Page 1107 - Dichromatic Vision

23rd Aug 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Dichromatic Vision
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 23rd Aug 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
I'm glad Rainbow Dash is the vector through which I can get a few gaming references off my chest.

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



Masterweaver 23rd Aug 2018, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Well obviously the renegade choice is to rip off Discord's wings and stick them on herself.
Space Jawa 23rd Aug 2018, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
Red is "Whatever choice you don't want me to make".
Kyu 23rd Aug 2018, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Huh. Pretty upfront about the consequences of Dash’s choice there. Wasn’t expecting that.
Waffle Sorter 23rd Aug 2018, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm surprised at the explicit inclusion of "your party will forfeit". I'd figure that would be something for RD to remember or not on her own.
Gindranis 23rd Aug 2018, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
This is because the maze is not his goal, but a means to an end. He's making it seem to RD that this is his endgame.
you know that guy 23rd Aug 2018, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
He wants to break the friendship. Rainbow forgetting would be one thing, but Rainbow choosing would be another thing.
Digo 24th Aug 2018, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, ensuring Dash fully remembers the rules will make her breaking them that much more meaningful.
Departure_Dave 23rd Aug 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
"Red: Screw the machinations, I'll just put you down."
Discord 23rd Aug 2018, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Tick tock Rainbow.
Stormsdale's about to go off.
ThatGuest 23rd Aug 2018, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
Discord 23rd Aug 2018, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
You didn't have to slap so hard.
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Always found it funny when people calls that kind of "pick bad things A or bad thing B" a "moral choice" or "moral dilemma".

Both choices are amoral, you're just picking up who is going to get hurt due to personal preference. Or sometime out of pragmatism, if the one who made the so called "dilemma" made one option plain better by accident (or because they didn't want it to be an actual choice)
Greenhornet 23rd Aug 2018, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
I've never had to face this particular dilemma in a game, but I'm prepared for it:
"Guardian A always lies. Guardian B always tells the truth."
My answer would be to hold out my hat and ask "what am I holding?" the one that says something like "a rattlesnake" dies.
Naturally, the other guardian would precede me through the rest of the adventure OR ELSE.
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
The "one always lies, one tells the truth" bit isn't a moral dilemma, it's a logic puzzle. Typically, there are also other rules to the effect of "you can only ask one question" and "if you don't ask which door is the right one, you aren't going to know."

So, asking the guardians what you're holding might tell you which of them is the liar, but then you can't ask which door won't kill you if you walk through it.

But, the reason that particular puzzle doesn't see much use is because it's so old, everyone knows the answer already. The correct answer is to pick a guardian at random, and say "If I asked the other guardian which door leads to the villain's castle, what would he say?"

Then you do the opposite of what they tell you. This works because:

1) If the guardian you asked was the honest one, he will honestly tell you what the other would say, which would be a lie.

2) If the guardian you asked was the liar, he will lie about what the honest guardian would say, meaning you get a lie.

Either way, the answer is the same.


Personally, I don't mind logic puzzles, but I hate arbitrary moral dilemmas. What kind of situation honestly has only two possible ways to respond? What situation is ever so cut-and-dry that there are only two possible outcomes after making a choice, regardless of what all else happened before that?

Maybe if a villain is forcing the choice, but all that does is give a reason why an arbitrary choice is being forced in the first place. And in that case, playing the game by the rules the villain presents is the wrong answer anyways.
Balrighty 23rd Aug 2018, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
The way to get around the "only one question" provision is Haley Starshine's method from the Order of the Stick.

