Page 1123 - Location Implication

29th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Location Implication
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Co-DMing has its challenges, though this might be one reason why, in my experience, there's usually a designated senior DM who can be the final word when there is confusion.

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



ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Wow if the DM went into this with no idea themselves what Discord was going to do that was....really -stupid- :|
Digo Dragon 29th Sep 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Eeyup. Discord has done a few bad things with the game that I wouldn't like, but Discord doesn't seem to be trying to be a jerk. Their style is just a bit outside what the players seem to be comfortable with.

The DM on the other hoof, is having some bad communication issues with Discord and the players. Maybe during that pizza break the DM should have been going over notes with Discord to get back on the same page. Heck, not too late now to have a quick time out and hammer the notes to the same page.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
I feel like the damage has been done at this point, I'm sure Fluttershy shared what happened during her meeting with the others. Right now DM reputation is probably in the toilet, because this is what it looks like to the players.

The DM without warning invited a new person who can kinda act like a prick in to run the game and insult them for their various percieved quirks, idolizes them too much and now revealed that they apparently never even vetted what Discord was going to do in the first place. From the players perspectives this probably looks like a huge dumpster fire that just needs to be ended before it gets worse and probably retconned.
Digo Dragon 29th Sep 2018, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Possibly. I don't disagree that this session is going wrong on several avenues. Dunno about throwing in the towel just yet, but I tend to not be quite a quitter as a player. Probably because I'm rarely a PC in games.

If I were a part of this, I would want to ask Discord and the DM to work out some conditions that can break the curses and we pursue those. Make it into a quick adventure to collect whatever ingredients/Macguffins needed to fix the other PCs, then get back on track with locating the elements.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Well, at this point I imagine all the players are just sitting at the table either looking completely confused, apathetic or annoyed. Once a session gets to the point that some of the players look like they're trying to figure out what words to use to rip you a new one it's probably time to call it a session and tap out.

I still suspect Discord has an ulterior motive of wanting this all to implode in on itself, that could be why he never corrected the DM. He knew that them wasting 2 hours of everyone's time because they put no effort into planning would only work in his favor if that's the case.
IridiumFleas 29th Sep 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
How does that quote go again?

"Do not ascribe to malice what can easily be attributed to stupidity."

That DiscorDM overstepped his (?) bounds, or at the least, miscommunicated, has been more or less agreed. But this whole "ulterior motive of wanting this all to implode" comes across as just a mite overhanded a take.

...oh, hello, all. Newcomer here. Lurker and all, decloaking to drop $0.02, or whatever is the appropriate currency here.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
Well the thing that makes me rub my chin and feel suspicious is that Discord is supposedly a brilliant veteran DM, but he hasn't exactly been trying hard to keep things from turning into a mess in game and IRL. Discord feels like the kind of guy who spots a flaw in something but thinks it'll be funny when everything falls apart so he stays quiet so he can watch.
terrycloth 29th Sep 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
How is it a 'dumpster fire'? Most of them are having fun with it. It seems to be mostly succeeding with a few problems that don't really matter.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
The only player who seems like they may be having fun is Rarity. RD is totally confused and lost, Twilight is as well, AJ hates her curse and it's ruining her ability to even interact with everyone, Pinkie is trying to force herself to enjoy it from what it feels like and Fluttershy is....kinda having fun but only because she's actually allowed to vent her frustrations out. It's also clear the Rarity and Pinkie's antics are starting to grate on a few of them. Everyone's just kind of ignoring AJ at this point because of her actively avoiding everyone and a bit of "We get it, you can only lie, stopped being interesting an hour ago. Just going to not bother talking to you now."
Redwings1340 29th Sep 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
This arc is interesting because we're all putting ourselves in this comic strip and seeing how we'd react to Discord's GMing, which is an extremely polarizing style. I'd actually enjoy being in this type of campaign, and I'm not the only person in this group of ponies who does. Rarity and Pinkie Pie are loving the opportunity to roleplay out these curses, because to them, the curse is part of the game. It allows them to express a different side of their characters, it doesn't matter as much to them whether they're succeeding or failing in their original goals, as long as they're rping an interesting scenario now.

Fluttershy and Applejack are trying to overcome and break these curses because they view the curses as a hindrance to what their characters normally do, and in applejack's case, as a punishment. Applejack appreciates the challenge but also is getting a bit frustrated by it, while Fluttershy hated it at first but I think is discovering shes actually enjoying the newfound freedom her curse gives her. I know from experience that as a shy person who has a huge internal filter, rping as a an overly emotional individual is liberating at times, just gives me an opportunity to close my filter and say things I would never normally say without judging myself for it.

