Page 1125 - Rock Formation

4th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Rock Formation
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 4th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Hey now, sometimes giving the characters some room to breathe is a little more important than immediate progress.

<glances askance at the various .5 sessions of Fallout is Dragons>

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



AchtungNIght 4th Oct 2018, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
But wait! Discord is immune to all damage from Rocks! :D

Pinkie Pie should consult her sister Maude about the Rock's magical properties, I think. (Yeah, I just want to see Maude in the comic, am I alone?)
Rastaba 4th Oct 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
You are not alone.
Joe the Rat 4th Oct 2018, 10:33 AM edit delete reply

So now we get Toclafane? That's a little brutal, innit?
T 4th Oct 2018, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
You are (not) alone
Winged Cat 4th Oct 2018, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
That idea rocks!
JDB1984 4th Oct 2018, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Look out, Discord. Here comes Tom
Guest 4th Oct 2018, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
After the guest comic (which I remembered as being much more indepth than it actually ended up) I too wanted to seem more of Maude.
Jennifer 4th Oct 2018, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Aw, Twilight's about to break. And then her friends will reassure her that everything's alright? Please?
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
If that face was used for a reason I think Twilight is going to have a full meltdown. And if Discord tries to intervene, or heck, even the normal DM while she's mid rant I could see Twilight giving them a very harsh "SHUT UP!" before resuming ripping into everyone.
Dakkath 4th Oct 2018, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
Not gonna lie, I REALLY want to see that
Dakkath 4th Oct 2018, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
Not gonna lie, I REALLY want to see that
HappyEevee 4th Oct 2018, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Hopefully her friends will remind her that this is a role-playing game and that she shouldn't get so hung up on solving an in-game problem that she can't have any fun doing it. Sure, Twi's frustrated, but that's when it's time to take a deep breath, step back, and chill for a minute until you can get your head back in the game. Interpersonal stress happens all the time in gaming, we all need to learn how to handle it and move on with the game.
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
Well the main issue right now seems to be it looks like Twilight is the only one actually playing the game. Everyone else is so self absorbed in their own character 'arc' they're not playing the game anymore. And RD is just......not helping.
Guest 4th Oct 2018, 3:05 PM Confusion edit delete reply
Yeah, this all sounds about right. Personally a bit more forgiving towards Applejack + Fluttershy (who have an extremely painful curse -seriously, I am not sure how to play a curse about not revealing the truth that doesn't either end with playing a new character or just being forced to shut up and not contribute the entire game until it's broken- and a desire to try and break the curses respectively), and I think Pinkie is kinda 50/50 at this point (not overly distracting, but really close to being distracting/annoying), but I definitely can agree with the assessments of Rarity and Rainbow Dash.
Guest 4th Oct 2018, 3:08 PM Crap, wrong comment chain edit delete reply
Dammit, I clicked reply on the wrong comment - this was supposed to be a reply to the second comment chain after this one, in reply to That Guest and Digo Dragon. My bad.
IridiumFleas 4th Oct 2018, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
"Well the main issue right now seems to be it looks like Twilight is the only one actually playing the game. Everyone else is so self absorbed in their own character 'arc' they're not playing the game anymore."

I take exception to this.

I will grant quite a lot here. Yes, Twilight is probably getting frustrated (both in- and out-of-character), and this is not a good thing.

DiscorDM set this up, the Main DM allowed it, and the rest of them are missing that this is getting to Twilight (at least, that's what I'm seeing here).

But to say that Twilight is the only one "playing the game", that the others, "they're not playing the game anymore", is a heavy-handed judgment call.

There is a direction line from "you're not playing the game" to "this is how you play a game" to "this is the only way to play the game".

