Page 1161 - Training Flashback

27th Dec 2018, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Training Flashback
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 27th Dec 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete
Remember kids adults, what worked for you probably doesn't work for everybody and likely involved at least a little bit of what others might call targeted abuse that you were (for whatever reason) uniquely resilient to instead of vulnerable.

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



Khyrin 27th Dec 2018, 5:17 AM edit delete reply
So... DiscordGM is playing this off as teaching Celestia/SpikeGM a lesson, too.

Eh, Fair enough.
Guest 27th Dec 2018, 5:27 AM edit delete reply
Not really "teaching a lesson", IMO. More simply confidently stating "it worked for me as a DM and for you as a player, but not for your players, too bad, but I'm not bothered".
DeS_Tructive 27th Dec 2018, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
I agree with guest.
It's also reinforced (again), that DiscorDM was doing as instructed, and CelestiaDM having let it go on for longer than it should have.

That being said, I'm wondering if they're referring to the current OOC drama happening or the style DiscorDM runs the game. For all we know, the "pivotal moments" he's referring to could be carthartic sessions that ended in group members making new realizations about themselves.
Discord 27th Dec 2018, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
It seems my time has come to a close.
Time to release control of the account.
See you in the finale.
ANW 27th Dec 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Ooohh. My head, what hit me?
The last thing I remember was Discord introducing himself with the window of Luna's return.
How far back was that?
Digo Dragon 27th Dec 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Panel 4: The trademark Newbiespud sigh.

I feel a reverse of this discussion when I think back to my first campaign run on D&D 3.5 edition. My players think of it fondly as one of the best campaigns I ever did and I look back and think, 'Dang, I was really disorganized putting this hot mess together half the time.'
Smiles 27th Dec 2018, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
I've got a friend in the same boat. Ran a glorious campaign but can never convince him it was that great. That keeps happening
GrayGriffin 27th Dec 2018, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I feel MainGM should have brought some of his players for backup. I'm worried he'll slip too easily into deferring to DiscorDM as a "mentor" if they're left alone together.
I don't think so... 27th Dec 2018, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
DiscordDM repeat it many times 'it's your game and I'm your subordinate' sure, maybe he could have a couple of advice, but he seem happy to be in second plane and let SpikeGM do everything, if SpikeGM decides to ask, sure he could give a couple of suggestions or lessons, but in the end, he let SpikeGM make his own decisions.
GrayGriffin 27th Dec 2018, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
*sigh* He's done a bunch of stuff without consulting with main GM, there have been repeated incidents of main GM being surprised at his choices, main GM himself says that he got out of control. That doesn't look like "happy to be in second place" to me.
Digo 27th Dec 2018, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
"Happy to be in second place" is something you'll hear a lot from a manipulative co-GM.
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
@Digo Then it's a good thing that Discord GM didn't say that. There's no such thing as "second place" here because it's not a contest. Discord GM was asked to do something by a friend. He did it. It didn't turn out quite as well as expected, but it was still an interesting experience.
Balrighty 27th Dec 2018, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
I'm less worried about MainDM than I am DiscordDM. Sure, he says he's deferring to MainDM, but look at how this page starts. DiscordDM interrupts MainDM trying to say something twice in a row. Maybe it's still unintentional and nonmalicious on his part, but it nevertheless strikes me as controlling.
GD 27th Dec 2018, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
I think the ellipses in the second panel imply a trail-off in speech, rather than an interruption.

The hyphen in the third panel is definitely an interruption, but to me it seems more like an interruption to someone trying to say something they know is going to be awkward and uncomfortable. "You see, my group hates you."
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
You only bring someone for "backup" if you're afraid there's going to be a confrontation. I'm... very much relieved that Discord GM is still being presented the way he was introduced, as someone who answered a call from a friend by doing a lot of work to provide something new to his friend's campaign.
GrayGriffin 27th Dec 2018, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
I mean, mainGM's behavior in the first few panels makes it seem like he is worried about things getting confrontational. Furthermore, my main worry is not about confrontation or not, but the simple fact that mainGM has been shown to acquiesce to DiscorDM's behavior repeatedly and I'm worried about him falling into the same pattern without anyone else there. Furthermore, "backup" is always useful, even in a nonconfrontational setting, to make it clear that there are multiple people who share your opinion.
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
You bring backup for a confrontation. If you bring backup for a "nonconfrontational setting," you're bringing backup to a confrontation and lying about it with a straight face, because you don't want to acknowledge the truth of what you're doing. Even an intervention between friends is a confrontation. You confront. That is the definition of a confrontation.

