Page 1139 - Simplicity Itself

6th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Simplicity Itself
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 6th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete
And now we've hit the "Just do what I say already!" phase of the player group.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



paradoxical 6th Nov 2018, 5:13 AM die rolls edit delete reply
Are you ever going to let us know which response AJ gets to her die rolls?

Also first?
Kyu 6th Nov 2018, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Well that roll was definitely her being able to tell the truth.
Digo Dragon 6th Nov 2018, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Or maybe she still lies every time and just rolls the dice as a red herring.
Diplomacy 6th Nov 2018, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Maybe she use the Diplomacy Dice from the One Piece comic, that is all 1
Greenhornet 6th Nov 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
"Also first?"
Who's first?
zimmerwald1915 7th Nov 2018, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin 6th Nov 2018, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
Well, looking back, the plan revealed to her was stated as a "loose outline" that Discord would "improv" on, so technically her use of exactly here would be a lie.
Hankroyd 6th Nov 2018, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
"Just do what I say already"
At least when it fails you know who is to blame...
Norgarth 6th Nov 2018, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
well, at this point it's not like any of the others are contributing ideas.

I know in Twilight's position my frustration level would be climbing towards the point where I just say "Fine, we lose, Discord wins, game over."
Draxynnic 6th Nov 2018, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
Which, unless Newbie is also changing that part of the original episode, is pretty much what happens IIRC.
Doublexxcross 6th Nov 2018, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
kiss, you say
Steel Resolve 6th Nov 2018, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
This is not that type of comic. I wouldn't object, but it's not.
loyalChaos 6th Nov 2018, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
Its not that kind of rp.~ xD
Kirosthenes 6th Nov 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
The addition of Dash in panel two is perfection.
Digo Dragon 6th Nov 2018, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It does look quite good.

Too bad Dash can't add herself into Twi's plan to find the elements. :3
Guest 6th Nov 2018, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Intriguing. Looks like this is where we start to go off the rails. Twilight knows the most sensible endgame and wants to just get on with it (as, likely, does Dash), but the others are so into their roleplay that what she needs to contend with is not longer the GM or Discord, but her own teammates and figuring out what it'll take for THEM to willingly agree their curses are broken.

Very interesting....
Godzfirefly 6th Nov 2018, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Ah, but is that really off the rails at all? Or, is it instead just playing the game as it is designed by the two GMs?
Scytale 6th Nov 2018, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
At this point, I don't think anyone can blame Twilight for just wanting the other players to cooperate and finally be done with this farce.

Really, that she hasn't snapped yet (or just stood up and left) is a testament to her patience.
GrayGriffin 6th Nov 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Sadly, it seems people can. Easier to victim-blame than point out who's actually at fault, I guess.
ThatGuest 6th Nov 2018, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Like I said earlier, I'm pretty sure that even if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight in the gut some would just keep forcing themselves to smile and be blissfully ignorant. "He's not trying to hurt them....he's just.....helping them bond over keeping her from bleeding out until the ambulance gets there."

Honestly, I kinda feel sorry for them.
GrayGriffin 7th Nov 2018, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
I'm sorry, ThatGuest, but I keep giggling at the image of Discord (the cartoon version) holding a gun, simply because it's so not him. He'd probably take off his antler and reveal it to be a gun or something.
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
... And now I'm thinking of Discord shooting Twilight in the chest, and then warping reality with a snap of his talons to play, "You Give Love a Bad Name," By Bon Jovi in universe. Dammit.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Yeah... if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight, that would probably result in the main GM calling a time out because that would be introducing modern tech into the high fantasy setting.

If Discord GM pulled out a gun and shot Twilight's player in the gut, that would be A: massively out of character for what we've seen, B: result in criminal charges, and C: have everyone be pissed at Main GM for bringing this clearly demented lunatic into the picture and injuring one of their friends.

That's what is generally called an "appeal to absurdity." You're suggesting that because some of us disagree with you about Discord GM's methods (and the fact that Twilight doesn't like him), that we'd rationalize away... attempted murder.
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
Funny you mention an Appeal to Absurdity - your argument is a complete Strawman Fallacy in spirit. Thatguest, while slightly vague in what they were saying, wasn't talking about anyone in-character absolving Discord of guilt - he was talking about some readers of this comic absolving Discord of guilt even if he did something sociopathically insane in the context of this comic. Please stop misrepresenting arguments to make your points look better.

Edit: To be clear, it's a Strawman Fallacy because the first two paragraphs were not at all relevant to the argument presented to ThatGuest and were designed to counter a completely different argument not made by anyone. In addition, I would argue that it's not necessarily an Appeal to Ridicule - people have put Leather Pants on people far worse than Discord!DM, and given previous arguments it's not too far of a stretch to say that people in favor of Discord!DM would try to downplay anything that could be seen as malice from Discord!DM, up to and including attempted murder. (Honestly, it's kind of an Appeal to Ridicule to imply that people wouldn't rationalize away attempted murder)
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
"Like I said earlier, I'm pretty sure that even if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight in the gut some would just keep forcing themselves to smile and be blissfully ignorant."