Pick a guardian, shoot them with an arrow, and if they say something to the effect of "Ow! I'm not in any pain at all! You totally didn't shoot me, you pleasant, pleasant person!", then you know the other one tells the truth.
Digo 24th Aug 2018, 5:49 AM edit delete reply
A real morale dilemma would be like two parents fighting over custody of a child and only one gets full custody. How do you pick?
Greenhornet 25th Aug 2018, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
I know the solution, but it never made sense to me. Maybe I'm just a dumb Cracker boy.
There's a fantasy series on You-Tube (Forgotten the name) where a "Lawful Stupid" knight is confronted with the puzzle and he throws one of the guardians through the door to his death. He then forces the liar to accompany him because since the liar says things like "You're so smart" and "That was the right decision", he MUST be the truth-teller.
Anaja 23rd Aug 2018, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
And Guardian C who stabs people who try getting clever with it.
Digo 24th Aug 2018, 5:50 AM edit delete reply
You get a cookie for that reference!
Stephen 24th Aug 2018, 11:02 AM This is interesting for chaotic neutral edit delete reply
The one question portion can be worked around with this to establish your character's alignment if he's something like Chaotic netural. Ask what you are holding, figure out who tells the truth. Threaten to cut his balls if if he doesn't tell you what you were supposed to ask about. Need to know the door? No problem. A definitive statement that you will bodily harm him if he doesn't tell yo does not count as a question. Works even better if you kill the other one. Then you get an idea of what the other guy is capable of and you make an example of what awaits the truth guardian.
NoGentleman 23rd Aug 2018, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
... do you even know what a dilemma is?
I mean, having to pick between two bad things, that's what makes it a dilemma in the first place. a dilema is defined as: a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable."
if there was an objectively favourable choice to make, it wouldn't be a dilemma in the first place.
the fact that both outcomes are equally undesireable, is the whole point of the exercise. it forces you to take a look at yourself and ask yourself ""which of those two bad situations would i despise less?". it doesn't ask what is the objectively moral thing to do, but forces you to look at your own morality and ask yourself: "what do i think is the more morally acceptable choice to make?"
Winged Cat 23rd Aug 2018, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Problem is, the way most of these are phrased, the most moral thing to do is neither of the choices, but to object to and invalidate the choice itself.

For instance, there's the old trolley problem. An out of control trolley will run over 5 people. You could throw a switch so that the trolley will change tracks and only run over 1 person - but then, by some ethical systems, you'd be held responsible for the result, while you wouldn't be held responsible if you did nothing even though that lead to greater suffering. The actual solution is to stop or derail the trolley (or get the people off the track), so that nobody gets run over, but those who press the dilemma keep making up conditions specifically preventing each attempt to do so as those attempts are pointed out.
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Much like logical paradoxes, too. Any logical paradox hinges on the person accepting an absurd premise before the paradox can be possible. i.e., the town with only one barber, who can't cut his own hair. Who cuts the barber's hair? The obvious answer would be that there's no reason why the barber can't cut his own hair, but then it wouldn't be a paradox.

Dilemma, paradox... they aren't the same thing, but they're popularized for the same reason. People who like paradoxes set up increasingly absurd situations so the paradox itself can't be bypassed, for the sake of there being a paradox. People who like dilemmas set up increasingly absurd situations where the dilemma can't be bypassed, for the sake of there being a dilemma.

Ironically, it ends up trying to force the person into making a decision they realistically wouldn't, because the world isn't as binary as we imagine it to be.
Elbbsas 23rd Aug 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
I mean, technically the Trolley Problem was originally designed to test moral intuitions and figure out what conditions need to be in place before the asked person changes their mind. Hence why the early versions had the "You" be the driver of the trolley, why there's a version where the one person is beside you and you need to push them, why there is the circular track version, and why the version where "You are a doctor with one healthy patient, and five who are about to die of organ failures, killing the healthy one will let you save the five, what do you do" also exists. It slowly adjusts the situation. Philosophical thought problems tend to be sterilized, otherwise it's impossible to test what factor the individual's moral intuitions are reacting to.

In the Trolley Problem's case: when is it morally permissible to kill (or let die) other people, versus when it is a moral obligation to do or not do so, if I'm remembering correctly. Naturally, there is no consensus. =D
Greenhornet 25th Aug 2018, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
Stop the trolley? I'm a guy with a gas-gun, not SUPERMAN!
The answer is to yell "Get off the tracks, you F-ING morons!"
A variation demands that you shove someone large enough off a bridge into the path of the trolley to save the people. MY answer was "If someone were large and heavy enough to stop a three ton trolley going twenty miles an hour, I couldn't budge them, you idiot!"
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Doesn't change that none of the choices in Discord's presented dilemma are moral, so it's not a "moral" dilemma.

