Page 1145 - Here Lies Tom

20th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Here Lies Tom
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete
Some screencaps edits are on the subtler side.

Tangentially, it bugged me for the longest time that I started breaking my rule all of a sudden about only using faithful unedited screencaps for the comic... and then I realized this is the Discord arc, which means it's the perfect time to start messing with familiar imagery. Phew! Creative conscience satisfied.

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



Jannard 20th Nov 2018, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
That got a genuine laugh out of me. Not just a chuckle or a smirk.

Also, again Twilight feeling to me like she should be on a different table.
Digo Dragon 20th Nov 2018, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
This certainly proves Twilight is indeed role-playing. She was about to LARP a rock across the room! XD

Twi seems to be savvy about failing with the element artifacts. She could win some time by role-playing out this failure and then sneak her friends off to wherever she believed she can cure them.
Chris 20th Nov 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Take another look at panel 4. That's not role-playing, that's yelling at a player for spending time on something you think is inconsequential.

And hey, we've all been there when someone spent ten minutes dithering with the merchant, trying to squeeze an extra two coppers out of him for those dozen rusty daggers you looted off the kobolds. It IS kinda annoying sometimes! But screaming "NOBODY CARES ABOUT" whatever at your friend - not the character, YOUR FRIEND - is still not okay, and it's definitely not "role playing."
Digo Dragon 20th Nov 2018, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm talking about panels 5 and 6. That's the kind of role playing I've seen where players take their props and go too far acting out with them. I remember a session of Paranoia where the GM gave us all NERF weapons so that when combat starts, we were to just (all at once) point the guns at who we're aiming for. The session got interrupted for 20 minutes due to a NERF fight. GM had to confiscate all the ammo in order to bring everything back under control.

(Kidding of course)
Chris 20th Nov 2018, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
To me, panel 5 reads as a clear continuation of panel 4; unless she switched from OOC to IC mid-sentence (and expected the party and DMs to follow that switch), I read panel 4 on as all OOC, with her angrily picking up "Tom" to throw away, realizing she was getting worked up over a literal rock when the DM intervenes, and sheepishly handing it over.

(Which, incidentally, is a hilarious mental image, so good job, Newbiespud!)
Borg 20th Nov 2018, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure that a switch from OOC to IC was exactly what "But fine! If you insist!" was signaling.
Jannard 20th Nov 2018, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
I think it really was a jump from OOC to IC. While panel 4 is obviously OOC, the intermission where she grabs the rock I would consider to be LARPing, that is, while she's venting her frustrations on the prop, she's also acting out what she wants her character to do to just-move-forward-already-damnit.
Digo Dragon 20th Nov 2018, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I read the comic as panel 4 to 5 switching from OOC to IC. Pretty much as Borg said, Twi's comment is basically an angry "Fine, IC my character picks up Tom and hurls him out of the library."
Departure_Dave 20th Nov 2018, 10:33 PM edit delete reply
Looks like the Golden Oaks Library model had a kinder fate than that of the Baratie.
Lethologica 21st Nov 2018, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
And hey, so far this is entertaining enough that DiscorDM doesn't feel like stepping in. Panel 2 mission accomplished.
Guest 20th Nov 2018, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: "Look. I-- I'd had a lovely supper, and all I said to my diamond was, 'That piece of halibut was good enough for Celestia.'"
Ses 20th Nov 2018, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Oh boy here comes the "Twilight is literally Hitler" parade
Toric 20th Nov 2018, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Bah! Hitler is a terrible example! I see Napoleon about the time that he decided to invade Russia: ambitious but perhaps overly optimistic and self-assured. XD
zimmerwald1915 20th Nov 2018, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
I'd say she deserves for attempting to throw a rock at another player, wouldn't you?
Toric 20th Nov 2018, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Whoa, whoa, whoa. We don’t know that it was aimed at a player. Only that she was going to throw it. Still excessive force, but hardly worthy of “Hitler.”
Balrighty 20th Nov 2018, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
"Throw at another player"? I only got the impression she was going to throw it across the room.
Guest 20th Nov 2018, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
The implication was that she was going to throw it outside, like in the show. GM objected to likely window destruction.
Jannard 20th Nov 2018, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Hey! It's fair to think Twilight's player is being a dick to her feelow players. On the one hand, because she actually is, and on the other, because narratively it would make for the perfect "desaturation"; as the one who figured by sheer deduction (with compromise with the theme only coming second) that it all circled around the power of friendship in the first campaign, it could come right around to bite her to be chided for being the least friendly. Instead of disappointment over the situation (like in the show), it could be guilt over her own actions that finally tipped Twilight's player over. Plus the irony may greatly satisfy DiscorDM.
Kereminde 20th Nov 2018, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
Still better than Marisha hate.
Guest 21st Nov 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Never got from where this came.
MiqoRems 20th Nov 2018, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, at this point I'm thinking of just taking a break for from the comic for a month or so because the long, drawn out scene of a bunch of friends turning a game into a stressfest is kind of stomach-churning.
MiqoRems 20th Nov 2018, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
Hopefully there'll be at least the beginnings of some kind of resolution by then.
ChaoticBrain 21st Nov 2018, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
I get where you're coming from. To this day I can't bring myself to re-watch the Return of Harmony two-parter, because it skeeves me out seeing all the characters I love act like abusive creeps.