And you're again rushing to assume the worst - that Main GM's wordings, the "ah, wells" and "I mean, it's," are indicative of fear of Discord GM's response rather than a normal person's discomfort with causing unhappiness for a friend. And yes, I'm well aware that I've been accused of rushing to assume the best of Discord GM... and I proudly embrace that description. I try to see the best in everybody.
Newbiespud 27th Dec 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
GrayGriffin's concern about slipping backwards is perfectly valid based on the established mentor/student/friendly relationship between the DM and DiscordGM, making it an element of tension in this scene.
Troubleshooter 29th Dec 2018, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
You've gone out of your way to assume the worst of Twilight more than once.
Digo 28th Dec 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Discord answered the call, but the GM here is realizing that he may have called the wrong person for the job. Discord's style doesn't seem quite right for this group.
Freelance 27th Dec 2018, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I just feel that a number of the issues might've been avoided if there was just a bit more communication between the two here to flesh out the details a bit. What would happen if a player didn't take the bait, like with Fluttershy? How would Discord react to the victory (would he stay to overhear the plans, or would he skip of laughing)? Let's not forget when the DM was surprised to learn DisDM would have allowed Discord to be petrified again.

From what I could tell, the only ones that weren't happy with this was Twi and AJ, what with their own styles of desiring control, and that ended up dragging the others down with them.

Maybe with the lessons learned, I'm seeing a one-on-one session of DisDM and Fluttershy--with DM's approval/oversight over Discord's reformation/alignment change, like how RD had a session of her own. (*DID* she ever finally get all that loot she was hoodwinked out of?)
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
That might very well happen... without Main GM's approval/oversight. "My friend will be showing up for the big climax next month. I... how long has it been since you guys saw him?"

"Oh, I just saw him yesterday for coffee. And... um... why are you guys looking at me like that...?"
GrayGriffin 27th Dec 2018, 4:19 PM edit delete reply
*facepalm* Newbiespud said on the last page that Fluttershy does not want to see DiscorDM regularly, and is relieved that he won't show up more. Seriously, this constant shipping of the two is just getting uncomfortable now. I'm a big fat Fluttercord shipper too, but the dynamic between the two of them in the show is completely different from the one in the comic, because the comic is not the show.
Malroth 28th Dec 2018, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
And unlike the show This flutters is a paranoid PTSD suffering abuse survivor who really needs to be under supervised therapy if she can't handle a fairly benign conversation with a member of the opposite gender.

Also her parents should probably be arrested for doing whatever they did that left her like this.
Digo 28th Dec 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Seems unfair to blame parents without knowing who/what caused the PTSD.
GrayGriffin 28th Dec 2018, 9:32 PM edit delete reply
oh my GOD. That was NOT a "fairly benign conversation." Literally even DiscorDM said he might have gone too far there. And I didn't know that apparently PTSD sufferers have to go to therapy forever all the time and aren't allowed any time to enjoy themselves or hang out with their friends doing activities that they like and that they have been proven to be able to handle. Remember that mainDM threw DiscorDM at the group without any warning.

EDIT: Also you seem to conveniently forget that Discord was the first one to flip out in that conversation, and Fluttershy was discussing her assessment of his tricks perfectly calmly.
Guest 27th Dec 2018, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
"From what I could tell, the only ones that weren't happy with this was Twi and AJ, what with their own styles of desiring control, and that ended up dragging the others down with them."

Fluttershy was not happy about it. She felt as if she was a mean person and blamed herself for it even as she went along the label she felt placed on her.

Pinkie Pie was not happy about it. She went for a joke, it fell flat with everyone, and she agonized about fixing it by going deeper into the joke.

Rarity was not happy about it. She would have been happy if it was a solo session of her cursed madness drama, but as it stood her attempts to indulge in it kept clashing with the others' actions, making both unpleasant.

So no, it's not just AJ and TP who dragged the others. Every one of them put on roller blades and went walking near a slope.
Guest 27th Dec 2018, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
I like to imagine that discorDM actually built that house of cards in panel 5 while they were waiting
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
That... does sound very accurate to what we've seen of him... :)
Guest 27th Dec 2018, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
Him literally building an house of card while MainDM is doubting the solidity of his campaign plans is an apt, if probably not intentional, metaphor.