Particularly obvious here because Discord's words allow us to compare his "no matter what you do you lose something, and betray someone which result in them getting hurt at minimum" to Mass Effect's system, which usually gives "do the right thing at X cost but gain Y" and "do a jerk thing to take a shortcut and gain Z, but acting like a jerk might have consequences". In other words DiscordDM is presenting two Renegade choices as if it was clever, then get confused when Dash says "I take the Renegade option"

It's different when one option is clearly the right one, it's just the test-maker messed up or wanted to give the illusion of choices.
Dakkath 23rd Aug 2018, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
My answer to the trolley problem is to throw the one guy under the trolley's wheels so it derails, smooshes the five guys on the other track, crashes into/off of a bridge, then explodes.
Kaze Koichi 24th Aug 2018, 4:25 AM edit delete reply
There is only one possible answer to "trolley problem."

"I don't know."

Unless you get in this situation yourself, you can't predict what you do. Maybe you are a war general used to sent people to their deaths so more people could live. Maybe you'll be paralyzed with fear to do what you think a right choice. Maybe you'll make a mistake and cause everyone to die.

Hey, I have another one for you: "If your house is burning, who are you going to save first: your mother or your lover?"

I don't know, man. Maybe the one closer to the exit.
Needling Haystacks 24th Aug 2018, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
For the fire one: Myself, 'cause trying to go back without a mask I'd probably pass out before saving anyone. :P

The "pushing a guy" trolley problem even has an obvious alternative: Jump.
Guest 24th Aug 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
You might appreciate this, then.

Knowing myself, I'd probably have an acute attack of tunnel vision and hold the lever halfway, thereby saving both options... and then belatedly realizing that I just doomed the trolley and everyone on it as it goes screaming down the middle and flipping end over end.

But we don't all make good decisions in the heat of the moment.
aylatrigger 24th Aug 2018, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
In response to your link, I propose this alternate solution:
Steel Resolve 23rd Aug 2018, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
To seek your own glory, or to back your party, who has already brought you a lot of glory and loot... seems simple to me, but then, Dash is pretty simple.
Kereminde 23rd Aug 2018, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
It's not "her own glory", it's basically being told she can save either Cloudsdale or the Elements.

The correct answer is, of course, to do both.
Professor Harmless 23rd Aug 2018, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
While I've grown to dislike the author over the years, I think Ender Wiggin had the best response to this sort of choice. A giant offers you two glasses of variously colored drinks. He says drinking one will kill you. Choose the correct one and he will take you to fairyland. Ender of course knocked over the glasses and gouged the giants eye out.
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I'm not familiar with what you're referencing, but I like how the way you described it doesn't leave out the possibility that the drink which kills the person might be the same as the fairyland drink, with the other just doing nothing at all.
Kereminde 23rd Aug 2018, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
The trick was *both* glasses invariably would kill you, if I recall.
Ishidan 23rd Aug 2018, 7:42 PM The Giant's Drink edit delete reply
Correct. Both choices kill you. This was a VR simulation, much like the Kobayashi Maru, of course-- and it took several times through before Ender got fed up with being wrong no matter what and came up with the third option.
Needling Haystacks 24th Aug 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
As tvtropes points out, Ender's Game predates MMORPGs. When Ultimate Online was introduced, it had a predator/prey spawning mechanic. They soon found out it didn't work because players just killed all the prey animals as soon as they saw them, even though it only gave them a minimal amount of experience.

In other words, were the Giants Drink an actual thing, killing the giant would probably have been tried right off the bat. "If it has stats, someone will try to kill it."
Guest 24th Aug 2018, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Question: Was the wording of the riddle the same as the above poster relayed it? Specifically, that drinking one glass would kill him, and choosing the correct glass gets the prize?

Second Question: Did Ender ever try mixing both glasses to drink both at the same time, on the assumption that both were poisonous individually, but when taken together the two poisons catalyze into something not fatal?

