Page 1129 - Switch Hitter

13th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Switch Hitter
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 13th Oct 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
This might end up being a rare situation where I steal a concept from myself, because "imaginary damage" sounds like an interesting way to handle mostly-unavoidable, tension-ratcheting events without actually stealing player resources and wasting their time healing minor injuries.

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



Discord 13th Oct 2018, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Anyone here has some good mummy stories?
Dealing with a pack of writer's blockers can drain just about anyone.
I need some inspiration.
the White Wolf 13th Oct 2018, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
well I certainly don't have any good Mummy stories
Freelance 13th Oct 2018, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
Do I? Our party were a bunch that were alumni from this university, friends that ended up grouped together as we were hired as night watch to guard a warehouse as shenanigans were taking place there.
So we're on our shift when all of a sudden a coffin opens up and the mummy rises out. Now, we're all level 1s here, basic equipment and everything. In ADnD, weapons need to be +1 or better to hurt mummies, and we certainly didn't have those. But we DID have oil, torches, stairs, and a better movement speed. So yeah, our party got to some stairs and oiled up the steps. As the mummy struggled to climb up, we lit the oil on fire, setting the mummy ablaze, too. Took a few turns to get through all the HP, but that's how a party of level 1 characters take down something outside their weight class.
aylatrigger 13th Oct 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
No real good story, but just remember:
If the party doesn't check that is is undead, it could be anything under those bandages. Construct that looks like a mummy works easily. Unspeakable abomination under heavy bandages would also work.
Maybe even sentient bandages just moving a lifeless corpse.
malroth`s phone 14th Oct 2018, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
kidnapped heiress just trying to escape
HappyEevee 13th Oct 2018, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
Well, I was once in a party doing a dungeon crawl when we entered a room with a treasure chest, guarded by two mummies slowly rising from their sarcophagi as we came in.

GM: Okay, let's have some initiatives.
Monk: Uh, you said they look like mummies, right?
GM: Yep. They look like ancient corpses wrapped in long cloth bands.
Barbarian: But if they're mummies, they have...
All Players: MUMMY ROT!
Wizard: My character runs back out the door.
Cleric: Me too.
Monk: Mine is right behind him. Wait, I have better speed, I'm in front of him.
Barbarian: I'm running after them.
GM: Um...
Wizard: Hey, remember those empty sarcophagi in the hall? We can barricade the door shut.
Barbarian: Great! My barbarian grabs the nearest sarcophagus and tries to push it in front of the door. Strength check, right?
GM: Let me get this straight: you all ran back out of the room and now you're barricading the door? From the outside?
Monk: Cast Haste on the barbarian, the mummies shouldn't have a lot of move speed but we can't take chances.
GM: So you want to seal the mummies inside, with the treasure chest?
GM: Not ALL mummies have that ability.
Cleric: We're level 6. I do not have the spell slots to cure more than one party member per day, two if I load nothing but Remove Curse and Remove Disease in my level 3's. You want us to go 48 hours in this undead dungeon without Prayer or Magic Circle vs. Evil?
GM: Well since you mention it, yes, but that's not the point. Are you guys seriously trying to skip this room?
Monk: Absolutely.
GM: Free hint, that treasure chest has some nice gear in it.
Wizard: I'm sure we'll sit there and admire our loot lovingly when we're all dying from CON damage.
GM: Sigh. Okay, then, continuing on down the hall?
Monk: You bet!

We never did go back for that chest. But at least we didn't get Mummy Rot.
Xelmon 15th Oct 2018, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
Hehe, Eevee, that story got a good chuckle out of me.

So that we may have a proper scale as to how valid your paranoia was, what kind of GM did you have? Out to get you guys, looking for that opportune moment for the TPK? =P
HappyEevee 15th Oct 2018, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
Xelmon, that particular GM is a guy who does not pull his punches. He gives hard challenges and does not fudge die rolls when we're hanging on by a thread. (We quit a Strahd campaign with him after we got wiped for the third time below level 6.) By the same token, he gives good xp and loot when we do beat stuff and the stuff he throws at us is usually within our abilities, but a few bad rolls can put us in a world of trouble.

