Page 1092 - Beyond Time and Grace

19th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Beyond Time and Grace
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 19th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Honestly, after sitting on this page for a while not entirely sure how to start this scene, I think Rarity's just annoyed that there's finally a character who can match her for prose / ham / pretentiousness (depending on how generous you're feeling).

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Digo Dragon 19th Jul 2018, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"Generous." Hee hee, finding the right word that fits the character for a scene AND can make for clever word play is a... rarity.
Blyndpwn 19th Jul 2018, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
I just realized to my mounting horror that this is going to turn into dueling Drama Queens but quick.
Winged Cat 19th Jul 2018, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Indeed. They may be generous with their hamminess.
Discord 19th Jul 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Rarity, I like you meet my friend Tom.
Tom this is Rarity.
Go and give her a big old hug.
BackSet 19th Jul 2018, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
Discord, I'd like you to meet my friend logic.

Logic, this is discord.

Why don't you give him a big hug.

Actually, never mind. I'm not fond of causing paradoxes that could potentially destroy both universes.
Discord 19th Jul 2018, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
My best works are when Logic and I team up.
ZhonLord 20th Jul 2018, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
Logic without reason can be just as chaotic as no logic at all. Sometimes more so.
BackSet 20th Jul 2018, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Or, alternatively.
Discord 20th Jul 2018, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Even I don't dare to stretch the page.
Vegetalss4 19th Jul 2018, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
I'll be honest Discord offering to go back and get the regular DM if Rarity's player isn't comfortable with one-on-one roleplaying with the stranger does a lot to make me less nervous about him.
Tempestfury 19th Jul 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Agreed. Some might argue that he's just doing so to dispel suspicion or something like that. But even putting that aside, the fact he offers without prompting says a lot about him.
Hankroyd 19th Jul 2018, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Oh, come on Vegetalss4, this is manipulation 101.
Propose something you don't want to happen in a annoyed/bored tone so the other seeing you are offering something they want trust you more and say it's not necessary right now.
Winged Cat 19th Jul 2018, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Yeah. Discord knew Rarity's player wasn't that put off to actually need him to go get the GM. He might not have offered if he thought she might.

(Then again, it's a useful canary: if she really is that put out, then his read of her is off. If that happened, getting the GM might be a good measure for him as well, buying him time to reexamine his read before getting more data in a safer environment.)
Guest 19th Jul 2018, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
That's how you know you're dealing with a quality villain: Evil, when sufficiently informed, becomes indistinguishable from good.
Boris Carlot 19th Jul 2018, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
Being alone in a bedroom with a near complete stranger might make a young lady nervous. I think the question was asked sincerely.
Guest 19th Jul 2018, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
It's a classic bait. Give the target the illusion of control by presenting them with a choice with only one option they're likely to take, so they don't see how you're the one in control.

Rarity's player was obviously bored and is sure she can outsmart DMscord, giving her the choice between (in her view) outsmarting them right now or waiting even longer, alone while the others have fun, is really a no-brainer for her.
Boris Carlot 20th Jul 2018, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
I didn't get that impression from her response at all. My interpretation was more "I can see the game's rigged against me from the start, but it's the only game in town. Let's play."
evilauthor 19th Jul 2018, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Wait... How can Discord enter and leave Rarity's room by himself? Wasn't he playing over a cell phone connection?
Bed Head 19th Jul 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
He was calling from inside the house itself. Much like Pinkie and some of the others it seems DM Discord likes to play around with props and techniques to set the mood.
Wulfraed 19th Jul 2018, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
As I recall, he was introduced over the cell phone -- but was calling from just another room of the house, and was brought out for face to face...
CharginChuck 19th Jul 2018, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
The call was coming....from inside the house!
Luminous Lead 19th Jul 2018, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
He was hiding in the master bedroom. At 1071 he enters wearing what we can only assume to be a startling outfit and it startles the players a bit.
Needling Haystacks 19th Jul 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
I dunno why so many assume Discord's player's intentions are bad here. The closest we've had in this comic to someone like that was Gilda, and even she was trying to help one specific person, albeit misguidedly.

Now his EFFECTS may be bad, of course, but that's a different story.
Luminous Lead 19th Jul 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
He started off by hobbling their movement and the magical abilities of their characters, and then dividing them up to disrupt the social experience. Even if his intentions aren't necessarily bad, the methods he's using here aren't really in his favour and should probably have been discussed ahead of time.