I ask because I'm wondering if that scene was intended to point out a flaw in Ender's decision-making process, because I rather distinctly remember the climax of the story having an alarmingly similar setup: Choose to save humanity, or choose to save the bug people, but Ender didn't try to save both. At least, not until well after the fact.
Needling Haystacks 27th Aug 2018, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Guest: Iirc, the wording was something like "Choose the right drink and I'll take you to FairyLand."

The book mentioned that the Giant's Drink game is intended to be unwinnable: it's presented to those with suicidal tendencies with the hope that they'll learn that it can be better to walk away than make yourself miserable. FairyLand wasn't even supposed to exist until it was forced to be procedurally generated because no one thought to make the giant unkillable.

Anyway, with that wording, mixing them would be a potential solution. Ender never tried it. In the book I was under the impression that the drinks were too large to mix as-is, but since the giant just sat and waited, bringing in a bucket from another area might have worked. But as that was not a programmed event at that point, it would presumably have done something random. Possibly killing you anyway, possibly having the giant attack.
Departure_Dave 24th Aug 2018, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
"Ender's Game", an awesome piece of science fantasy.
Jennifer 25th Aug 2018, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
My favorite real-life "Take a Third Option" story is of the British submarine L4. In 1927 she was policing the Yangtse River and a hijacked river steamer came by. The captain could let it go by or allow the pirates to kill their hostages...

He sank the ship.
ThatGuest 23rd Aug 2018, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
I have a feeling that Dash is going to end up angry at Discord over something, decide to leave and Discord is going to lie about what happened in there after everyone hears the front/back door slam. 5 bucks says he insults the other players/DM, Dash tell him where he can shove his opinion and storms off.

Discord then tells everyone Dash threw them under the bus and was disloyal and things just snowball from there. I'm basing this on the fact that story wise Dash just vanishes till near the end of part 2 so that means in theory, for one reason or another she won't be rejoining them at the table after this.
Redwings1340 23rd Aug 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
I thought this choice was pretty unfair of discord in the series, and its even more unfair of him here. Discord is legitimately threatening the lives of thousands of ponies and holding them hostage (including rd's parents), then claiming rd isn't being loyal by trying to save them. Even if the threat ends up being fake in the show, dash has absolutely no way to know that before she's corrupted.

Based on what she knew, dash makes probably the right decision in the show here, and if I were rping dashie, I would feel a little disappointed that this were the choice I was offered. This isn't a creative choice, this is just straight up hostage taking, it doesn't prove anything.
Needling Haystacks 23rd Aug 2018, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
In-show, the interpretation I've seen that makes the most sense is that it's an issue of divided loyalties, thus undermining her element. We never actually see RD make a choice, and later she thinks things are fine in Cloudsdale. The catch is not her being disloyal to her friends, but showing the limits of monochromatic loyalty. It would work better if it were tied in more explicitly later, the way AJ's discording is (that she 'couldn't face the truth').

That said, assuming Dash did choose to help Cloudsdale under those circumstances, it's slightly arguable whether it's the right choice: Even if she helps them then, Discord can just destroy it whenever he wants. This is a common issue with a hostage situation: giving in to the hostage-taker often doesn't free the hostage, at least in media. In real life where the hostages are taken for ransom, pirates with good business sense will honor their agreements because if they don't no one will deal with them again...also they might get navy seal sniper bullets in the head but that's a small risk proportionally speaking.
Winged Cat 23rd Aug 2018, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
In real life, hostage-takers don't honor the deal / alter the deal after their conditions were met often enough, that professional police departments have mostly given up on attempting to honor the deal. (Check out hostage negotiation tactics: it's all about getting the hostage taker to open up and relate; there's nothing about actually meeting the hostage taker's demands.) Also, not giving in sets an example for later would-be hostage takers - the few who think things through and consider what happened when others tried it, anyway.
Redwings1340 23rd Aug 2018, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
True, I'll agree it's not a clear choice. The argument for choosing cloudsdale is that citizens are not replaceable, and if discord does kill them, there is no rebuilding. Choosing cloudsdale would be having faith that twilight twilight and company can get another solution in place, while hoping saving the people of cloudsdale for as long as possible. The argument against is that discord is only doing this to get rainbow dash to leave, and that much is clear to everyone.