In general he's a good and fair GM, but we do have some power gamers and he's not afraid to give the party a good smackdown if the situation comes up. In a concurrent campaign he was running, we had recently fought a giant anemone that put 3 out of 5 party members down with STR/CON dmg (and one of the other two was paralyzed), so we were a little paranoid about things that did stat damage.
werefrog 16th Oct 2018, 4:30 AM edit delete reply
The Werefrog also tend not to fudge die rolls.

The Werefrog nearly had a TPKO (Total party knock out, no character death allowed by game rules), from a Back to the Future reference.

Seriously, Biff should not have rolled higher so consistently against the whole party.
Xelmon 16th Oct 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
Ahhh, then the above discussion makes even more sense.

Hm, that'd be a good GM to have to be honest. At least you have a good sense of the what to expect. =)
HappyEevee 17th Oct 2018, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
Yup, he's fair and consistent if a bit hardnosed. Disputes are settled by the rulebook, with GM fiat only occurring in odd situations where the rules are unclear to the specifics we've created. He puts a lot of work into the campaigns he runs and while he grumbles when we pull a Twilight and smash his plans in a way he wasn't expecting, he takes it with good grace. By the same token, we take getting dropped with good grace (as much as we can, in the heat of the moment) and we give him credit when he pulls out something we didn't plan and prepare for.

But sometimes we just run from things, because we know he doesn't bluff.
ChaoticBrain 13th Oct 2018, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
"Oh no, not at all. I enjoy a good riffing."

Now why is DiscordDM lying? He's not under a curse.
Staredown 13th Oct 2018, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
Note that the riffing wasn't at Discord, it was at the regular DM. It is much much easier to enjoy a good riffing when you are not the target of it.
ChaoticBrain 13th Oct 2018, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
I don't think so. I think DiscorDM switched the light off, while CelestiaDM did the narration.
Boris Carlot 14th Oct 2018, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Dunno, I've definitely had moments as a GM where I've been about to open my mouth and one of my players has gone "hey, wouldn't it be funny if [thing] happened?" just before I was about to tell them [thing] happened. It's not the end of the game but it does tend to flatten what might have been a fun or dramatic moment when it happens.
Zeeth 15th Oct 2018, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
"Wouldn't it be funny if (thing) happened?"

"Why yes, it would! Coincidentally..."
Tarrangar 15th Oct 2018, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
He specified a good riffing, he enjoy a bit of sarcasm and biting commentary, he don't enjoy people blowing up at him and insulting him, what Fluttershy did wasn't a good riffing, it was getting personal, and deciding to insult the GM, because you don't like his play style.

Applejack decided to apply her curse out of character, to make fun of Discord, that's a good riffing, a fun little joke at Discords expense, Fluttershy decided to get personal, and accusing him of one of the worst sins in a GM railroading.
FanOfMostEverything 13th Oct 2018, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
If you square imaginary damage, does it become healing?
Greenhornet 13th Oct 2018, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
I don't know. Maybe in Discord's messed up scenario the cure for a nose bleed is to be punched in the nose?
Space Jawa 13th Oct 2018, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Would that mean that Discord's healing logic lines up with that Orks?
Discord 13th Oct 2018, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
Actually Mr.Green, it's turning the tail into the off position.
Punching would turn the nose bleed into a ear bleed.
Guest 13th Oct 2018, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
Squaring means you take an imaginary amount of imaginary damage.

So, like Vegeta's pride, then.
albedoequals1 13th Oct 2018, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Guys, it was a math joke. If you square an imaginary number, you get a negative number.