Still, I have to say that Newbiespud's version of events is a lot more palatable. The conflict feels a lot more organic, with both sides having reasonable motives for acting the way they are, and none of them being completely in the right or completely in the wrong.
Toric 20th Nov 2018, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
I think on this page we see pretty clearly Twilight's awareness of her frustration AND the source she is ascribing it to. Panel 2, she mentions a strategy for moving forward as well as noting they were being "set up" for an entertaining failure. I think this goes back to the futility people have noted about how powerful Discord is, and yet she is still trying to do something about it.

I also feel like the comment 2 pages ago about "I can't do this alone...BUT I WILL IF I HAVE TO!" is kind of weird for Twilight's player in or out of character, and feels more like Twilight from the show who has to LIVE in Equestria. It makes sense in the moment, sure, but it's incredibly odd even in a tense, unproductive party for someone to say out loud "I'm going to do everything" rather than simply DOING it to force progress. It's also a little surprising that none of the other players are expressing any real opinions (in or out of character) after that tirade beyond what we assume from their expressions in screencaps. I'd attribute some of this to the limits of using screencaps in general, but I also think in-scene that if the other players had a strong objection to her strong-arming or firm justification for themselves, AJ and Rarity's players at least would have no problem putting on the brakes. Pinkie's player would also be very sensitive to who's having fun at the table and would probably comment if she were worried about the present direction.

Contradicting myself somewhat on the curses, (both here and previous posts) part of this probably comes from the Zecora arc where they all acted out their curses in the real world. This was inspiration after Fluttershy did it first, but I think collectively they enjoyed the experience. However, remember that Twilight did not have a curse that could be acted out like the others, and was left to focus on the problem of the curse rather than the roleplay. So I think here, in this situation, the party is falling in line with that same theme, albeit more contentiously, and Twilight's irritation might seem both more natural/expected and more off-putting for the other players. Even if some extremes are being tested here, this incident does have roots in precedent.
Free 20th Nov 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
I think I get where you're coming from, and I totally agree, especially about how odd it is that no one is saying anything about it yet. There was the snark about Tony Awards because they were rping so much they weren't going anywhere, but she's been rping solely with Main GM for a while now without any input from the others or interacting with them, albeit for the sake of moving things along…but specifically where *she* wants them to go. It suggests to me that they have implicit trust in her ability to solve the "puzzle" like she has before and respect her role in the party in that capacity…that, or they're sulking.

On the other hand, the moment Rarity tries to participate again, because it involves her curse, Twi *immediately* shuts her down. To me, the tone of the page suggests Rarity was going for a moment of levity, to break some of the tension, and while her response could have simply been "okay, I follow," we *know* she leans heavily toward rp, it's just her preferred way of responding. Twilight really has no business shouting at her, and in my experience, a raised tone has always been a "hold up" moment, though with only text it's hard to tell *exactly* what sort of tone she's using. It's not as if Twilight even wants to be mean, she's just annoyed and we don't need to revisit the blame game, but based on the source material, we all know she can let her temper get the best of her and her friends' response to it kind of evolves over time (and character development).
Mr Wednesday 20th Nov 2018, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
@Toric, you’ve identified perfectly what was bothering me so much. Maybe by complete accident, DiscorDM didn’t give Twilight a curse, so as you said, she can only engage with the situation itself. I don’t know if this was because Main GM wanted to keep her at arm’s length since she’s so good at problem-solving, or if DiscorDM couldn’t think of a way to implement her curse before this point (and I’m not even sure given how the narrative is flowing, if that’s what’s going to happen) but for a scenario devoted to the theme of everyone having a curse, leaving somebody out is kind of a design flaw. Though who know? Twilight might not have liked being told to play her character a certain way, and gotten angry about that. Twilight the player is very like Twilight the character, in that she needs to be in control.
Digo Dragon 21st Nov 2018, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Dash's player also seems to be uncursed, though participating far less in the adventure then the others.
Mr Wednesday 21st Nov 2018, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
Dash is an interesting borderline: she's the only player whose actions are directly responsible for her uncursed state. Her response to Discord's Biwoare choice was her own, and DiscorDM clearly accommodated both responses since Dash's ultimate choice got a mixed response from the party. (Otherwise Discord could've just imposed his curse like he did with Fluttershy)

So Dash had an opportunity to get cursed, and avoided it. I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that she had this chance in the maze, and Twilight didn't.
Archone 20th Nov 2018, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
The suggestion by someone about how everyone who disagrees that Twilight is justified is claiming that Twilight is "literally Hitler" notwithstanding... Chris said something that I think really highlights the current issue. Twilight isn't OOC. She isn't IC. She's BOTH. She's switching between IC and OOC, and it's... well, it's something I've seen before.

