Page 1121 - Affable Affinity

25th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Affable Affinity
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Newbiespud 25th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
When you think about it, that's kind of Discord's entire modus operandi... It's even illustrated with an extreme reverse zoom shot in Keep Calm and Flutter On. Then again, that's also just the ideal state of the Trickster, in any form of media.

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Kyu 25th Sep 2018, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
I appreciate how much Dash is into the idea.
Digo Dragon 25th Sep 2018, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I remember the campaign I ran where half the party seriously considered joining a red dragon's side. That really made things uncomfortable for the other half, because if there was any doubt that half the party was really just a bunch of evil sheep in people clothing, it all evaporated. XD
Cyborg7221 25th Sep 2018, 7:51 AM Cyborg7221 edit delete reply
@Digo That's nothing. I've run multiple solo campaigns where the PC ACTUALLY sided with the dragon. Like, legit ditched her kingdom (did I mention she was playing a captured princess?) and became the court mage to a young dragon warlord. Tricked out his dungeon with all sorts of magical alarms and traps.

Ironically, that same player had the same thing happen to her when she tried to run for a group at school: A 5e baby black dragon was poisoning a forest and living in a converted ancient Elven shrine, but the party mistook the evidence and thought the Dragon cult were the original occupants and shrugged off the whole "age of darkness" thing because cute widdle dragon baby.

Happens way more often than you'd think.
Digo Dragon 25th Sep 2018, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I find that when the dragon's a baby, even good-aligned PCs would give them the benefit of a doubt.

King: "You need to slay that."
Baby Dragon: "I will murder you, king!"
PCs: "Eh, it's a phase. She'll grow out of it."
Needling Haystacks 25th Sep 2018, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
...Evil sheep in people clothing? I lol at how much that almost makes sense. I'll have to use that sometime. :P
Zontan 25th Sep 2018, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
I've had my PCs align with several 'Evil' dragons in the game I ran. To be fair, since the campaign setting already had dragons ruling the world, the evil types were more just selfish than anything else. They found a Blue dragon with a MacGuffin they needed, and rather than attack him, they just talked to him and helped him defend his lair in exchange for it.

And later, when a wyrmling White dragon walked into the town they were in and declared ownership of it, they decided to set him up as a puppet ruler and taught him the finer points of capitalism - namely, investing in the town to grow his own hoard. He started giving trinkets to children. It took them a moment to realize they had created Santa.
ThatGuest 25th Sep 2018, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
I once almost turned on my party during the finale of our campaign to become Tiamat's champion. By that point it was clear that the rest of the party was going to cause far more damage to the world than just the outcome of dragons ruling over mortals.
aylatrigger 25th Sep 2018, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
I had a game where almost the entire Good party decided to join up with Ba'al and become his minions. He had offered our lives and power for one of us being his champion, equipping the one Regalia of Evil (which would corrupt anyone even more) he had, and getting the rest.

I was the only one who decided it would be against my alignment. I was LG, almost a pacifist, and a monk. They decided to hold me down and force the first Regalia of Evil on me...a gauntlet. Making me turn evil and become the Champion of Ba'al. So my sticking to my principles made me the most powerful member in the party! ...And the one whose personality changed the most on the alignment switch. >:)
Freemage 26th Sep 2018, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
One of my favorite PCs in the old Living Arcanis convention game setting was given the chance to jump aboard the 'greater evil' train, and leaped without even looking back.
Hankroyd 25th Sep 2018, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Twillight being the apprentice of Discord... I don't think you can't force her to accept this deal, Rainbow Dash ...
Rastaba 25th Sep 2018, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
Rastaba DON’T think she CAN’T force her to accept this deal???
Hankroyd 25th Sep 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Yes, it's a double negative ... It's not a mistake ... It's just to say ... err ... she really really can't not.
... Never mind.
Discord 25th Sep 2018, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I don't remember what I did with you.
The Old One 25th Sep 2018, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Other than *paft*-ing her horn, not a thing.