1) It's a role-playing game. The idea is to role-play.
2) It's supposed to be fun (and this is both for and against your point). If people are having fun role-playing, but the plot doesn't advance, that's fine. But if someone is NOT having fun, that's where there's a problem.
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
I'll clarify a bit, what I intended to mean by that was that Twilight was the only one trying to progress the plot and story at this point. An example I had in a game I ran was a player who wanted to be a merchant and one who just wanted to carouse around town. Multiple times the rest of the party, sometimes with my help as GM, had to forcibly drag them to whatever the next destination or dungeon was because they had refused to stop RPing their own personal story for the first hour of the game. I eventually had to pull the merchant player aside and tell him that I wasn't going to let him take up the first 2 hours of each session with his merchant rp solo fun every session and he needed to tone it down.

He called me a fascist and said I was stifling his creativity and quit.
IridiumFleas 5th Oct 2018, 4:26 AM edit delete reply
I appreciate you clarifying yourself.

For the record, I get it, and I would have done the same in the example you gave.

I have four rules of gaming that I follow, and they've served me well:
1) The GM has absolute power - this is the GM's game/story.
2) The players have the absolute say in whether they participate - they are guests in the GM's world and should be treated as such.
3) Have fun - the whole point is for everyone to have fun, however you do it.
4) It's not as cool as you think it is - if someone isn't a part of the game, don't go telling them all about your game, and don't keep telling the same stories over and over.

In your case, I would pointed out that his idea of "fun" and everyone else's idea of "fun" wasn't meshing... which probably would have gotten the same results, down to being called a fascist.
ThatGuest 5th Oct 2018, 5:37 AM edit delete reply
Well I'd even come up with a way to let him play merchant and trader without spnding 2 hours saying "Okay I go here and talk to someone, then I go here, and here etc. etc." Basically whenever they entered a new place I'd let him roll and see what he found of value there, then he'd barter if he wanted it and then he could sell it later. With modifiers depending on where he was trying to sell it. Like trying to sell some kind of priceless painting in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere had a high chance of ending up a dud.
Archone 5th Oct 2018, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
The sad thing is, a good trader/merchant type character in a party can REALLY help out, in terms of fencing loot and obtaining useful equipment. That system you described there would have been perfect for maximizing the team's cash flow and keeping them stocked up on potions and magic weaponry.
Discord 4th Oct 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
For my first trick thus break, I'll will fill everyone's closet with some young potatoes.
Rastaba 4th Oct 2018, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
But we already have potatoes in ours. Can you fill it with ham or guacamole instead please?
Discord 4th Oct 2018, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Don't make me explain.
It always ruins it.
ZhonLord 4th Oct 2018, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
I got it, if that's any consolation XD
Digo Dragon 4th Oct 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Breathing room is fine, unless you have an uncursed PC who isn't having fun watching everything fall apart around them. If I were Twilight, I'd get frustrated too and just have my character leave the scene to find other help to figure out the problem at hand.

Err, hoof?
albedoequals1 4th Oct 2018, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Except she can't even talk to the NPCs because GM is busy talking to guest GM
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
What's probably worse is that frankly, none of the curses are really preventing the others from helping somehow or otherwise interacting....mostly normally. It's the fact that each of them has decided to turn it up to 11 and get tunnel visioned on their own character that's making this a mess.
Digo Dragon 4th Oct 2018, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The GM isn't holding control of game to curtail the derailing arguments, Discord isn't connecting ooc to make sure everyone is okay with how he's running the adventure, the players are Ham-arguing over each other which is alienating Twi's player, and Dash is just sitting back and watching the session burn.

Did I miss anything?
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
Nope, I think you hit all the bullet points well. It kinda reminds me of the only time I've ever snapped. I'll save the build up and just shorten things to saying that it had been a real trainwreck of a game. None of it was the GMs fault, by god he tried, he tried so hard but no one else besides me gave two damns.

We've been playing the week's session for I'd say 20 minutes and everyone is having their own conversations and ignoring the GM, one group having a particularly loud conversation going into great detail about.....stuff that would be too filthy for even a rated R movie. Point is the room sounds like a school cafeteria and I can't even -hear- the GM at the other end trying to talk, when he's trying to get everyone to pay attention.