It's not a strawman when you respond to the exact statement. "I posit that even if this character I dislike committed attempted murder, some readers would attempt to rationalize it."

Also, this isn't "draco in leather pants," as it were. This is "we don't think he's a bad guy, we're waiting to see how it turns out, and in the meantime we're enjoying the story unfold."
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
The Strawman part I'm referring to was the first two paragraphs trying to theorize what'd happen if Discord shot Twilight in character or out of character. Those had nothing at all to do with the argument, "Like I said earlier, I'm pretty sure that even if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight in the gut some would just keep forcing themselves to smile and be blissfully ignorant.", and seem to be designed for an argument stating the characters would downplay anything done by Discord, not the readers.

Secondly, it's fine if you don't think he's a bad guy, but it isn't okay to downplay his flaws - that was what I was highlighting with the Leather Pants comment. While he might not be an outright villain, DiscordDM and RegularDM have instigated events in the session that are causing friction in the party (similar to how the actual episode went) and causing things to spiral into an eventual meltdown. They might not have meant to cause trouble or anything like that, but the way they went about handling this whole session (making an overpowered villain that can really only beaten through DM say-so the Big Bad of a new arc, communication issues with each other AND the players, very few bones thrown to the players so they can progress the plot, little things designed to annoy the players like the Random Damage table shenanigans and Discord monologuing while the players try to get stuff done, cursing the players so they'd get in each others' ways and have wedges driven between each other, etc.) so far is still the cause behind a good chunk of the conflict so far.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
1: considering that the characters haven't exactly been all buddy-buddy with Discord, that seems highly unlikely - especially since Thatguest, and others, have been upset with readers commenting about Discord not being a bad guy.

2: Nobody's downplaying his flaws. We're simply choosing to be honest about what his flaws actually are. He's arrogant, theatrical, and prone to getting carried away. But he is not deliberately causing meltdowns so he can laugh maniacally about derailing his protege's campaign.

3: NO NPC can be beaten without the GM's say-so. If the GM says an attack failed to have an effect, it failed to have an effect. If the GM says an enemy is unbeatable, the enemy is unbeatable. That's what trust is all about - the players have to trust that the GM won't deliberately cheat just to "win."

4: Discord the fun loving, non-damage inflicting, playful trickster deity of an antagonist seems a lot less "unbeatable" than say... this:
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
1: I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to be a response to - could you please clarify what you're trying to address with this statement?
*Edit: Nevermind, if that's supposed to be a response to my statement on the Strawman thing, then what you just said is kind of the entire reason I'm arguing that part of your comment earlier was a Strawman.

2: If the arguments about how Discord is rather benevolent and Twilight and co. need to lighten up are any indication (as seen on previous pages where these discussions kept happening), saying, "Nobody's downplaying his flaws." is a bit incorrect. And again, as I just stated, he might not be deliberately causing meltdowns to laugh maniacally, but he sure as hell is contributing to this campaign spiraling into an eventual meltdown.

3: This kind of nonsense is why I have trust issues with GMs. Generally, if DMs do the stuff you just said ("If the GM says an attack failed to have an effect, it failed to have an effect. If the GM says an enemy is unbeatable, the enemy is unbeatable."), presumably without any form of die roll or stacking the deck against the players (ex: making the dc of a roll so ludicrously high that only a godmodded dm character could make it or handing multiple major artifacts to their campaign villain that renders them basically invincible), that's the point where I'd leave. If a dm is not going to actually engage with players fairly and will just treat things like a cutscene rather than a game with rules, then there's not much point in playing the game further. There are countless stories and video games and other media to consume that have better twists and storytelling than tabletop rpg campaigns made by amateurs - the main thing separating tabletop rpgs is the chaos factor of the players interacting with the world. It defeats the whole purpose of playing tabletop rpgs if that factor is removed.
*Edit: To be clear, when I say "amateurs" I mean, "unpaid and without the resources of, for instance, a triple A video game or a writer with editors and proofreaders". The point was that if players wanted amazing on-rails storytelling, there are countless other options where that's a thing with much better quality control and a better use of time than a tabletop rpg campaign done for free. The main draw for tabletop rpgs is the larger freedom to do things as a player, since it's not limited to programmed responses or pre-written outcomes.