I believe you were shooting for a Vader/Skywalker moment (Join me, oust the Emperor, rule side by side) which clearly seems to have fallen flat.
Platonix 25th Sep 2018, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, how else are you going to reverse the element of a unicorn with the Element of Magic, than by removing her horn?
Discord 25th Sep 2018, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Did I mention anything about Starbutt there in the post?
Greenhornet 25th Sep 2018, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
This is how "The Last Jedi" should have ended.
I forget the title of the video, but the reviewer said that Luke should have convinced Kylo to reform and when Kylo asks "But what about Reh?" Luke says "She's HIS daughter!" and we cut to the throne room with Reh standing before Snope with an evil grin on her face...
Anvildude 25th Sep 2018, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
Nah, Rey should have just joined up with Kylo after they took Snoke down, working with the budding new empire as its moral compass.
Needling Haystacks 25th Sep 2018, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
Anvildude: that makes far more sense but then what would the third movie be about? They kinda hamstrung themselves with that.

Logically, though, yes: Assuming Rey could convince Kylo to give up on subduing the Resistance and work with them, of course, it would be far preferable to oversee a reform of the First Order than to simply leave it in confusion as she wanted. While the Resistance might benefit, an awful lot of sentient/sapient lifeforms would likely die in the confusion and err... discord... of its sudden collapse. Hey I kinda brought it back around.
Greenhornet 25th Sep 2018, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
Sorry for going off-topic, but this needs to be said.
We were told by the movie that they had all they needed to rebuild "The Resistance". OK, let's look at their resources:
1: An old Wookie.
2: A Mary Sue.
3: An old politition/war veteran who's going to die.
4: A hot fighter jock without a fighter.
5: About twenty people and droids.
6: Some force-using kids they know nothing about held in slavery.
7: Some allies who couldn't be bothered to send token aid when they needed it.
8: A rusty, fifty year old light freighter.
and (Trumpet fanfare)
9: Fucking Porgs!
Episode nine is going to be about them hiding and either being ignored, or hunted down and killed.
Archone 25th Sep 2018, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
Episode nine very well might be about nothing at all. They REALLY screwed up the franchise; there might not even be a ninth film.

It's really unsurprising. You don't go out of your way to piss off your core audience and then expect them to remain loyal. I call that "Pulling an Ultima." Because of when EA bought out Origin and then turned the last few games in the Ultima series into Diablo ripoffs, abandoning the aspects that made the first six games so popular.

(I'd call it "Pulling a New Coke," except that Coca Cola acknowledged what a stupid decision that was and reversed it VERY quickly. As opposed to doubling down, full steam ahead, "our loyal fans will remain loyal no matter how we treat them.")
Sir william 25th Sep 2018, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
No Kylo is irredeemably evil
I mean Luke saw the good in fucking Vader, but one look at Kylo’s mind and it’s murder time
Tempestfury 25th Sep 2018, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
Please keep discussions relevant and intelligent.

It's one thing to dislike The Last Jedi. It's another to go this stupidly far about said dislike.

I mean. Really? Rey? A Mary Sue? Really. Could you not be any more boring, unoriginal and stupid?
HappyEevee 25th Sep 2018, 8:10 PM edit delete reply
Heh. Run Rey through a Mary Sue litmus test, like the handy one at She scores well into Mary Sue territory.
Sarda 26th Sep 2018, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
@HappyEevee: I ran Luke through that test and he came up fairly high too, so not sure it's meaningful.
HappyEevee 26th Sep 2018, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
@Sarda Yup. Most Star Wars characters are that way. It's space fantasy - a band of plucky young orphans and misfits overthrows the evil king and saves the country/world/galaxy. There's nothing wrong with the genre, it just tends to a lot of relatively flat and repetitive characters. Personally, I think the best thing about recent Luke was Mark Hamill's amazing performance (in the few minutes of screentime he actually got).

@siosilvar If you go through the whole list, there are a lot of modifiers that will reduce the score if the character has much depth or balance. Characters who score high are usually characters who lack any real flaws (except loads of backstory trauma), act in selfish or self-centered ways but never actually suffer consequences for their actions, and have plot fiat bail them out of any trouble their attitudes and actions might otherwise result in.