Rainbow Dash is just going with the flow, responding pretty well, which is shown as the way to actually beat Discord here. Just do what you normally do and don't give him attention, and there's not all that much he can do to you.

Twilight though... Poor Twilight, she is not enjoying this campaign. She views rp as a puzzle she wants to be able to solve, and has a hard time not taking the in character negative interactions personally.

My view is that Discord's GMing style is not inherently good or bad, and can create wonderful campaigns with players who appreciate that style. However, this style is, as I said, polarizing, some people love it, some people hate it, and nobody is wrong. You have to maintain constant communication with the players out of character if you're going to make this style work with any group, and adjust accordingly, and Discord is notably not doing that, which is why this isn't going to end well.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
I really feel like Pinkie is trying too hard to make herself enjoy it. "This is great...HAHAHA I AM HAVING FUN!" and smiling through gritted teeth. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually she just broke down and was like "Argh! I hate this! I don't want to make myself sound like a humorless jerk anymore!" Rarity on the other hand, I think she's going to end up shooting herself in the.....hoof. She may enjoy acting like an over the top greedy, paranoid jerk but I can see that wearing thin on the others. By the end of the session it could get to the point where the rest of the party acts like mine did towards the over the top players who milked it too hard for whatever reason.

Rarity: "I REFUSE TO TURN MY BA-" Someone else: "Shut up! No one cares anymore!"

I refer to it as Team Rocket syndrome. When you drive a single joke, gag or aspect into the ground so hard you make people want to punch you in the throat just so they don't have to hear you anymore.
IridiumFleas 29th Sep 2018, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
It's pretty obvious that you wouldn't enjoy this. We get it. You stated early on that DiscorDM reminded you of other DMs, bad DMs.

But there is a lot of YOU in your response.

You're taking your read, your experiences, and coloring what the others are thinking and feeling.

I'm seeing a lot of possibilities still in what is going on and where people are.

For example, how experienced is DiscorDM, really? The main DM seems to hold (him?) in a bit of reverence, but it could be that this is (her?) own inexperience talking. (She?) might have enjoyed (herself?) when DiscorDM was (her?) DM... or it could be something more akin to the gaming equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome. Is DiscorDM making a series of mistakes based on poor communication, or is this more unfortunate, an actual personality quirk where DiscorDM is deliberately trying to hurt others?

I'm withholding judgment on all this because there is more going on, more to unfold.
ThatGuest 30th Sep 2018, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
......*sigh* Against my better judgement I'm going to say at least one last thing.

Yes, I do not know for absolute certain how the story is going to go, I've never claimed that. And yes I'm letting my life experiences shape my opinions and thought process. That's kind of how human beings work. If someone gets attacked by bees the first 4 times a beehive falls near them, then they'll likely expect the bees to attack them if it happens again. Secondly, I've never said anyone with a differing opinion was outright wrong, only that I didn't see the same things they saw, which is fine, that's what debates and discussions are about. Third, they're predictions, I know that they could be wrong but it's far more fun to try and guess what is going to happen for me rather than just sitting silently and never saying anything. For example, I said that Rarity -may- end up irritating the others by going too hammy and obnoxious because I've seen it happen before, then people start trying to refute me just by saying "Well it might not happen!"

Weather forecaster 1: "It's going to be super bright and sunny all day!
Forecaster 2: "Well, there is this cold front moving in, might cause some storms."
Forecaster 1: "Well it might not rain either so you're WRONG!"

Yeah, I tend to be pessimistic sometimes but optimists and pessimists are both needed. Optimists think of how things should be and pessimists think of how things could be. I used this term a few pages ago. "Trust but verify." so far I have yet to see anything that makes me feel like it's concrete evidence that Discord is benign/benevolent but I've seen things that I feel are suspicious, therefore, I'm suspicious. I've always felt it's usually better to be a little suspicious of something than to be too trusting of it at first.
IridiumFleas 30th Sep 2018, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
I appreciate that you took the time to clarify.

Please understand that to me, you were slipping from "I think Rarity would be feeling this way" to "Rarity would be feeling this way". While it is implied that what you say is your impressions of how the various people think and feel, I believe it is very important to put in the effort to show distance.