4. The Tarrasque is statted. Therefore, there will be some way to beat it through the rules of the game (and in fact, people theorycraft ways to beat it a lot. Defeating the seemingly undefeatable through legal means is kind of half the fun of playing tabletop rpgs, and people will take it as a challenge and scour all the books for possible defense measurements (*Edit: typo, meant "measures" not "measurements"), and people with more levels have more options available to test and attempt assuming the DM isn't a dick and denies things outright for the sake of the plot (at which point players should leave, because screw playing with a douchebag who throws the Tarrasque at his group and denies them any way to deal with it). Discord, by contrast, is not statted. He doesn't roll anything to have his way, and the players can't roll anything to stop his effects and curses from messing with them (at least, not yet - that might change if the DMs realize, "Shit, they literally can't do anything cause he can just re-curse them before they fire their lasers, better make up an anti-chaos magic field they can use or something,"). He isn't a part of the system, and is essentially a walking embodiment of DM fiat, unbeatable except through whatever nonsense plot device the DMs give to the players (i.e. the Elements - which aren't even guaranteed to work because Reality Warping + Basic Sense + cheating in favor of the villain = No Win Scenario). Overall, I'd take the Tarrasque any day since there's a chance, however small, at fairness - Discord's essentially an undisguised power fantasy for the DM (which is the last thing DMs should be doing - they're in theory supposed to be trusted with lots of power in making the setting and junk, making godmodded characters isn't impressive if a dm says they're unbeatable) designed to fuck with players.
Archone 8th Nov 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
1: If pointing out that the words "gun," "shot," and "gut" can probably be taken literally (instead of as euphemisms) makes the argument straw... then there's no point to the discussion. That's like claiming that "2+2=4" is merely a euphemism for some sort of philosophical axiom, rather than... y'know... arithmetic.

And yeah, the Tarrasque is literally made to be nigh unbeatable. It's something for epic level characters. It has a Challenge Rating to help the GM know what to throw at the players. Discord GM has provided a challenge that does not involve stats. He's using GM fiat because he's created a challenge that requires more than just rolling dice and having a high modifier.

Hell, you want another Pathfinder example that's not statted?
obscurereader 8th Nov 2018, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
1. Okay, to be absolutely, 100% clear so that you cannot possibly misinterpret or misrepresent this, let me quote the bit I'm claiming to be a strawman from your earliest comment in the chain: "Yeah... if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight, that would probably result in the main GM calling a time out because that would be introducing modern tech into the high fantasy setting.

If Discord GM pulled out a gun and shot Twilight's player in the gut, that would be A: massively out of character for what we've seen, B: result in criminal charges, and C: have everyone be pissed at Main GM for bringing this clearly demented lunatic into the picture and injuring one of their friends."

Those two paragraphs quoted are a strawman argument because it has nothing to do with the argument by ThatGuest that was quoted by you, which I will quote again here: "Like I said earlier, I'm pretty sure that even if Discord pulled out a gun and shot Twilight in the gut some would just keep forcing themselves to smile and be blissfully ignorant.". The paragraphs quoted from your comment seem to imply the argument presented was something along the lines of, "The characters would absolve Discord!DM if he shot Twilight in or out of character," which was not what was being argued in the first place and is a blatant misrepresentation of what was being discussed.

I wasn't arguing... whatever the hell it is you're trying to argue with that response to 1: "If pointing out that the words "gun," "shot," and "gut" can probably be taken literally (instead of as euphemisms) makes the argument straw... then there's no point to the discussion. That's like claiming that "2+2=4" is merely a euphemism for some sort of philosophical axiom, rather than... y'know... arithmetic.". That entire part of the comment is utter nonsense.

Also, you completely missed the point of my argument involving the Tarrasque and its comparison to Discord, and seem to be making a complete non-sequitur of an argument. It doesn't actually address any points made by myself or Mr. Wednesday, and seems to think I made an argument that "he Tarrasque is literally made to be nigh unbeatable. It's something for epic level characters.", as you put it.

I did not make such an argument. In fact, I argued that people would try to find ways to beat the creature legally, because as Mr. Wednesday put it, "The Tarrasque is a beast that can be fought, and it’s just that: an beast. Cunning, but stupid. Dangerous in combat but really just a toothy puzzle with armor.". The Tarrasque is a fair challenge to be laid out in a tabletop rpg setting - Discord is not. In fact, the first thing that pops up on a google search for killing the Tarrasque in 3.5 is this page:

These methods are all made assuming a 13th level character, and assesses possible methods to take the beast down within the rules of the game. Whether or not the Tarrasque is meant for epic level characters, it's still possible to beat it at lower levels with enough system knowledge (which is precisely why I would take fighting the Tarrasque over Discord or that statless god you posted - as explained later, the Tarrasque is fair and reasonable within the confines of the system used in its construction, while Discord and the god are not). You can be creative and engage with the story and gameplay when fighting the Tarrasque, and genuinely succeed without relying heavily on the DM to provide an answer or plan. However, creatures such as the Tarrasque are not appropriate to use against the party if they are denied resources or experience required to fight it, just as it is inappropriate to include all-powerful beings to dictate the players' progress in game (which include Discord and that god you posted a link to), because the players are explicitly trusting the DM to not abuse the power entrusted by the players to the DM in such a manner. The fact that it's even happening here is a testament to how badly the dms have screwed this up and an argument in and of itself as to why they should not be given any benefit of the doubt.