Basically, I feel this is a no win scenario for dashie. If she doesn't go, discord could say she isn't being loyal to her home and her family, and pin the deaths on her. This isn't proving anything about dash or who she is, just proving that discord has the power to threaten people.
Kaze Koichi 24th Aug 2018, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
Didn't you see Flutershy's part? There is no right choice here: the result will be the same no matter what she do, and if she somehow evades that, Discord would forcibly corrupt her anyway. Discord is a lying dick, he doesn't play by his own rules (and why everyone thinks this pathetic mary sue is a good villain is beyond me).
Digo 24th Aug 2018, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
Quite how I see it. All choices are a lose-lose result for Dash and her friends here. AJ walked into her curse, but poor Fluttershy didn't even get kudos for seeing through the ruse set up for her.
Needling Haystacks 24th Aug 2018, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat: Yeah they throw a lampshade on this in Big 0's first episode. The kidnappers released the wrong thing (...well that's confusing but anyway), but Roger had remote-controlled rockets attached to the briefcase of money...

I mentioned Somali pirates because they are an odd exception. They kidnap as pure business and thus usually (usually) honor their agreements.
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 8:55 AM The first option is a lie, or might as well be. edit delete reply
1. DiscorDM strikes me as the kind of guy who will play the “I never really lied” kind of villain and then actually being more than willing to lie if it’s necessary for the villain’s goal or a plot point. Basically, someone you can’t trust IC *or* OOC.

2. I’m reasonably certain that while NewbieDM gave him a lot of leeway to change the world when discussing this, destroying a major city, especially just to mess with one player, will either be flat-out not allowed or will be undone (somehow) once Discord is defeated.

3. Changing/influencing the weather is probably treated as a racial ability in this setting, so I don’t think RD is necessary to save the town - plenty of Pegasus NPCs are there who have specifically trained to deal with the weather and weather disasters. Yes she’s a PC and generally players are a kind of lynchpin in major story situations, but still. Also, RD’s not specced for it and will likely either not be of much help and fail, or somehow *coughdiscordmbullsh-t* single-handedly save the city, thus looking like a glory hog no matter what she says.

4. DiscorDM will probably either remove the storm himself and change it to, like, a monster or something to make it seem like RD’s player got bored and ran (er...flew) off to find something more interesting OR it will be an illusion.

Finally, he’s getting desperate. Not in a “might to fail to corrupt the party” way as much as in the “might fail in corrupting the party /the way he intended/* way. FlutterPlayer rustled his jimmies something fierce, and with everyone cottoning on to the in-game- and meta-conflict, I’m gonna bet he’s more than willing to just cheat (yeah, he’s a DM and makes the rules - I mean cheat in the sense of just cursing RD and Twi and then lying about their behavior OOC to create the drama. Y’know, go after the players instead of the characters.)
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
The title didn’t work - it’s supposed to say “The first option is a lie.” Sorry.
Vegetalss4 23rd Aug 2018, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
I really hope red in this case is Dash kicking Discord in the face.
There's precedence for that being a renegade action after all (except with kicking instead of punching because pony).
terrycloth 23rd Aug 2018, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
I can't think of what else it would be.
HappyEevee 23rd Aug 2018, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
What all the players are missing about this situation is that it's still the first session of the arc, it's still the setup for fighting the arc villain. OF COURSE they're going to lose the elements and have to get them back again so they can defeat Discord; it's just like when your party walks into town and immediately gets arrested and thrown in jail, or when the big bad smacks down your lvl 1 party, takes your plot McGuffin object, and walks off laughing. It's the instigating plot circumstance that leads to the party working through the situation and finally defeating the big bad.

DiscorDM is not here to end their game, he's here to be a short-term guest villain that they will defeat in a few sessions. This is still just that first preemptive strike by the big bad - throwing the party in jail without their weapons and magic gear. They're EXPECTED to escape and find a way to defeat him. DiscorDM is there to be defeated, he's just not going to make it as easy for them as the usual GM has been doing.