You could be correct, and I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that now. In fact, if I was in that gaming group at that point in time, I would be taking action and talking to people as if there was the definite possibility that DiscorDM (and to a lesser extent, the main DM) were steering the game towards disaster and hurt feelings and an un-fun game.

But as a reader, I'm perfectly content to let Newbiespud let the story unfold.
HappyEevee 30th Sep 2018, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
Welp, I can already tell there will be about two dozen posts by a few frequent posters complaining about how this proves DiscorDM is nothing but an evil, malicious villain out to ruin everyone's IRL friendship.

Every... dang... time...
ThatGuest 1st Oct 2018, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
I think it's better for people to be able to have different theories and discuss them rather than just every single person thinking the same way and knowing exactly where it's going to go. I thought RD was going to get pissed and storm out, maybe pop Discord in the face in RL over something, but she didn't. Am I furious that I was wrong? Nope, not bothered at all, time to shift my predictions around with the new info available.
HappyEevee 1st Oct 2018, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
I have no problem with your opinion of DiscorDM or your predictions of what's going to happen. I don't think either are correct, but you're free to hold your own opinions. But when you post and repost them, over and over again, on page after page after page, it gets extremely repetitive. As you said above, "When you drive a single joke, gag or aspect into the ground so hard you make people want to punch you in the throat just so they don't have to hear you anymore."
Discord 29th Sep 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
I knew I was forgetting something.
Sorry rainbow hippos, we'll have to skip the surprise music number.
No need to leave. Plan 38^ is still a go.
Wordy Guest 29th Sep 2018, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
I must give Twilight serious kudos here, because she took the revelation that “the maze was not something we had to do to get the elements, but a thing we had to do to amuse discord so he would let us try and defeat him” much better than I would. That would leave me extremely upset.

On the other side, Larry, how much did you coordinate with DiscorDM? Because it looks like not nearly enough.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Actually I think what happened was the DM just randomly added in a hedge maze, thinking incorrectly that was the answer to the riddle without ever actually knowing.
Wordy Guest 29th Sep 2018, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I don’t know, the way Larry calls it “the labyrinth” instead of a hedge maze makes me think there was a plan for a maze structure discussed, likely as the justification for the curses. But clearly they didn’t talk all the way through what would be at the end.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
My guess right now is that Twilight guessed things correctly and the elements are back at the castle and they'll have to hunt for them, possibly using Castlemania screen caps. Which would mean going through another puzzle dungeon and making the hedge maze a 2 hour waste of everyone's time because the DM couldn't stop fawning over how awesome Discord-sama long enough to actually plan the game.
Greenhornet 29th Sep 2018, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
"Twists and turns" could have also meant the rooms and halls in the castle, but a hedge maze is much more... refined.
I can't criticize the guest DM for playing his character.
Wordy Guest 29th Sep 2018, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
While DiscorDM is playing a villain and that may somewhat excuse his character being unpleasant, I would just like to say something here.

I really think "that's what my character would do" or "it's not my fault, I'm just playing my character" is one of the weakest excuses for being unpleasant in existence. Yes you are playing your character, that you made, and over witch you have complete control. If they are behaving badly, it is because you are making them. Your character is not some unknowable other thing over witch you have no control. You are the arbiter of what is and is not in character for you, so if you so chose, your character could not behave badly. If you are willing to think about your character and what they think, you can think of ways they could think differently and still be in character.
ThatGuest 29th Sep 2018, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
I once had to deal with a player who always gave his characters some kind of excuse to try to murder us all because he thought it was funny to ruin the game like that. Lycanthropy was his favorite go to excuse.

"Oops, looks like I rolled low and tonight I turn into a werewolf, guess I gotta kill evwyone!~ Tee hee~"

Yeah we threw him out and made it pretty blunt that we never wanted to see him again or we'd take turns choking him.
The Old One 29th Sep 2018, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
On the other hand, this is the same GM whose lengthy initial campaign was ended on day one simply by Twi working out the Elements were a thing and that the players represented them. It's not unreasonable to assume that DM did up the maze believing that was the whole gig and DiscorDM let her believe it, wanting to see if Twi would be as insightful a second time.
Dragonflight 29th Sep 2018, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
In a Pathfinder game I'm in, we recently had a player pull this stunt on us. Thing is, he's sort of like that in real life, too. Very set in his ways. Once he makes up his mind, nothing changes it, etc.