The argument that, "Discord GM has provided a challenge that does not involve stats. He's using GM fiat because he's created a challenge that requires more than just rolling dice and having a high modifier." is laughable, because from a storytelling or roleplay perspective (NOT from a gameplay standpoint, as he is explicitly made outside of those rules - pretty much the main reason he's such a problematic concept), Discord is designed to be an unwinnable "challenge". He cannot be beaten by rolling, diplomacy, creativity, or even begging because he lacks any limits on his powers, self imposed or otherwise (as stated by Mr. Wednesday in the comment below). In other words, the players don't actually have a chance against him no matter what angle you approach it from, Discord is just there to fuck with the players and, as he is currently, is a living embodiment of terrible DMing and terrible storytelling within the context of this comic's tabletop rpg session.

In fact, Discord is exactly that god you linked - no stats, no morals, nothing the players can use to deal with him in a fair manner. (Also, amusingly, the link is to a third-party god, kind of like Discord - a fan-made being without any restraints with regards to the rules of the game apart from what the DM wishes). I would happily take fighting the Tarrasque, as it is statted and bound to the rules of the system rather than being godmodded to hell through DM fiat in a way that Discord and other statless gods or creatures invite by their very nature as unstatted beings.
Mr Wednesday 8th Nov 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply

Well you perfectly encapsulated what I had to say on the topic. Thanks for the shoutout!

This stuff with Discord reminds me of games in the Cthulhu Mythos, where it would be perfectly valid and acceptable for a divine being to be untouchable by mortal powers--but you have to tell the players that they're in for an experience like that--you can't spring it on them.

I'm also reminded of PBTA games and their hard and soft moves. All Discord does is make hard moves--no setups, no warnings, nothing for the players to respond to, just stuff happening unavoidably TO them. There's a lot going on DiscorDM's style, but it all hits the same note.
Mr Wednesday 8th Nov 2018, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
@ Archone: Your third point there doesn’t help you at all. It’s lazy argumentation. Of course anything is unbeatable if the GM says it is, but consider the fiction: the GM could easily say that the kobold you just took a swing at is invulnerable to swords and hits like a freight train, but the players will be pissed if that’s not justified. The GM has a responsibility not to dick the players around like that, or else they risk ending up with no players at all.

Your fourth point is also flimsy. The Tarrasque is a beast that can be fought, and it’s just that: an beast. Cunning, but stupid. Dangerous in combat but really just a toothy puzzle with armor. Discord is the embodied will of the GM, an excuse to make whatever he wants happen in the fiction with reality warping as the justification. So he isn’t beatable, because any attack can be countered by his fiat. And Discord has no limits on his powers, either. He isn’t bound by any rules or code of conduct, he can’t be tricked, and he doesn’t behave honorably. The players have no edge, and no way of getting one without the GM handing it to them.
Spoony Viking 6th Nov 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here and say Twilight's player is being obnoxious. Roleplaying is FUN!
Zaftique 6th Nov 2018, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
I concur. :D I live for this stuff!
terrycloth 6th Nov 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
We used to have someone like her in our group. I mean, we didn't kick them out or anything but it was kind of annoying sometimes when they'd interrupt character interaction with 'just skip to the next fight already!'

We let them GM once. Once.
Godzfirefly 6th Nov 2018, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
That's exactly how I feel. Admittedly, she's been left out of some of the fun parts of interacting with Discord. But, still...even Rainbow Dash is playing with the game instead of against it.
Smarty 6th Nov 2018, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
While I super agree with you that roleplaying is fun I do have to also say that twilight has a point in which there comes a point where you have to put the rp on hold if just for this scene so you can get on with the plot
Borg 6th Nov 2018, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
"Roleplaying" is not a free pass to fight any attempt to make progress. Roleplaying that your character is being really obnoxious isn't automatically okay in every group.

Besides, who's to say Twilight's player isn't roleplaying that Twilight is getting annoyed that her friends are under curses she doesn't understand that are blocking them from saving Equestria? It seems like a reasonable in-character reaction to me.
Digo Dragon 6th Nov 2018, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
A reaction, I might add, that is feeling a bit stressed-out over all the showboating around her. No one is trying to connect ooc to make sure everyone is okay with the way the RP is flowing. Now would be a good moment for a 5-minute time out to let emotions calm down and review where each character is at.
GrayGriffin 6th Nov 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Ah yes, the old "I'm being IC by being obnoxious, you're ruining my fun by responding IC to my obnoxiousness" gambit.
Spoony Viking 6th Nov 2018, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
Re-read strips #1136 and #1138. I'd say it's quite plain Twilight's player is barely roleplaying (if at all) and is, in fact, quite annoyed the others didn't just metagame.