Edit: Also, just so someone says it, I see what you did there. :P
Digo Dragon 15th Oct 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I got the joke. :3
Freelance 13th Oct 2018, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
Discord: "And a scuffed hat."

AJ: "NOOOOOOOO! Not Betsy!"
Lethologica 13th Oct 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
Does Applejack's curse extend to lying about her dice rolls? Just a thought.
you know that guy 13th Oct 2018, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
Fort defense is a static number. In 4th edition they turned most of the saving throws into defense numbers kind of like AC so that the attacker would roll instead. Saving throws were used for ongoing effects, but they were generic and not tied to any of the abilities.
Winged Cat 13th Oct 2018, 8:36 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
What about lying about her character sheet?
Digo Dragon 15th Oct 2018, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm not hearing any dice rolls, so the character sheet is probably just being ignored no matter what it says. :p
Philadelphus 13th Oct 2018, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
I've long held that games should expand from the real numbers into the complex numbers, so I'm all for imaginary damage!

Maybe it could be implemented as some sort of time-delayed long-term damage; as long as you get some proper care and rest within a few hours you're fine, but if not it turns into "real" damage.
Newbiespud 13th Oct 2018, 8:09 PM edit delete reply
Oh heck yes, that sounds amazing too.
Draxynnic 13th Oct 2018, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
3E poison and disease kinda worked that way, albeit usually with stat damage rather than hit point damage. I'd be tempted to call that delayed damage rather than imaginary, though.

AD&D used to have rules by which illusions would cause damage (which should be tracked separately) which would go away if the illusion was broken, and which I think were at least LESS likely to be fatal (I think there might have been a system shock roll involved or something?). That probably better fits the moniker of "imaginary damage".
Zeeth 15th Oct 2018, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
Yes. It's called "Stun damage" in D&D, and is used when you want to beat people up but not kill them outright.
HappyEevee 13th Oct 2018, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
Honestly I'd love to be at a table where the DM does stuff like show up in costume and change the lighting when stuff happens at night. The best we get is an occasional mood music track running on someone's cellphone. Our GMs run good sessions, but they're not really into immersion.

Then again, low light would make it hard to see the snacks. And character sheets. Oooh, glow-in-the-dark dice, though... now I'm conflicted.
Guest 14th Oct 2018, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
IMO, if it's not important, has no impact on the scenario, the characters or their ressources, then don't have a roll or a save for it.

Admitedly it's much more a 5e thing than a 4e thing. Unless I'm mistaken, the DC for tasks in 4e was based on the character's level, so that doing the task would stay a challenge no matter at which level you're attempting it.
Tempestfury 14th Oct 2018, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
... Man. Looking back at some of the earlier comics. We used to have pages and pages of DM stories being shared by everyone.

Where did it all go?
Hankroyd 14th Oct 2018, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
In some of the earlier pages.
ThatGuest 14th Oct 2018, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
Also it depends on the situation in the comic, this page didn't really lead to a lot of connected stories that's all.
Boris Carlot 15th Oct 2018, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Comic's been going for years, we've kinda done them all.
Tempestfury 16th Oct 2018, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Its literally impossible to 'done them all'.
Archone 14th Oct 2018, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
Oooo... here we see Main GM and Discord GM working very much in concert. And with a subtle suggestion that Discord GM may have have been motivated in part by a desire to defend his fellow GM against a player's heckling.
GrayGriffin 14th Oct 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
...DiscorDM is the one who turned off the light switches. So he's the one being heckled.
Archone 15th Oct 2018, 4:55 AM edit delete reply
If you look at the coloration of the text bubbles, the first GM statements (the ones in square panels instead of rounded) are in the light beige color associated with the main GM. Applejack's words are in response to the statements "...Night has fallen," and "No, just... right now." She definitely seems to be heckling the main GM. The ensuing GM statements are in the golden colors of Discord GM.