The GM didn't bring DiscorDM in to end the game, DiscorDM was brought in to give the players a bigger challenge because the GM couldn't handle their constant meta-gaming and flattening of the plot. If the players get mad because one session didn't go their way, then there's a lot bigger problems at that table.

What DiscorDM is doing here is offering the character a bad choice; yes, RD is screwed no matter what she does, but since the point of this is to take the elements so they actually have to work to defeat Discord, it's expected. The problem is the player is refusing to roleplay - RD's player is doing just what FS's player did and meta-arguing with DiscorDM. Situations like this exist so the player can decide what their character - without all that player meta-knowledge - would do when presented with a given choice. It's the essence of roleplaying: what will your character do? But so far, both FS and RD are going full meta and complaining there isn't a way to "win" the scenario. They're missing that what's important isn't "winning" this scenario, it's the team defeating Discord. They're so caught up in not wanting to fail a specific no-win situation that they're not looking at the larger picture of the game as a whole. The team WILL find a way to retrieve the elements and defeat Discord, but only if the play the game. Refusing to play this scenario doesn't get them any closer to winning the game, it just makes a mess for everyone else.

AJ, Pinkie, and Rarity all understood that and played along, having their characters do what their characters would do. While FS is a new and inexperienced player, RD should really know better.

There will be times the party wipes. There will be times the party messes up and fails the mission. Characters will die and players will roll new ones. That's the nature of gaming; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But you can't freak out just because things don't go well in any given situation. Especially as this situation is clearly not an endgame, it's just the plot setup for the story arc of recovering the elements and defeating Discord.
falconflicker 23rd Aug 2018, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Your analysis is quite detailed, and there are many side-points you make that I agree with, but there are a few things that I think that you're ignoring for the sake of your main point.

1) DiscorDM deliberately wasted everyone's time by splitting the players and talking to them one at a time during game time, and even more deliberately wasted AJ's time by giving her OOC information and saying that she cannot allow that information to be used.
2) DiscorDM flat out told Pinkie that she couldn't play the character she brought to the table.
3) When FS made an (ambiguously but truthfully) IC statement about how the scenario was written in advance, with the illusion of interactivity, and she wasn't going to let Discord make her blame herself for the consequences, DiscorDM responded angrily OOC, taking the statement personally.

While I agree that at the start of this session, DiscorDM had intended for this to be the start of a multi-session arc, that's not really relevant to the situation at hand.
ThatGuest 23rd Aug 2018, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
Plus I think Discord's motivation for actually making the game fun is slim to none. He strikes me as the kind of guy who loads into a multiplayer game, blows up all his own team's vehicles and makes sure they're going to lose then quits while playing a sound clip from a soundboard.

The worst case scenario is that this destroys the tabletop group and causes RL drama. Something which Discord seems more than likely he would find hilarious and with no consequences to him at all.
Aeshdan 23rd Aug 2018, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Judging by the way Discord acts, I think he comes from a table where extreme IC conflict and drama is a normal thing, but all the players are fine with it OOC. And as a result of that, I think he is way overestimating this party's ability to keep the game in the game, and he's going to find that out soon.
HappyEevee 23rd Aug 2018, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
falconflicker, I see the points you're making, but I'll take a stab at discussing them.

1) I'm not sure how splitting the players up constitutes "deliberately wasting everyone's time." DiscorDM bothered to craft solo scenes for each of them and just reading through the text, they're not taking more than a few minutes each. Yes it does make the initial session run slower, but he's giving them individualized curses which they're supposed to roleplay and the table has already showed they don't handle meta-info well.

2) Yes, and it's temporary. Just the same as if he'd hit her with Mind Control, Domination, Unnatural Lust, or any other mind-altering spell. It's a curse... she's supposed to break it and then she'll be her normal self again.