Also, they're not really "fighting any attempt to make progress". I can think of a few ways to work toward the party's goal even with some of the PCs cursed, as I'm sure Twilight's player could if she wasn't in-real-life annoyed by the whole thing.
Mr Wednesday 6th Nov 2018, 5:50 PM edit delete reply
@Spoony Viking, what ways forward do you see? That’s an easy thing to just say, but you’ve gotta back it up. How can they proceed? If they find the elements, what’s to stop DiscorDM from just saying they don’t work, sending things back to square one?
Spoony Viking 7th Nov 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
"If they find the elements, what’s to stop DiscorDM from just saying they don’t work, sending things back to square one?"

Don't move the goalposts. If the guest GM isn't working on good faith, whether the other four roleplay their curses or not makes no difference.

As for how to work with them, that's actually quite easy!

Pinkie Pie - Just get into her game and act like a no-nonsense, goal-focused drill sergeant from an action movie pastiche. "Agent Pie! Our objective is to find the Elements of Harmony and defeat Discord before he continues threatening the Equestrian way of life!"

Applejack & Fluttershy - Applejack has to always lie, and Fluttershy has to be brutally honest; nothing in there impedes other actions on their part. Heck, if you KNOW Applejack is forced to always lie, you can work around that to try and guess the truth.

As for Rarity? She never stopped being on board with defeating Discord, even after being cursed. Re-read strip #1098 and see.

Really, there's a lot to be said about various OOC issues in this session, but at its heart this is a gaming session where roleplaying is the whole point, and all the players have in-game justifications for roleplaying their characters differently. It should have been a lot of fun!
Mr Wednesday 7th Nov 2018, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, but I'm still not convinced. And I Didn't move the goalposts. If they're still cursed, it doesn't matter whether they intend to defeat Discord or not, because he can say "oop, you're still cursed! The elements don't respond to your call!" This is what we see happen in the source episode so it's likely that's what's going to happen here.

The operative phrase in your last sentence did "should have been". If DiscorDM wanted Twilight to be in on the fun then he should have cursed her well before his point. She's not enjoying this roleplayig exercise because she has no part in it.
GrayGriffin 6th Nov 2018, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
She's focusing on finding the solution to the problem, showing an unwillingness to compromise with Discord, and being upset when her friends damage her property. All of that sounds perfectly in-line with the character she's created.
ThatGuest 6th Nov 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
Without Twilight dragging the party along they'd still be RPing in circles at the maze. So please tell me how would one play a game if none of the players make any attempt to make progress? Would you have fun playing a board gme if none of your friends ever rolled the die to move and just kept talking to each other the whole time ignoring you? I doubt it which is exactly what Twi has been getting.
Chris 6th Nov 2018, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
Now, that's just a bad-faith comparison. A better one might be "Would you have fun playing a board game if none of your friends played 'optimally,' and instead insisted on pursuing counterproductive strategies for their own entertainment?"

The answer, for me at least, is "of course!" I mean, that's basically a given in most of the board games we play in my circle of friends. With mediocre board games we amp it up to 11 because that's the only way to make them fun (back when we still played Risk occasionally, me and one other guy would forsake all other strategies in favor of trying to seize Great Britain from one another, triumphantly crying "I've got Scotland!" in our best faux-Wallace accents whenever we did). But even in games we take "seriously," it's very normal to forgo what appears to be the "best" strategy for fun or characterization. In Agricola, say, I have in the past chosen to load up on more sheep than rightly do me any good because I think it's neat to have a herd of 32 and make us run out of tokens, or in Root, I've been known to play the cats "too aggressively" because that matches the flavor, even if I'd be more likely to win if I kept my legions home and focused more on defense.

Perhaps you would feel as frustrated as Twilight if you played a board game with my friends and me, but we do, in fact, enjoy ourselves. It's true! And we even manage to finish the games! Albeit, we might be able to finish them slightly FASTER if we'd all focused on playing "optimally," so maybe you'd feel like we were wasting your time. For what it's worth, that's not how I feel when I play with them, and I'm pretty sure the feeling's mutual.

I've read your comments on the last bajillion comics, so I know you and I don't see eye-to-eye on... well, anything about gaming, really. But even if you must equate RPGs with games that have an unambiguous win state, please don't go right on to assume that all people will proceed to that win state in an orderly queue, or that all (or most, I suspect) people would even consider doing so a good thing.
HappyEevee 6th Nov 2018, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
In our usual gaming group two of us sometimes drive the others crazy with our sheep trading (Settlers of Catan) and out of game alliances (Inn Fighting) but to be fair, the others are the ones who will start PKing each other in-play when nothing's happened for two whole minutes. We have faults in different ways, but we've learned to be tolerant of each other and have fun together anyway. Sometimes we brutally optimize and power through stuff, sometimes we spend a whole session ignoring the plot while we design and set up a for-profit rabbit farm to fund our party's future endeavors. And we have fun playing both ways and everything in between.
ThatGuest 6th Nov 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
I've said before, roleplaying is fine. Roleplaying by yourself for an hour and doing nothing else is stupid. Many times I've had to be the Twi, dragging the party along for the story despite how much they fight to avoid the adventure at all.