Traditional heroes (from fairy tales, high fantasy, morality plays, etc) are usually fairly one-dimensional (as are the villains) because the point of the story is good triumphing over evil - therefore the good guys are unbelievably good and the bad guys are monstrously bad. It works fine in a fairy tale, but that's the way the genre is. Many superhero genres are very similar. It doesn't mean we can't like the characters regardless, but that doesn't change their Mary Sue status.
siosilvar 26th Sep 2018, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
"Mary Sue" just means "character I don't like", because the trait list for a Mary Sue is basically the same as the list for a traditional hero. Is the protagonist? Conventionally attractive? In good shape? Talented? Succeeds most of the time? Shares political stances with the author? Congratulations, Captain America is a Mary Sue.
Greenhornet 27th Sep 2018, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, I only brought it up because Twilight was being "tempted by the dark side" and it reminded me of that video.
Pablo360 25th Sep 2018, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
You're right, TLJ would have been much better with a boring, unoriginal, and unsurprising “twist”. What were they thinking, doing literally anything other than the single most obvious course of action?
ThatGuest 25th Sep 2018, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
Honestly it's biggest failing was that I thought it was boring. Everything else aside it failed because my friends and I had more fun talking about random stuff later at a resturant than watching the movie.
Freemage 26th Sep 2018, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
I genuinely enjoyed TLJ. It wasn't a perfect movie--while I understood the point of the Casino Arc (yes, it had one), it's undeniably poorly paced and allowed to eat up too much screen time, and has too many discordant elements.

But the core Rey/Kylo storyline? I adored. It was a giant middle-finger to everyone who thinks storytelling begins and ends with Campbell's "Hero's Journey", and it's long overdue.

Instead of being about the Chosen One, it's about being the One Who Chooses. Instead of giving a pass to everyone who isn't lucky enough to be fated by prophecy and birthright, it challenges each and every person to go and do right, not because they were destined to be the fulcrum of the battle between Good and Evil, but because they are there, and it needs doing.

The entire movie is a battle between different schools of existentialism (specifically Nietzsche vs. Kirkegaard), and it's a stronger tale for it.
ThatGuest 26th Sep 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
But Rey -is- the chosen one, they've litterally said that because Kylo is so gosh darn evil (debateable) that the force chose and specifically empowered Rey to act as a balance for him. That the stronger Kylo gets the stronger the force makes Rey. Anyone who isn't OP and chooses to do good in the movie gets cheated or their good gets negated to being pointless.
ThatGuest 26th Sep 2018, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
Also she downloaded all his skills and training when they touched.........yes that's acually canon to explain why Rey didn't need any training to whup him. :|
Balrighty 25th Sep 2018, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
So I don't know whether to read Celestia's "Right?!" comment in the fifth panel as "See? That's how brilliant my player is. I'm so proud of her." or as "See? This is why I had to bring you in!"
Digo Dragon 25th Sep 2018, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Hmm. I can see it interpreted either way. My choice would be the latter--the GM brought Discord in to raise the bar.
Kereea 25th Sep 2018, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
Exactly. Discord was brought in to handle Twilight's ability to totally break the game without meaning to via his unexpectedness. However, he's done that thus far by handicapping her help, not by going for her. Yet.

My guess is, he thinks she'll be able to handle anything and will be upset if he accidentally drives her to a breakdown since he's expecting someone who can beat a full-campaign boss in the first session.
Archone 25th Sep 2018, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
This. This. Totally this, what Kereea just said. A lot of people seem to forget that this is a GAME, and one of the players has repeatedly demonstrated her capacity for min-maxing, powergaming, and steamrolling over challenges... which can be to the detriment of the game and the other players. Discord GM isn't "that evil manipulative abusive jerk who came in to be a creep." Discord GM is "the very good friend and gaming mentor to the main GM, who came in to help deal with a problematic player who is also a good friend and therefore cannot simply be ejected from the group."