Finally I slam my hands down on the table and scream "ENOUGH ALREADY! I'M 8 FEET AWAY FROM HIM AND I CAN'T EVEN HEAR HIM OVER ALL THIS-" And I'll cut it there because I went on a glorious 5-6 minute long, profanity filled, flank ripping tear into everyone.

After I was done, the GM and I grabbed our books and we left.Later the rest of them kept sending him texts trying to exaggerate how "violent" I was, like I was flipping tables and throwing chairs at people, and how uncalled for and antisocial I was.......while I was sitting on his couch hanging out with him watching TV. We just rolled their eyes as their story escalated to the point where you'd think eventually SWAT had to take me down if you heard them tell the story.
Digo Dragon 4th Oct 2018, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ouch, yeah I can see why you snapped. I like a little side-bantering in my sessions, but if you can't even hear the person near you at the same table to play the RP...

One of the pbp games I'm in has players who love to role play out drama. And while I'm not huge on drama, I like a little of it too now and then. This group has been good about it--they'll ask ooc if it is okay to inject drama in a particular scene that tickles their fancy and if no one objects, we'll have some drama.

I think the FiD game above could use some of that ooc communication.
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
The main thing is that there comes a point where if you're actually there to play a game, eventually the party needs to zip it RPwise and get down to work. That's why Twilight is probably about to melt down. She's the only person playing right now trying to actually advance the plot and not just RP in circles for another 2 hours.
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
This feels like the courtroom scene in Ghostbusters 2 just before the slime explodes. I think I'll just calmly get under this heavy wooden table now.....
Kaze Koichi 4th Oct 2018, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Why can't they just smash the rock? Diamonds are not easy to break, surely that dissonance should affect Rarity in some way?
Winged Cat 4th Oct 2018, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Most likely only Applejack and Pinkie Pie are able to. Both of them see that Rarity's player is enjoying this, and neither of them want to stop her fun.
ThatGuest 4th Oct 2018, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
It'd also be a possible excuse for her to make her character act even worse. At least that would be my thinking in this scenario. If I break the 'gem' then that just lets her act even worse with her attention whoring and drama. Rarity seems like the kind of player who's prone to get into a self RP spiral and forget that the rest of the party exists.
Needling Haystacks 4th Oct 2018, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Diamonds are not that hard to break, either, at least not at that size. They have multiple cleavage plains and application of force (either directly or through the shock wave) will break them up along it.

In other words, despite what JoJo has taught us, diamond is NOT unbreakable.

Of course, plenty of rocks are easier to break (granite has like 1/4 the shatter toughness of diamond), but without some way of fine-tuning the force you're likely to overshoot when breaking up granite and use enough force to break diamond as well.
Wulfraed 4th Oct 2018, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
Diamonds are easy to break...

... If you don't mind ending up with carbon ash and diamond dust.

Cleaving one so that one still has usable diamonds of reasonable size, OTOH, requires careful study to determine the planes of maximal effect.

I keep wondering how much more weight Rarity can handle -- she's supporting "Tom" and Applejack, would Fluttershy landing on the rock be enough to break Rarity?
Story Time 4th Oct 2018, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
So... Any story about how the GM decided to rest and watch as the players fighted and got angry between them as he watch how his plan is working?
Mr_Some1 4th Oct 2018, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
Twilight used rage! Next turn is she gonna use explosion?
Shenkyei Rambo 4th Oct 2018, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
good times are always had when you have a group that loves roleplaying
Archone 4th Oct 2018, 11:03 PM edit delete reply
I have to say, I'm enjoying this comic on MULTIPLE levels. One: Discord GM is demonstrating how you can have some real fun without having to bother with dice rolls or monsters. He's created an interesting challenge that requires them to use their brains and their roleplaying abilities to overcome.