Such as we get a letter from a noble wanting to meet us. So I take a step back from things to let someone else lead.....and 40 minutes later the thief is still trying to gamble in the bar, the druid is petting random animals in the streets and the fighter is trying to pick up women. After another 10 minutes I finally go "Well....I guess I'll go see that noble." And no one pays attention to me so I go see them solo and talk with the and progress the plot.

Then after the session everyone says I get too much attention in the story.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
This is not a board game like that. This is more like a game of Minecraft where all the players (save one) have decided to focus on building the biggest, most awesome village they can, complete with a moat and all kinds of things to ensure that the suicide bomber zombies are never a problem... and one player is pissed because they're not helping with the original idea of rushing to get diamonds for top tier gear.

(assuming that diamonds are top tier. I'm actually more familiar with Starcraft, but that one isn't as well known)
GrayGriffin 7th Nov 2018, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
No? This is the exact opposite of that? This is more like everyone wanting to build their own giant pixel art picture that you see in images sometimes while completely ignoring the fact that they are in a mode with enemies and one player trying desperately to keep everyone on track about the fact that there are enemies and they can't build giant pixel art pictures while there are enemies that will kill them?
Archone 8th Nov 2018, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Considering the enemy in question is less "murderous psychopath" and more "nonviolent trickster," your argument falls rather flat.

(Especially since the nonviolent trickster in question is - as the next page proves - basing his challenge around the giant pixel art pictures and the one player who is doing... this: )
GrayGriffin 8th Nov 2018, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Ah yes, summoning bunnies and dancing buffalo that trample the players and changing the terrain into dangerous slippery terrain. So nonviolent. Not to mention you've been blabbing about the characters all this time so even if he is a nonviolent trickster he's clearly messing everything up for everyone else. And thus the IC thing to do is to want to take care of him so that the people they love don't have to deal with their home being turned chaotic?
obscurereader 8th Nov 2018, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
"Nonviolent trickster". And you were wondering why I was claiming people were sticking leather pants on Discord.

In case you forgot, GM described Discord through Celestia here:

Quoth the IC dialogue: "I... was clear that this isn't all the "fun" kind of chaos, right? That Discord was a torturer-king in his time? That he thrives on the suffering, humiliation, and subjugation of natural beings?"

So, yeah. Not only is base Discord literally stated to be a sadist, he's also stated to be a torturer-king. Maybe not "murderous psychopath" by its exact definition, but not nearly as clean as "nonviolent trickster" - you're thinking of his post-redemption characterization. This is textbook Draco in Leather Pants.
Archone 8th Nov 2018, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
No, you're right that she said that. We just haven't really seen it... yet. So far all we've seen is the chocolate rain aspects. We have also heard Celestia's word... Celestia in this comic being a bit more sneaky and less than truthful than in the show.

But beyond that, all the comments for the page you linked were about how the players don't always agree that the bad guys are... bad, and how sometimes the GM has to prod them into going after them. (And these comments predate Discord GM's intro into the story)

In other words, I'll see your "Draco in Leather Pants" and raise you one "Designated Villain."
GrayGriffin 8th Nov 2018, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
Um...what? I just pointed out he's forcefully manipulated the bunnies into being transformed and hurting the characters, as well as humiliating and hurting them with the slippery soap road. We've already gone far beyond just going "chocolate rain."
obscurereader 8th Nov 2018, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
... You're seriously arguing that Celestia is a bit more sneaky and less than truthful in this comic. The implication there seems to be that Discord is secretly decent, if I'm reading that correctly, if Celestia is lying/wrong despite being the defacto Big Good of the in-universe setting who hasn't done the party wrong once.

Is it because of the Thieves Guild thing? Cause the whole point there was that she was being entirely honest to her chosen champions about her intentions to turn the Thieves Guild into a force for Good (and by extension, provide a solid reason for Rarity to keep playing her character cause that whole arc kinda started with Rarity being blacklisted and stuff).

Also, Discord as an in-universe character has been shown to be sneaky and underhanded in her Hannibal Lecture to Rarity (which was a trick to get her to accept the curse, however spot-on his assessment of her character was), manipulative in tactic if the Fluttershy encounter is any indication, and downright megalomaniac if his evil laugh is any indication, through Discord!DM's portrayal (and keep in mind, he's likely not going to be "shown" through clips of the show - and by extension panels of this comic - to be as sadistic and twisted as explained before because, well, children's cartoon, can't go too far GrimDark and NewbieSpud hasn't deviated from this particular plot apart from editing in Rainbow Dash due to the changes in characterization from the show. Changing that part would require NewbieSpud doing what he did with the fight against Elusive again). In summary, though, Discord the character is a textbook villain, with the comments on the first linked page more representing the situation with Pinkie Pie not realizing the difference between her brand of chaos and Discord's brand of chaos more than anything (something consistent with Pinkie's characterization, being the person most prone to chaos and random shenanigans - Element of Laughter and all that). As such I see your "Designated Villain" and raise you by "Card-Carrying Villain", "Obviously Evil", AND "Ron the Death Eater".
Archone 6th Nov 2018, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
I'm thinking of a previous story arc, the one with Gilda Griffon. Where her player was acting under the misconception that Rainbow Dash's player was annoyed about "too much roleplay, not enough hack-and-slash." Not just because she was originally presented as a bad person - and then turned out to be a good person who didn't understand the situation - but also because it emphasized how RD prefers to fight rather than roleplay.