(I've had dealings with players like that. They were problematic... but they're also good friends, so "just kick them out" wasn't really an option. Fortunately, they ARE good friends, so they worked to modify the problematic behavior once it was brought to their attention. And that also goes for the player I see when I look in the mirror - we all make screwups on occasion)
Randonimity 25th Sep 2018, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
If you don't mind my asking but how were these players with problematic behaviors dealt with/handled? How did you bring it to their attention?
Archone 26th Sep 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Well, in one case it was necessary to do a literal intervention - we all had to sit this person down and explain our unhappiness with their insistence on playing exotic inhuman mary sue types (one example: In Shadowrun 4th edition, a Fomori Drake Mystic Adept) and treating every game as a competition where the highest body count wins. Their characters were in the 80+ range on the Mary Sue Litmus Test: )

The intervention resulted in some weeks of depression, followed by a resolve to improve. That campaign I've mentioned with the slapstick comedy and the goblins? They're in that, playing as a lizardman druid who has had their share of awesome moments as well as their share of being comic relief. And even when they're doing the minmaxing thing, they're doing it for the group benefit - helping other players tweak their builds for optimal performance, that sort of thing.

But that was an extreme case - this is a person who was strongly influenced by the "Anita Blake" series (think "Bella from Twilight, only older, heavily armed, with all the powers of vampires AND lycanthrope and none of the weaknesses, and with an entire male harem who quickly reassure her that she's right about everything and that nothing is ever her fault." While innocent people die because of her crap... including a few kids), and still enjoys media with massively overpowered main characters ("Overlord," "One Punch Man," etc). The other friends I've dealt with were actually pretty quick to modify their behavior when problems were called to their attention.

To put it in FIM terms, think of that episode where Discord gets invited to play D&D, and the bit where Spike and Big Mac decide to give him another chance. Once Discord realized HE was the one at fault, they welcomed him back into the game - and he proceeded to make the game MUCH more enjoyable with his presence. :)
Guest 26th Sep 2018, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
@Archone (think "Bella from Twilight, only older, heavily armed, with all the powers of vampires AND lycanthrope and none of the weaknesses, and with an entire male harem who quickly reassure her that she's right about everything and that nothing is ever her fault." While innocent people die because of her crap... including a few kids)

Oh my gosh, how do you know my GMs girlfriend?? It's like you've been at our 3.5 homebrew table all this time! (I kid but... that description is eerily similar to her character and his support NPCs... I wonder if they're fans of that series? It could explain a lot.) The worst part is that GM is the one who's better as a GM than a player; when he's on the other side of the table, he tends to play chaotic 10 year olds who mouth off to the king, make party-wide deals with demons without the party's consent, and steal things in plain sight of their heavily armed owners. We've almost died so many times... and he thinks he's making the game "fun" for us.
Archone 28th Sep 2018, 4:23 AM edit delete reply
They quite possibly are fans of said series... and as I said, you should approach them and explain how you're feeling. It's a GAME. If you're not all having fun, then that's a problem. A polite explanation is usually sufficient - usually they don't realize the problem.
Digo Dragon 26th Sep 2018, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Just to put it out there, Twilight's player is relatively new to tabletop RPs, so some of her powergaming mistakes are not intentional.
Wordy Guest 26th Sep 2018, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I understand what you mean, and it seems likely that is what Larry is going for, but I find myself somewhat troubled by it. Larry has certainly taken some spikes to their blood pressure from Twilight's play style, but they haven't disapproved of her actions beyond her idea for a fail safe in the beginning of this adventure. And when they said no to that idea, twilight accepted it without complaint. Her only note was that it seemed like a logical extension of what she and her other players had done before. She is perfectly willing to stay within the set boundaries she is given, so long as they are given. Something about bringing someone else in to show you why you have been playing wrong really rubs me the wrong way*. If you have issue with the way one of your players is playing, talk to them and ask them if they would be okay with toning down the things you have a problem with.