But that's not really relevant - the main thing is that these two are definitely working together. Whatever Discord GM has in mind, Main GM is very much a partner in it.
GrayGriffin 15th Oct 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Don't treat me like an idiot who can't see colors. I know perfectly well who says what. But considering the "click" is in DiscorDM's colors and the pause before the usual DM says "night has fallen" it seems way more likely that DiscorDM is the one who turns off the light switches and the DM responds to that. Usual DM hasn't shown a fondness for "immersive" RP like that. Even in the Poison Joke arc it was inspired by Fluttershy starting it off.
Archone 16th Oct 2018, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
Dude... setting aside the fact that color blindness is a thing (and being color blind does not make someone an idiot), that would simply mean that Discord GM flicked the switch, while Main GM did the words. Meaning that they acted in concert, as a team. With Discord GM acting as the assistant.
GrayGriffin 16th Oct 2018, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
I know that, but I'm not colorblind. And the hues of the boxes are different enough anyways. And you keep claiming that Discord is "defending" the other DM from being heckled when clearly the one being heckled is him. Because Applejack is talking about the light switch. She is heckling him about the light switch. DiscorDM is the one who flipped the light switch. Therefore Applejack is heckling DiscorDM. God, you people seem just as determined to paint DiscorDM's actions as positively as possible and you complain about others seeing him in a negative light.
Archone 16th Oct 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Because he's clearly working as a team with the Main GM - who invited him, who planned things out ahead of time with him, and who is narrating while he provides the visual effects. You are going out of your way to imply that Discord GM is being the equivalent of an annoying kid brother who the group was forced to play with and who throws a tantrum if he doesn't get his way.
GrayGriffin 16th Oct 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Um, all I'm trying to say is "Applejack is heckling DiscorDM, not the usual DM." I don't know where you're getting all that from. Because even if they planned this together the light switch is obviously DiscorDM's idea, and therefore he's the one being heckled.

EDIT: Also, you got the order of events wrong. Especially with evidence from the next comic, DiscorDM is providing visual effects and having the usual GM narrate them. Which is a slightly important distinction about who has more control here.
Archone 17th Oct 2018, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
"I don't know where you're getting all that from."

Mainly from the way you've repeatedly assumed the worst of him with your past comments on previous pages. Hell, you just implied that he's taken control of the game. Just... chill, and let the story unfold. See what happens before you preemptively pass judgement.
GrayGriffin 17th Oct 2018, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
I literally said that Applejack's curse is fine and a classic and that she's probably overthinking it being a "punishment" and for some reason you all decided to ignore that. And if the usual GM is the one reacting to what DiscorDM does to narrate happenings, then yes, DiscorDM does have control in this situation. He also has control over where the Elements are hidden which he didn't tell the usual GM. So yes, he has taken over control of the game at those places.

And this current conversation started because you tried to claim DiscorDM is obviously standing up for the poor abused put-upon usual GM despite nothing pointing to that. Which is an obvious misinterpretation that you keep wanting to double down on for some reason.
One-Eyed Wanderer 17th Oct 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
We will have to see, I suppose, at the end of the arc if anyone had fun.

Co-GMing is as interesting a way as any to suggest chaos impinging on reality but it's far from the best option. My question is, why are they both there? Why not take turns or have Discord interject occasionally? The usual GM doesn't seem to be doing anything or be in on the plan, so the whole game is riding on Discord's antics and his rigged challenges.
Archone 17th Oct 2018, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
No, I merely pointed out that the two are clearly working together, as partners. Which is how they would have to be doing it, given that they're running the same session at the same time.
tolich 15th Oct 2018, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
I bet Pride would be a good addition to D&D attributes. With, like, samurai performing ritual suicide when it drops to zero.
HappyEevee 15th Oct 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
The ki rules for monks are weird enough, but I guess if it was made a class-feature for a samurai class it wouldn't be too bad. Biggest problem is there's usually enough to track already without adding one more limited resource to spend, recover, and keep constant track of.