...Here Rainbow is loving the roleplay, finding it gloriously entertaining... and Twilight is the only one complaining. Who wants to bet that the other players (especially Fluttershy's) are eager for Discord GM to come back after this? ;)
GrayGriffin 6th Nov 2018, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
Um...what? RD has clearly shown annoyance with what's going on, literally a few pages back. Her "speak for yourself" here means "I'm not acting weird," not "no one's acting weird" or "I'm fine with this." Stop literally rewriting the narrative to suit your own agenda.
obscurereader 6th Nov 2018, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
Pretty much what GrayGriffin said here. Rainbow's responding directly to Spike/RegularGM here when he's asking ic why everyone's acting weird - not responding to Twilight getting snappy or anything like that.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
Literally rewriting the narrative... does that include hacking into the website to change the text on pages?

Because apparently that's what I've done, to make it seem as though Rainbow Dash has stated here, in one of her light blue colored text bubbles: "I have no idea what's going on, but this is great."
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
That was not the argument. The argument was that Rainbow Dash was not displaying enjoyment on this particular page towards the roleplay with her comment, "Speak for yourself." - her response was to IC GM as Spike asking "Why is everyone acting so... weird?" (which was a statement that didn't include Rainbow Dash as she wasn't cursed ic).

Even then, this argument (*Edit for clarity: Archone's argument against rewriting the narrative) is faulty because there is also evidence that Rainbow Dash is incredulous and/or annoyed by the RP antics, as shown here: Seeing as these two pages are in continuity (with this page coming after the one you've posted), it could easily be argued that Rainbow Dash found it funny at first because it was hilariously out of character for everyone to act the way they were acting, but has slowly come to be annoyed with the cursed players' antics (especially if the OoC argument with Applejack is taken into account) and is as annoyed as Twilight is with the others by now.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
No, the argument was started by me pointing out that Rainbow Dash was enjoying watching the roleplay despite being more of a bystander than an active participant. GrayGriffin claimed that RD has "clearly shown annoyance" and quoted the "speak for yourself" as indication of that (along with an accusation of my "rewriting the narrative").

To which I pointed out that RD's previous statements emphasize that she's finding the whole scenario ridiculously hilarious and entertaining. "Speak for yourself" merely refers to the fact that she's not actually involved in the curse roleplaying.

And no, she's not incredulous/annoyed by the RP antics, she's only annoyed by Applejack's accusations about her decision (especially since it referenced past behaviors and implied that RD was doing something wrong, when in fact RD WAS roleplaying when she made the correct decision).
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Did... Did you not click the page link I used? It was to a couple of pages back, where Rainbow Dash was calling out the others on not breaking the curses alongside Twilight. It was not about the OoC argument - that was deliberately mentioned as a separate incident that could partially explain why Rainbow Dash might be getting less amused.

You are correct in that "Speak for yourself" refers to the fact that she's not involved in the curse roleplaying (which was what was being talked about by GrayGriffin and myself - your exact quote was, "...Here Rainbow is loving the roleplay, finding it gloriously entertaining...", which was the part being disputed), but haven't actually addressed that there's evidence of Rainbow not enjoying the roleplay or that your original statement was flawed in its reading of the current comic.
Archone 7th Nov 2018, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
No, I thought you were reposting the "Speak for yourself" page. No, you're right - she is annoyed about them choosing not to let themselves be instantly freed from their curses. After all, she was never a big roleplayer. She also wants to get back to rolling dice to confirm hits before rolling to determine damage.

But that being said... that's like being impatient because the wizard is still casting detection spells, the rogue is sneaking, and the bard is making "gather information" checks. Which is another important part of playing - letting the other players have their turn to shine.
obscurereader 7th Nov 2018, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
Point of order: The cursed players already have been taking their turns to shine. That's literally all the cursed players have been doing this entire time while Twilight keeps trying to nudge everyone towards getting the Elements back. By your own logic, Twilight and Rainbow Dash should be getting time to do their things (work towards the objective and fight things respectively), but they keep getting held up because of the RP with Discord monologuing/screwing with the party and the cursed players acting cursed to an excessive degree.