Has anyone else got stories about someone who kept swapping between IC and OOC, for whatever reason the player might have had?

(Also, the expressions on the last panel are hilarious. The three who are annoyed and frustrated with Twilight's behavior... and then the rock throwing begins and holy crap things just got physical. Also, I think that Tom is being depicted on the table by an actual rock from the garden. According to page 1096, anyway)
Jannard 20th Nov 2018, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
The closest I could think of was a player that always backpedaled on what everyone thought was IC bravado whenever he felt the DM was about to get his character in trouble for acting said bravado.
Hankroyd 21st Nov 2018, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
Became a running gag in campaigns I mastered.

Sometimes when a NPC caused problems to the PC, the players start talking about what to do.
I let the discussion going for about 30 seconds before intervening as the NPC. "I'm right here, and I won't let you steal my McGuffin or kill me you know."

The purpose was to make them understood that unless they have telepathy or use a foreign language, everything they discuss about how to deal with an in-game problem can be heard by people near them.
ThatGuest 20th Nov 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
This reminds me of a game I ran where one of the players insisted on having his familiar out at all times. The problem was he was really good at getting it killed too. So after a fight he'd plop himself down and refuse to move for two hours until he could summon it back. It eventually got to the point that the rest of the party would just leave him behind and continue the adventure without him.

..........He later started whining about not getting enough attention in the story.
Digo Dragon 20th Nov 2018, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
When I used to run D&D 3.5 I often noticed that spellcasters would forget about tracking their familiars. Like, they'll enchant a bag/pocket/robe with an extra-dimensional space and something that renews the breathable air inside, and then that's the last i'll ever see of the familiar for 4-5 sessions at a time. I don't don't declare the familiar dead from starvation/neglect, but I do bring it up every so often to use the familiars for something once in a while. Doesn't have to be combat since I know they're squishy; could be a messenger or scout.
ThatGuest 20th Nov 2018, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Well he used it more like a drone, trying to constantly send it ahead into danger to scout and usually got it killed, or he'd keep it by him when AoEs were flying around and it'd be in a fireball radius. He later said I had it out for him when he sent it down a trap filled hallway and it failed a save and got killed...again.
Digo Dragon 21st Nov 2018, 5:43 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yeah, if he's sending his familiar into danger, he has to accept the risks.
Wulfraed 20th Nov 2018, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
While I once (back in the late 80s/early 90s -- when I was still in an active group) had my characters /horse/ get killed. It was a long running session and we ended with the party camping for the night (to pick up at the next weeks session).

In the intervening week, I had the character (AD&D med-level Ranger) formulate some small letter that would be found by the rest of the party the "next morning" -- as I had my character leave in the night to find a replacement horse.

It should be mentioned that the horse had a "personality" that had developed as a sort of running gag (it didn't like being handled by others and managed to kick down stalls on a ferry once). Named "Catastrophe" -- the letter ended with a phrase like "I seek those who come after Catastrophe"

When the Range did rejoin the party, it was with a new horse (a stallion this time -- the Ranger was making arrangement to breed future replacements <G>) with very unusual training (neck rein, no bit, just a hackamore), named Disaster.
Shenkyei Rambo 20th Nov 2018, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
i lol'd
HappyEevee 20th Nov 2018, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
Hahaha, no throwing the prop rocks in the house! They're not foam!
obscurereader 20th Nov 2018, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
Oh jeez, I just realized: Twilight might become a musician in the future. She just rocked the house.

Sorry not sorry
ChaoticBrain 21st Nov 2018, 5:57 AM edit delete reply
How do you delete someone else's comment?
Hankroyd 21st Nov 2018, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
Time travel?
Newbiespud 21st Nov 2018, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
I gotta do it. Leave the spam to me (when I notice it and I'm at home).
Quade 21st Nov 2018, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
Some players get frustrated quickly dealing with situations where other players actively work against them, and honestly, I would have already walked away in Twilight's place between the sudden all powerful enemy who can do whatever they please removing all agency and every other player adding into the frustration.

If a player is getting that frustrated, them leaving would be the best outcome for all involved as it keeps them from getting heated and dragging everyone else down with it. It is also just kind of absurdly bad DMing to see how heated she is and make no attempt to talk to them about it, but that is just my opinion.
Scytale 22nd Nov 2018, 1:54 AM edit delete reply
100 % agreed.
Jannard 22nd Nov 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
Splyth 21st Nov 2018, 9:48 PM Lord Commander of the Grand Holy Order Of Nothing edit delete reply
I... Caught up. Dang it! Now I have to wait for new comics like everyone else 😥

Thanks Newbiespud for keeping this going. I really enjoy it