Two: the players (with the exception of the minmaxing powergamer) are having a BLAST with the game. The only one not RPing up a storm is Rainbow Dash, the hack-and-slasher... and she's having fun just watching the show. The only one getting frustrated is the one who... to be honest, has been having the most trouble with the roleplaying. The one who has been breaking the game with her minmaxing. The one who derailed the campaign storyline early on by one-shotting the intended overarching big bad. The problem player.

Three: People are STILL trying to demonize Discord GM, even as the second panel subtly lets us know that yes, both GMs HAVE been coordinating. There was a minor miscommunication, but they were definitely communicating and agreed on this situation. The players are having fun, the problematic powergamer is getting schooled, and the GMs are acting in concert about all of it. And some people still want to make Discord GM out to be the bad guy... :p
Khyrin 4th Oct 2018, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
Except Twi's player isn't having fun.
"But she ruined the GMs plans twice!"
So what? If someone doesn't have fun YOUR way, they don't deserve to have fun? Twi may be close to her character in personality, but that doesn't make her an anti-rp stick in the mud. She's behaving in character for twilight e.g. there is a puzzle that needs solving.
Right now, Twi's player is being IGNORED. The Cursed Players are so far up their own RP they aren't noticing a fellow player isn't joining in. Discord GM made a pointed comment "These are your friends, warts and all." and everyone else seems to have not noticed it. CGM isn't paying attention, and Rainbow is just metaphorically munching popcorn.
ThatGuest 5th Oct 2018, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
The only players really having any fun are Rarity and RD. Unfortunately RD isn't actually even playing and Rarity, well one of her weaknesses seems to be that the player, like the character, is an attention whore. A player who could care less about paying attention to any other characters or the main plot unless the spotlight is firmly on them. A type of player I've unfortunately seen a lot of. Which unfortunately the GM kind of reinforced by making her character arc the main focus of like, 90% of the campaign so far.
Archone 5th Oct 2018, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Oh, this is even more fun now. Two replies that are blaming the other players for... having fun. One of which claims only two of the four players are actually enjoying themselves AND badmouthing one of the aforementioned players. Because Discord GM is the bad guy, and therefore if the players disagree they're bad as well.

I was actually having a chat with some friends about "clever plans" and griefing just yesterday, in fact. We were discussing a story about an Ultima Online player who permakilled all the characters on his server by pretending to be a friendly guy and taking advantage of basic human decency. I pointed out that some people derive pleasure from ruining things for others. For some players, it's just not fun unless someone else at the table is miserable.

No, I'm not describing Discord GM here. Because here's another thing: some people just don't REALIZE they're ruining the fun for others. This is especially true with minmaxing powergamers, I've found. They throw off the challenge rating - when other player characters are competent crafters with social skills, there's that one character who can instakill any enemy and overcome any situation with a quick dice roll. They negatively affect the enjoyment of the game for the other players... and don't realize what they're doing. Some people are griefers - but a lot of times there's only unintentional slights being committed, from players who become extremely contrite when they realize what they've been doing.

And THAT'S my point. There's no bad guys here. There are no mean players, no griefers. We're looking at an RPG campaign being run by friends, for friends, and which is based on a show whose tagline is "Friendship is Magic." Twilight is the most difficult player the main GM has had to deal with (and it's not because Twilight is TRYING to mess with the GM). Now we're seeing Discord GM show up, with his fancy coat filled with props and his clever custom adventure... and with the goal of making his friend/protege's game even more fun for everyone concerned.

(also, the Thieves Guild story arc was very much in the background as a subplot, but the campaign has involved Fluttershy facing down a dragon, Twilight taking down Nightmare Moon, all the sub quests focusing on the others in order to earn their tickets to the gala... the guild leader was simply the big bad of the last story arc. And remember: the original big bad was supposed to be the one Twilight took down in their first encounter)
ThatGuest 5th Oct 2018, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Twilight is obviously miserable, Fluttershy seems a bit sour and bitter still over what happened with Discord, Pinkie seemed exauhsted from being so stern all the time and AJ litterally avoided everyone during the pizza break and isolated herself in misery. That leaves Rainbow Dash who isn't contributing at all and just watching things like she's watching a bar fight and Rarity who's starting to get so hammy that William Shatner would tell her she should probably take it down a notch.