So anyway... This guy is facing off against a giant arctic spider. This thing has a paralytic toxin on its fur that causes anyone who engages it in melee to roll a Reflex save to avoid taking CON damage along with a slowing effect. The spider's tactics are to avoid damage and wait, because its instincts tell it that most combative prey will kill itself trying to get at the spider thanks to the toxic fur.

The *player* knows this, but decides to charge in and attack the spider with his high STR, low DEX character, because it's the kind of thing his character would do. So he attacks over and over, fails his check over and over (at cumulative penalties.) Finally, he falls over dead. The spider tows him back to its lair, where it turns him into a deflated whoopie cushions as it digests him.

The *entire time* this happened, his character was about 200 yards from camp. It was a raging blizzard, true. But he had boost of Striding and Springing, and could have stayed ahead of the spider long enough to find the camp and lure it back.

But no. That's not his character's motivation, or how his character sees his alignment...

Sigh. I literally sat there slack-jawed while a player argued rules so as to kill his own character. Then sit back with a contented smile and tell us he's waiting now for us to find his corpse and resurrect him.
Jannard 29th Sep 2018, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
"We should find the guy and resurrect him"
"So he can die again for nothing? No thanks, I hope whatever took him had a good meal"
Alex 29th Sep 2018, 9:57 AM Huh edit delete reply
Poor communication kills.

I'm unimpressed with the CelestiaDM. S/he didn't take the time to actually hash out notes with the guest DM. Just pushed for things s/he wanted and let the guest DM do his thing in the background.

DiscorDM, though, could have made more of an effort to speak to the regular DM instead of just deciding to amuse himself in the background.
Lions 29th Sep 2018, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
I suddenly get the feeling that Discord's real target isn't the players.
Jannard 29th Sep 2018, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
That's... Actually a really interesting insight
Tempestfury 29th Sep 2018, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
... Man. A lot of people talking about how bad this is, how they should take a break in order to hash things out. That the players are going to be ABSOLUTELY LIVID THAT THEY WASTED TWO HOURS OF THEIR LIFE.

... But honestly? It's a mistake. A simple mistake. Shit happens. No need to make a big deal over it. No need to throw either of the DMs under a bus about it. It's just a mistake guys. In fact... let's try this...


Share a story about how you made a mistake, either as a DM or as a player, about miscommunication.
GrayGriffin 29th Sep 2018, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Um...I thought it was pretty obvious DiscorDM deliberately misled the usual DM about his plans. What with the sarcastic way he says "communication issues." Which is a big red banner.
Newbiespud 29th Sep 2018, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
Not my intention. He's recognizing the mistake and apologizing about it... just in the most deflective, self-serving, high-and-mighty way possible.
Tempestfury 1st Oct 2018, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, the way he's apologizing might not be the best. But he IS apologizing for it. So I don't think he's a bad guy or a bad DM. Just... different.
Evilbob 29th Sep 2018, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
So I dunno why some people are thinking the hedge maze is a waste of everybody's time.

Really? Seriously, why?

I mean, if you're so gung-ho about doing productive things and not wasting time, RPs are probably not a hobby you should be indulging...
And from a story perspective, delaying tactics with the hedge maze makes perfect sense. More sense than random battle encounters that are commonly thrown into RPs anyway...
Rakaydos 30th Sep 2018, 12:09 AM edit delete reply
Not my story, but the CLASSIC story about miscomunication- the Dread Gazebo.

Paranoid players enter a room that doesnt seem to want to kill them, and are deeply suspicius- perception checks, searching for traps, the works. When the GM describes the brightly lit foyer as having a Gazebo, they congradulated themselves and rolled inititive. The Gazebo (which is a style of covered porch) resisted a mind altering effect, then was destroyed by a fireball.

Players were pissed when they didnt get XP from it.
GrayGriffin 30th Sep 2018, 3:19 AM edit delete reply
...huh. The original version I heard had one player who didn't know the word "gazebo" and kept trying to attack it in various ways that would be ineffective against an inanimate object until the DM gave up and had it eat him.
IridiumFleas 30th Sep 2018, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
The original story was the one player, at least from all the anecdotes I heard, and yes, the DM gave up and had it eat the one player.

But Jolly Blackburn, the creator of Knights of the Dinner Table, utilized that story beautifully in one of his episodes where it was the entire party who didn't understand what a gazebo was.

In fact, let me brave enough to try this...