I don't see anything in Twilight's character that would make me think that she would be unreceptive of critique in regards to how she plays. In fact we can see that with how she (and to a lesser extent Applejack) change how they treat rarity after their adventure with the diamond dogs. She starts not trusting or sporting her friend, but once she realizes what she has been doing is unfair and troublesome to her fellow player, she changes and tries to be better. If Larry wants her to stop breaking their games, all they need to do is talk to her.

On the other hand, if they think that they aren't skilled or experienced to pull off the campaign they have planed and want to bring in a different DM to provide a different more challenging feel for a campaign/adventure, then there is nothing wrong with that, and if could be a tremendous amount of fun for everyone involved. You simply float the idea to your party, gauge their reactions, introduce the new DM to them, and if they seem like they're on board, you start on a new fun challenging adventure together, playing and learning more about yourselves and your group.

Over all nobody here is a bad person, (even though the villain discord is a real [expletive expunged] and DiscorDM is excellent at playing him as such) and may have the best of intentions, but I think the way they are going about “correcting a problem player” is really not the best.

*I get that Larry may not be meaning to say “you're playing my game wrong” with their introduction of DiscorDM, but the reaction of applejack and this talk of twilight as a problematic player has sort of left that impression on me. It just triggers my response of "If you have a problem with how a player is playing, talk to the player. Do not punish a character, or try to contrive them into a position that shows them how wrong they are, just talk to them." This is just something that really gets to me, and I understand that I may just be projecting my pet peeves on the situation. If so feel free to disregard my objections.
HappyEevee 26th Sep 2018, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
I think both GMS may be assuming that since Twilight is so good at intuitively pulling the truth out of a situation, she will realize on her own that her playstyle might need a few tweaks. They may think that Twilight has such good Sense Motive that they don't need to talk to her because she's probably already figured it out for herself, although Twilight actually seems to be getting so wrapped up in the in- and out-game conflict that she's getting tunnel vision about completing the mission successfully.

I agree that everyone sitting down away from the table and discussing things would help matters a lot; I think most of the trouble is confusion and nobody really knowing DiscorDM when he's suddenly at their table playing an annoying chaotic demigod.
Randonimity 26th Sep 2018, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Seconding everything @Wordy Guest just posted. Using in-game punishments to deal with out-of-game behavior is a HUGE pet peeve of mine because it's barely one step above being Passive-Aggressive.
Kereea 27th Sep 2018, 5:11 AM edit delete reply
I don't even think it was necessarily meant to be a punishment. I think they're trying to find a way to give a challenge to Twilight's tendency to figure things out too easily and adapt so quickly as to throw things off the rails unintentionally. They may be wrong about how that will work out, but I don't see this as coming from a place of malice, more as coming from a place of "I want to see what this player can really do since I seem to keep making things too easy for them on accident" kind of place.

The only character I think is getting anything resembling a punishment is AJ, and even then that may have been an attempt at giving her an engaging challenge gone too far (she seems to be trying to work with it after the break, tho, so we'll see). Rarity gets a chance for some really interesting roleplaying, Pinkie outright got to choose her curse, and Fluttershy's is (thus far) not that much of a curse at all while Rainbow was given a win.
Story Time 25th Sep 2018, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
Join me Hero/es and together we can conquer the world!! *Evil Laugh*

Any story of how the villain offered your character to join him?
LazerWulf 25th Sep 2018, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
The Ozymandias Gambit
Kereminde 26th Sep 2018, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
Look upon her works, ye mighty, and despair?
Videocrazy 27th Sep 2018, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
My favorite part of this has to be the GM's amused and exasperated reaction to DiscorDM being on the receiving end of a Twilight Sparkle Insight. Also, Twilight's immediate response, no hesitation or pondering.

Also, it would be amazing to see canon go further off the rails. I could even see, hypothetically, a reason for it. Twilight can't help but poke her nose into things, she has to learn and understand everything. Discord (and Sombra, though that's neither here nor there) could teach her whole branches of magic that Celestia would probably rather see buried.

Realistically, though, Twilight's too loyal to Celestia. Furthermore, she's way too much of an orderly being to really get into this sort of thing. It's always fun to imagine "what if", though, and that's what fanfiction's for!