Also to be blunt the only reason that Twilight is a tough player for the GM to handle is frankly......this GM is either kinda lazy or just not good at GMing. They sorely underestimate their players and expect them to do a single planned thing, immediately going into a death spiral the moment anything other than their predicted events happen. When you GM, especially for any players who are vets, you have to have contingencies for your contingencies. Plan something then try to think of every crazy, batshit way your players might tackle or bypass it and either put in another route or put in some kind of preventative obstacle. Worried the party will just teleport out of a trap to safety, boom, antimagic field or a dimentional lock spell.

This GM on the other hand continually seems to assume the party will just let them narrate everything for them or be incompitent. If they were telling me about how Twilight 'ruined' their first plans I'd just raise a brow and go- "You expected the 6 players to not realize that they represented the 6 elements that you specifically intended for them to get. Anyone over the age of 8 who's seen a cartoon is going to see that coming 30 miles away." The parasprite thing? Make them immune/eat magic and suddenly they can't be multi targetted or AoEd to death easily. The dragon covering the land in darkness? Maybe shouldn't have put the dragon right next door so the party couldn't get to it within a day, only two ways that could end, the party victorious or the party dead, either way adventure over. The Gala is the only adventure I've really thought they ran well and it was clear they put a lot of thought and actual effort into it rather than just assuming the players would let them command them like a child commands their action figures.
ChaosStar0 5th Oct 2018, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Shut up. Where are you getting all of this bullshit from? All of the players except twilight are having fun with this.
HappyEevee 5th Oct 2018, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
It's pretty obvious at this point that everyone except Twilight has figured out how to play their curses and are either enjoying the RP or enjoying watching the others RP. I hope Twilight will figure that out and relax and have some fun with them.
Chris 5th Oct 2018, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
I'm just popping in to voice my whole-hearted agreement with everything in Archone's original post. As far as I can see, most of the people at the table are having fun: Discord-DM, Pinkie, RD, and Rarity for sure. The original DM and AJ are a bit more ambiguous in terms of fun-having, but they definitely aren't complaining. That just leaves Fluttershy and Twi.

Fluttershy, it seems to me, got upset because she misread the situation and jumped to conclusions ("Discord-DM isn't what I'm used to, therefor everything is a railroad and nothing matters"). Discord-DM got a bit huffy at that, but then they both apologized to each other, and now Fluttershy seems to at least be open to trying this curse thing out, based on her RP.

Twilight isn't having fun because... well, everyone around her is role-playing, and she's never shown much interest in doing that. Which is fine; not everyone who plays an RPG needs to enjoy the actual RP part of it. But she's clearly latched onto the quest hook, and views anything that's not actually the solution to said quest as an obstacle to... well, the "G."

I can sympathise with that, but let's be real: if someone blows up at the table because everyone else is playing the game differently than they want to, and is having fun doing it, IT ISN'T EVERYONE ELSE WHO'S THE PROBLEM. And it sure isn't Discord-DM's fault for, er, tricking the rest of the party into having fun role-playing?

Hopefully after Twi inevitably blows her top, she'll calm down enough to see that. And next time, if she really doesn't want to be part of the ICC stuff? Well, that's an excellent time to step out of the room for a little bit and check your e-mails, play some video games with whoever else isn't participating in that particular scene, or otherwise to let the part of the game you've chosen not to participate in happen without boring/frustrating/annoying you.
RageQuit 5th Oct 2018, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
It's Coming... It's Coming... Go Twilight
devast io 12th Oct 2018, 1:31 AM edit delete reply
This page is very engaging. With many circumstances right now.