in a month, because whether Discord the NPC win or lose, that will be the end of Discord Co-DMing for now, if he lose Discord get turned to stone again, and if he win it either get declared non-canon or a new game is started, so this is really just a few experimental sessions where the players try something new.
Guest 16th Jul 2018, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Two cents for my thoughts:

1. Easiest "curse" for Rarity's player would be to let her play her character as originally conceived, instead of as what it eventually became after character development.

2. Things like this are gonna be subjective, no matter how you slice it. There's no such thing as an objective right or wrong in this kind of scenario.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do it, though:

2a. The right way involves correctly identifying each player's subjective perspective, and engineering the scenario such that it doesn't go outside their personal bounds.

2b. The wrong way will - almost invariably - involve any variant of the line "As soon as I'm done savoring this."

At the end of the day, it's about what the players want. When it stops being about what the players want, then it stops being a game.


Note that I'm not saying this setup is 100% fubar. Seeing the interaction between cursed AJ and cursed Pinkie has me wondering if Discord DM has an overarching point to it all. AJ suffers under her curse, but looks at Pinkie and thinks "I'd rather be playing that way." If all the players ended up having a thought like that occur to them, I'd be legitimately impressed.
BackSet 16th Jul 2018, 1:09 PM edit delete reply

Discord isn't lurking around the comments today. Good. That means I don't even have to try to outsmart him. Which means plenty of time to plan for tuesday.
HappyEevee 16th Jul 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
Players who are going to get their shorts in a bunch over their character occasionally getting mind controlled need to either not play RPGs or need to only play in groups with a rule "no mind control spells." Because seriously, a group that implodes over a 1-2 session arc where multiple characters got mind controlled is a group that was on the fast track to breaking up anyway.

I've been in groups that did break up over stupid little details... they were groups where the players had serious issues with each other outside of the game and used the in-game circumstances as an excuse for a fight.

In my usual group (6-7 of us, take turns GMing, been gaming together for over 10 years now) we have been mind controlled, polymorphed into goldfish, sent to hell, had explosive rules fights during combat, party wiped and gone home mad... and then come back together the next week, had a good laugh about how stupidly we died, rolled up new characters and started a new campaign.

Has it always been fun, every minute of every session? Of course not. We've had our fair share of fighting, griping, whining, complaining, and GM bullshi##ing. But we have a good enough relationship as friends outside of the game that we don't let what happens in the game keep us mad at each other IRL. We know we won't always win; sometimes a series of bad decisions and worse die rolls will take out the party, sometimes the GM is wrong about whether we can handle that Bronze Dragon just yet. Sometimes we just get tired of a campaign and switch to something else.

Don't break up the group because you're mad about how one session went down; if you've found a group you have fun with, take a deep breath and let it ride for a few weeks. Give the players/GM a chance to work through the situation; every game has a few sessions that go sideways, either intentionally or by random accident. That's just the way RPGs are.