(If this words, the link will be below... crossing fingers...)
IridiumFleas 30th Sep 2018, 7:52 AM edit delete reply

I fail.
Archone 1st Oct 2018, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
That's the version I'm familiar with.

It's also the one that I always found annoying because of the implication that the player was being stupid (for not knowing what a "gazebo," i.e. a stylish outdoor structure usually seen in a park or large yard, actually is. When people living in an urban environment might never have even seen one, let alone know the name for the damned thing). The player CLEARLY thinks "Gazebo" means "one of the many strangely named creatures to be found in the Monster Manual, under "G."" Whereas the GM just kept screaming, "it's a GAZEBO!"

I can't help but wonder if the actual incident involved the player asking questions like, "okay... what does it look like?" Only to be told, "are you kidding me? It's a GAZEBO! It looks like a GAZEBO!!!"
Vegetalss4 2nd Oct 2018, 5:05 AM edit delete reply
The original story does involve, the player asking a few question about what it looked like.
first it's color, and then it's size.
The GM answered that it was white to the first question and that it was "about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top" to the second.

At that point it was just a misunderstanding, with the GM clearly thinking the player was asking for descriptive details of the environment instead of the unknown monster the player thought he was dealing with.

And yeah the original story does only include one player that doesn't know what a gazebo is, and is unfairly mean to Eric.
Azureink 30th Sep 2018, 9:31 AM The Dreaded Gazebo edit delete reply
The original, original story is that NONE of the players knew what a gazebo was. As such, they thought it was a monster, and the DM did not understand that they didn't know that until the very end of the back-and-forth.
ThatGuest 30th Sep 2018, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, one of the players shoots it with an arrow and the whole party panics when the gazebo shrugs off the arrow sticking in it like nothing happened.
Cheerful_Dragon 17th Feb 2019, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
My personal favorite version of The Gazebo comes from a fanfic called "The Maretian".

Quick summary: Interplanetary ship from Equestria crashes on Mars; this was the cause of the dust storm that had the mars crew leave, and now Mark has to raise food for himself and 5 stranded, nearly magic-less creatures from My Little Pony.

In an attempt to help pass time, he teaches them D&D, and ...
HappyEevee 30th Sep 2018, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
In a pathfinder pirates-themed campaign, while undertaking a series of challenges to prove ourselves worthy of the official title of pirates, the half-orc in charge of contestants told us our next test would be "A barrrrding challenge."
Player 1: A what?
Player 2: A boarding challenge?
Player 3: He said "barding." Maybe it's a singing competition for the bard?
Player 2: But that would only be for one character. If it's for all of us, it's probably "boarding."
Player 4: Oooh, I know! We have to make horse armor! You know, barding!
Player 1: That can't be right.
Player 2: Can we even do that?
Player 4: Sure. I've got all the crafting feats. I can make horse armor.
Player 1: Okay, this is getting silly. What sort of challenge is it?
GM: ...This is hilarious. I'm not going to tell you.
Player 2: But how will we prepare if we don't know which one it will be?
GM: That's your problem. <evil grin>

So Player 4 (the wizard) spent the night in the library, studying designs for horse armor.
Player 5 (the bard) spent the night looking up the most popular sea-shanties.
Players 1 & 2 (the swashbuckler and barbarian) bought extra potions and chose weapons from their respective stashes.
Player 3 (the rogue) just went to bed and slept, knowing he had the widest range of high skills.

In the morning we all showed up, ready for anything, to discover that, sadly, it was just an ordinary boarding challenge after all and there would be no singing competition or crafting of horse armor.

But we did break the record for fastest completion of the boarding challenge, thanks to some high rolls and the fact that our Bloodrager Barbarian is a min-maxed monster who flanks with the rogue.
Hankroyd 29th Sep 2018, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
Being devious with the players are ok by me.
Being devious with the main DM ... Well that's a red line.
Shame on you GMDiscord.
Guest 29th Sep 2018, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
Communication seems to be a recurring theme in this arc.

It's a very good theme. You'd be surprised what a master of communication can do, if allowed to speak.

Unfortunately, communication is a skill.
Zeeth 29th Sep 2018, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Fortunately, since communication is a skill, it can be trained. Finding someone who can help, or useful information, sometimes requires a different skill, like "search" or "contacts", though.
Digo Dragon 30th Sep 2018, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
And lack of communication is a kill. ;)
asian fanfics 14th Oct 2018, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
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