Whether Rainbow Dash is annoyed with the others not getting freed instantly because she was never a big roleplayer and/or wants to get back to fighting things (or, also possible, she's annoyed that her friends are playing along with this scenario and screwing with each other when she literally ignored a god's temptation for them in roleplay, which somehow makes her look smarter and more group-oriented despite being the Chaotic Evil one), her annoyance at their choices is entirely valid because they're dragging the game to a standstill. She wouldn't know what Applejack knows about the curses (and the possible lose condition of removing the curses too early), so from her perspective it could easily be seen as just pointless time wasting and aggravation that ends up forcing Rainbow and Twilight to sit around waiting to do something.
Archone 8th Nov 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Oh, I'm not saying that RD doesn't have a valid point of view. So does Twilight. And so does Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and the GMs. Even if I disagree with many of them. That's what my argument has been all about this whole time: Discord GM is not Evil Incarnate because he is not 100% pro Twilight (especially since he's not even her antagonist so much as he, and the main GM, are the referee AND the board AND the challenging pieces, because that's what GMing entails). Discord GM is someone who came to the group at the request of Main GM, and who put a lot of work into a custom tailored adventure.

Also, GrayGriffin is showing why a lot of people on the internet refuse to ever concede any points. "They conceded a point - the argument is 100% won!" Even though it IS possible to be annoyed about things dragging on, while also enjoying the improv comedy routine going on. The goal posts have not been moved, because the line was always "the other players are enjoying themselves and Twilight is starting to end up as the antagonist to the rest of the group."
obscurereader 8th Nov 2018, 3:14 PM edit delete reply
*shrug* His work sucks, and it's causing problems. Doesn't matter if he put a lot of work into it.

Also, we haven't actually seen RD react to the improv comedy routine going on in a while - not counting this page, her last reaction was the bit I linked where she was annoyed with everyone sticking through the roleplay. Wonder why that is... (And again, whether or not the others are enjoying themselves - it could be argued only half of the cursed players are enjoying themselves, but whatever - it's being done at the expense of Twilight. That. Is. Not. Okay.).
GrayGriffin 7th Nov 2018, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
Wow, moving the goalposts much? First you're saying "oh she loves this" and now that we point out she doesn't you immediately jump to "oh she's just trying to ruin their fun too."
Toric 6th Nov 2018, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
I think that we need to consider that Twilight just became “the enemy.” By snapping like that, the other players don’t hear “let’s work together,” they hear “you are playing the game wrong.”

AJ is determined not to lose to Discord and prove that she is smarter than her curse.
Rarity always RPs to the hilt and will be resentful that Twilight seems like “she doesn’t care about anyone else’s fun” which Twilight will fail to refute in her Frustration.
Pinkie will likely pile on about loosening up and having fun.
Fluttershy is breaking down barriers between herself and her cursed character, and will probably snap back hurtfully, feeling blamed for being a bad person.

Right or wrong, Twilight just became the lightning rod for everyone else to jump on.
Khyrin 7th Nov 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
AJ, Rarity, and Pinkie can shove it. This has been building for a while. A few pages back they were too busy RPing at each other to even acknowledge that Twilight was trying to get in, even the GMs.(Page 1125) Then, AJ's player tears into RD's for taking the option that doesn't insta-lose for the party. then they get the option to loosen the curse and everyone BUT AJ doubles down. Twi snarks: "Maybe I would prefer to just be a munchkin." That is a warning flag.

Fluttershy avoids my ire because SHE at least somewhere in there stepped ooc and pointed out that intra-party strife is part of Discord's plan... but then she went to Passive Aggressive 'let the others break their curses first.'
Toric 6th Nov 2018, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
Related note: page 1038 is the page where the DM contacts Discord. DM explains they want a cunning and ruthless Villain. I think that part of the problem here is that a villain needs a solid chance of winning. Thematically, Discord has no choice but to threaten the elements. Because they are powered by specific virtues, a curse can disrupt them. But the virtues (elements) are components of Friendship, and disrupting friendships in-character is difficult to do. The level of RP Discord expects requires the players to act out flaws deliberately at each other and limit their ability to communicate with each other.

My point is that it was ill-advised from the start to attack friendship of the characters so directly, especially with limited ways for players to actually avoid it. A Villain is antagonistic, but they don’t dictate how a player must RP. It would be one thing for an NPC to dominate a character, but a DM isolating a player to make sure that they get what they want is not a Villain, but a commandment. Discord might not have micromanaged the details of their curses, but he had little if any intention of letting them do anything he didn’t want.
Archone 6th Nov 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Solo minisessions between GMs and players is hardly an uncommon thing. In Shadowrun it's pretty much required, whenever the hacker goes on a Matrix VR run, or the mage heads into the astral plane. Even in D&D and Pathfinder and such, whenever the rogue/scout/whatever goes off on their own, the other players aren't supposed to know what's going on.

(And that's before you bring in sneaky tricks by clever GMs. I've heard a story about a GM who kept casually getting up and walking between tables... he had two parties of adventurers mistakenly fighting each other. More recently someone posted online about playing a "solo" game as a heroic necromancer who was trying to help people with undead laborers and the like, only to be repeatedly undone by a team of adventuring zealots who convinced everyone the necromancer was evil. Turned out he was the Big Bad of another game the GM was running, and the other players never knew the "evil necromancer" really was a good guy)