3) I see a lot of people saying FC was talking IC. Going through her speech balloons in page 1101, she refers to two entities: "you" and "Discord". She consistently refers to Discord in the third person as "he," "him," and "Discord." But she talks to DiscorDM in panels 1 and 2 as "you." That's not IC, she's talking to DiscorDM as himself. Panels 3 and 4 are her talking about Discord as "he" and "him," not "you." In page 1102 she goes back and says she was talking about Discord, but that's not what her pronouns indicate.

Sapphire, RD stars IC on page 1106, but by the time she gets to "I'll LARP this if I have to" and then on page 1107 "I pick red" she's definitely not IC. Like FS, she's not talking to Discord anymore, she's talking to DiscorDM.
Sapphire 23rd Aug 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Wait, how is Rainbow Dash being meta at all? As she as been written in this comic, the way she is acting is totally in-character with how she has been the whole time.

A character being socially smart enough to read and understand another person's motivations isn't meta-gaming. And a character refusing to lose isn't being meta or wanting to 'win' the game. It can be a character trait. See: Near every shonen protagonist in existance.

It seems to me that RD giving up now because she knows they'll get a chance to come back and win later would be way more meta and OOC than her being defiant.
Balrighty 23rd Aug 2018, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
I disagree that FS's refusal to engage is coming from a meta- place (even inadvertantly, given her inexperience), simply because I can think of multiple examples of such refusal being the winning move.

1) The first ever appearance of the Impossible Man in the Fantastic Four comics. He's basically the dividing line between a physical god and an actual god and he's on Earth due to boredom. The Four are completely outmatched. The only way they get him to leave is by being as deliberately boring as possible.

2) Batman versus Bat-Mite from the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon series. Bat-Mite is a 5th-dimensional imp with reality-warping powers out his ears and he's a fan of Batman. He wants to see Batman be exciting and heroic constantly and doesn't give Bats a moment's rest. Batman stops this by giving up entirely, initiating a game of chicken where Bat-Mite must either stop the onslaught or kill off his favorite hero.

3) In the Peter David novel Q-Squared, Trellane has gained more power than a Q and is subjecting Picard's crew to constant torment to enjoy how they react and try to defy him. Like the Fantastic Four example, their only respite is to give up entirely and make Trellane leave due to boredom. This succeeds and buys the crew a little time.

I'm sure others can come up with plenty of similar examples.
Redwings1340 24th Aug 2018, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
Being boring is definitely a viable tactic to stop someone who's being a bully or wants to get a reaction. People do things to get a reaction. Oftentimes, getting mad at someone is what they want you to do, whether its for fun, out of boredom, wanting to provoke you to do something you'll regret, etc.

Sometimes the best solution is really to do nothing at all, because that puts the pressure back on the bully or abuser because they suddenly aren't getting what they want. If people know they can't get you to react, they often stop trying altogether.
Freelance 23rd Aug 2018, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
"Vegeta...! That wasn't very Paragon!"

*Spits* "Renegade for life"

As for me, I'm Paragon 'till death.
Hankroyd 23rd Aug 2018, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
I understand that reference!
Chronic Lurker 24th Aug 2018, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
Sweet! I don't have to make the reference bugging the back of my mind! Thanks for that.
Winged Cat 23rd Aug 2018, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
See panel 5. Did DiscorDM miss that a certain (possible) GMPC is already at Cloudsdale, able to save the day? One that even DiscorDM might not have been told about?
Rastaba 23rd Aug 2018, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
I am kinda with Discord on this one. What even would be the ‘red option’ in this point? Sacrifice the party, her friends, to be the lone hero savior and screw the world by forfeiting the match with the chaos god...or abandoning a city full of innocents to the mad chaos god’s petty whims for the greater good of the party and stopping Discord with the elements, and hopefully preventing further damage?

...yeah, pretty sure her picking red is the equivalent of shooting her self in the foot on this one, now that I think about it. Greater Good is a Paragon thing...
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
DiscordDM went all "let's do a good old Bioware choice", and then presented only two Renegade options.