The fact that he doesn't reappear until much much later in the show could foreshadow him doing something extreme and/or awful and getting banned from returning.
Arias 19th Jul 2018, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, the writing is on the wall that Discord's antics are SERIOUSLY going to mess up the group dynamic, he's going to take this too far, and the DM is going to have to say that enough is enough.
HappyEevee 22nd Jul 2018, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
It amazes me how many players posting here have never been in a game where they have been separated, mind controlled, killed, or made to fight each other. Apparently there are a lot of super-soft GMs out there who let the players do whatever they want and give them lollipops no matter what they do.
Aeshdan 23rd Jul 2018, 6:30 PM edit delete reply
Thing is, different groups have different abilities to separate IC and OOC.

And I suspect that's going to be the problem here. Discord, from some of what he says, is apparently used to a group where what happens in the game stays in the game, so to speak. So I think he's going to push too hard, without realizing it, because he's assuming that they will be able to take the same level of IC stress his regular group did.
Everglue Horace 19th Jul 2018, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
I don't believe his intentions are necessarily bad myself, but he views all the players as kittens to be toyed with. When he finds out he's dealing with something other than a cat he might play coy, but it is possible that he might cut his losses as it were or like an abusive boyfriend seek forgiveness without giving forethought to the underlying consequences of one of his gifts.

Then again, Rarity may be so role bound to her character she can take the gift being offered and pull a fast one on joey. After all, she is a social rogue even without her friends she should still be about as much of a threat as Flynn Rider vs an angry horse.
DocBeard 23rd Jul 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
I think you need to reread Discord's lines.

His whole job here is to be a shot in the arm of a complacent campaign. CelestiGM has had multiple issues where her players have run all over her; look at the frustration with Twilight that's been growing, Applejack and Rarity both metagaming like fuck in their own ways, Pinkie literally grabbing control of the game when its funny. Discord is clearly a more experienced DM here to help give CelestiGM a better foothold going into paragon tier, and get the game back to its original idea of the elements of harmony battling the forces of chaos and greed through the power of an unlikely friendship.

So far we've had Applejack put in a situation where she has to actually stick to her role instead of pop out to give color commentary or just tell the GM what to do, Pinkie can't cloudcoocooland because she's got a different game to play, and presumably Raritry's suspicious nature and love of drama is going to be turned against her here. So far none of these have been coerced, and Discord has outright changed his plans for a player's comfort establishing pretty firmly that he's not an abusive GM. This dialogue too shows he knows that player comfort is important and is willing to dial the ham back.

What he isn't, is a pushover. He's playing a villain and like all villains he's designed to lose, but only if the players step up, just like in the episodes this arc's riffing on. They'll have to overcome their flaws as players to get Discord's riddle and stop him, but that's what a rank up in heroism's all about.
DeS_Tructive 20th Jul 2018, 3:58 AM edit delete reply
I'm with needling here, and wrote a massive post about it on the last strip.

The TLDR; version is "Immature, malicious players haven't been a part of FiD canon, and would go heavily against both FiD and FiM's message. Please stop projecting your own fears in to the story."
Newbiespud 20th Jul 2018, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
...It's weird to watch someone make statements about the "message" of your silly D&D/MLP fan-screencap-web-comic.
DeS_Tructive 21st Jul 2018, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
Silly? About as silly as FiM, to me. Sure, there's a lot of comedy, but you're still writing about some important topics.
And if my interpretation is wrong, please let me know.
Needling Haystacks 21st Jul 2018, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
Missed your long post then, went back and read it. Might not have posted this myself if I had. :P

And yeah, but then Naota's father wrote a whole book about the deep mysteries of Eva. Props to anyone who gets that reference.
Malroth 20th Jul 2018, 1:01 AM edit delete reply
I was of the opinion that Applejack was the problem player that needed to be taught an OOC lesson through Dischord but Rarity tops her in one page.
Digo Dragon 20th Jul 2018, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've had so many Applejack-type players in my games that I'm rather used to her way of playing.
Everglue Horace 20th Jul 2018, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
interesting... then your insight into her player or character actions might be more or less on the money.

I'm actually more curious about your take on Rarity's character myself. I'm imagining a Flynn Rider style rogue, but even Briggs Meyer makes the assumption that the only difference between her traditional character and Pinkie Pie is a matter of 'Judgement' and and the variance between the two individuals actions and personalities is still rather high.
Everglue Horace 20th Jul 2018, 5:52 AM edit delete reply
Not to change the subject, but I kind of see Tirek's character as thinking of himself as a freedom fighter like Ichigo from Bleach, only it's kind of obvious he's been consumed by his own arrogance. I only bring it up because as of yesterday or the day before, I believe Dr. Wolf appears to be looking for auditions.
DocBeard 23rd Jul 2018, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
I've been saying since the beginning that I was astounded by how CelstiGM (i'll make it stick damnit.) lets Applejack talk to her during the game.

Rarity did make literally the whole game about her with a tantrum about how she can't possibly turn on the evil thieves's guild that turned on her, which was obnoxious as shit, but that was also CelestiGM's fault for using the guild as enemies so many times.