He got confused because Dash's response to it is nonsensical, but it's his own fault for not going with the premise.
Boris Carlot 24th Aug 2018, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
Mass Effect renegade option is often some variation on "deck the mofo", just saying...
Departure_Dave 24th Aug 2018, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
You guys keep talking about Mass Effect, I assume because the protagonist is a hero no matter how you play it, but KOTOR predates it by a fair margin, and going red usually means being a villain for the laughs.
Guest 24th Aug 2018, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Doesn't renegade tend to work by disregarding the presented options and doing what you think is right, regardless of what people think about you after?

The renegade choice here wouldn't be either option being presented. It wouldn't even be to punch the chaos god in the face. It's to NOT make the choice for as long as possible, because you've realized his game is based around forcing you to voluntarily abandon your principles.

And that, in order for that to be true, time can't actually be a factor in the decision. If Discord were to force a choice (whoops, you took too long and now cloudsdale is gone!) then RD didn't actually abandon her principles. She stayed with her friends, and the game isn't thrown on account of one of them leaving the maze.

Since her leaving is the choice Discord wants her to make, that means he can't actually let Cloudsdale get attacked without her being there to save it. Rainbow wins by mouthing off at him until he gets fed up and leaves, or until he actually offers her something she wants.
Guest 24th Aug 2018, 7:41 PM edit delete reply
That said, looking like an asshole to her own friends, but still ultimately making the right choice, is still a renegade option, too.

So, (since we already know which choice she makes in the end) I'm thinking she holds out until he says something like "what do I have to give you to make you leave?" At which point she's free to make her own demand, which could be something as simple as "the game doesn't end just because I leave."
Guest 26th Aug 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
No, Renegade isn't about doing what's right. It's not even about doing what works, because Paragon often works just as well if not better.
Rose 23rd Aug 2018, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
You don't just give up. You don't just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what's right when everyone else just runs away!
The Doctor 23rd Aug 2018, 9:27 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose. Courage isn't a matter of being afraid, it's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway. Brave heart, Dashie
Guest 23rd Aug 2018, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
Anyone else think FID!Dash should be voiced by Jennifer Hale?
malroth`s phone 24th Aug 2018, 2:50 AM edit delete reply
paragon choice is to save the town. renagade choice is to sacrifice the town to fight dischord sooner.
Archone 24th Aug 2018, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
First of all, I'd like to remind those who are rushing to demonize DGM that he is there because the main GM is a friend of his, and because he was asked to show up and provide a particularly interesting and memorable gaming experience. He showed up with props and tricks and planned this out extensively. He's not the bad guy; he came here to increase the fun, not ruin it.

Second, I think that a large part of the reason for the demonization of DGM is that we've come to identify with the Mane Six. We like them. We care about them. So now here comes someone who is their adversary, and the knee-jerk response is to assume that their opponent must be horrible and terrible and a no-good jerk. Look at what he's actually been doing, and notice: they're all friends of the main GM. Hopefully they'll go away as friends of each other.

Third... I definitely agree with those who consider this an unfair choice. It makes me think of the trolley problem that people mentioned, as well as certain political campaigns that involved setting up a false flag candidate and then demanding that the voters pick "the lesser of two evils." With the immediate response by most being to refuse to play along (which can lead to the election of the false flag candidate). The creator of the dilemna then accuses their victims of being responsible for the outcome... but who was it who tied the folks to the tracks? Who appointed the false flag candidate?

Which... is what RD is doing. She can tell this is a "trolley problem" being pushed on her by someone with the ability to enforce the premise, to actively prevent the finding of a better solution. So I don't blame her for being annoyed by this. As she put it, ""good" is a strong word there... "old," definitely."

(Personally, I prefer the morality system from the second Ultima trilogy. Where consistently making the morally correct choice was the whole point of the game, as the living Avatar of Virtue)
Joe the Rat 24th Aug 2018, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
Having read through the discussion, I believe the solution is to throw a trolley at the hostage taker.

While I'm not sure where the trolley comes in, RD at least has the right class for the job.
kgy121 24th Aug 2018, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
In this case, I think it would be pushing Cloudsdale to fall on Discord's head.
Captain Snark 24th Aug 2018, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."