Or it could be a metaphor for MainDM's opinion on his old DM's campaign.
Archone 27th Dec 2018, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
Or it could be a reference to his ability to maintain such a shaky and fragile situation long enough for it to grow into something impressive. And how Main GM lacks that same ability, but possesses his own abilities and qualities that he should focus on.

...Or it could just be Freud's cigar, because sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Rabblerouser 29th Dec 2018, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
the big question is, what are you ever going to do without dischord here to prop up and defend every post? will you be ok?
HappyEevee 27th Dec 2018, 10:04 PM Thriving in Adversity edit delete reply
I get both sides of this. Partially because I had a somewhat similar experience to the Main GM when I was learning tabletop - the group I started with, who took me under their collective wings and taught me how to play, are a hard & fast playing bunch of power gamers who know all the rules, enjoy building weird and min-maxed characters, and are extremely good at thinking outside the box and solving problems creatively.

As a new player, this presented many challenges. It was years (close to a decade, honestly) before I could build and play characters that could keep up with theirs. They had higher key stats, more useful abilities, and could always pull that last trick out of their butts when the GM thought he had them. It was intimidating, to say the least. I often felt like the tag-along character who just couldn't really contribute. And yet, it was fun. Gloriously fun. They never once talked down to me, made fun of my beginner builds, lectured me for mistakes, or made me feel unwelcome. They just swept me and my sibling up in their whirlwind of chaos and kept charging onwards toward insane and hilarious adventures.

In later years, when I began playing with other groups, I began to realize how much I had learned and that even though I still trail behind them in terms of power gaming, I have a pretty decent understanding of game systems, teamwork, strategy, and creativity which I learned from playing so long with them. And much like the Main GM, I want to share that glorious path to advanced adventures with the new players I sit at other tables with.

But not everyone learns the same way. Some newbies I've played with have done well in similar campaigns and are blossoming into talented gamers. Some have found they prefer a more sedate, less rules-oriented playstyle and left for other tables. I try to never hold anyone's playstyle or preferences against them (unless they're a party-betraying backstabbing jerk) and when I really want to roll my eyes and sigh at something a new player did, I remind myself of some particularly dumb things I did as a new player. We all started as newbies.

So I understand why the Main GM wanted to bring DiscorDM into this campaign but I also understand why it's not working well - he's just not a good fit for this group. I don't think this whole arc is so much about deciding who is most at fault and who to blame as much as it is about players (and GMs) discovering their own strengths, weaknesses, playstyles, faults, and issues. We all have them; the first step is Know Thyself. That's why I'm not interested in seeing any one (or several) characters blamed and shunned for this session catching fire; what's important is that the group stays friends and keeps playing, because that's what gaming is about.

Personally, I think DiscorDM would be a fun and challenging GM, but I've developed a pretty thick skin for tabletop and I can understand that other people may find his style and personality way too abrasive. That's why it's important to find groups you're comfortable with and have similar playstyles to. Because gaming should be fun. :)
Rakaydos 28th Dec 2018, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
Out of curiosity, how do you thing Discord would do as main GM for, say, Glynda/Cheese sandwich's group? Or, to delve into fan comics, Tricky's group?
Guest 28th Dec 2018, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
I think he would have 0 fun handling Glynda/Cheese's group, and it'd be mutual.

They want ultra-powerfest fights, and IIRC even have practice ones so they can get the optimization right for the "real" fights. DiscordDM seems to heavily prefer long storylines that has the players think beyond mechanics and stats.
HappyEevee 28th Dec 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
DiscorDM seems to value thinking out of the box and pushing his players to go beyond the simple rules of the game to creatively solve problems with a combination of unusually applied mechanics and good roleplay. I don't know enough about the other groups to comment, but I don't think he'd be a good fit for tables that either rely too heavily on the rules (min-maxed fight specialists) or are still learning the rules. DiscorDM seems to be an intelligent and aggressive GM who has grown bored with standard campaigns and wants to do weird, whacky stuff that pushes everyone to go beyond their usual game. High risk, high reward. Hilarious TPKs and amazing saves pulled out of the party's butts.

It's a style that works much better for experienced players who know what they're getting into and like the challenge.
Needling Haystacks 28th Dec 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
As the poet said "The world don't march to the beat of just one drum.
What might be right for you might not be right for everyone.
Different strokes, for different folks."

*Please read the above in an overly serious voice for maximum comedic effect.*
Balrighty 28th Dec 2018, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
I'm imagining it in the voice of Worf, all while he stares in Klingon.
Needling Haystacks 29th Dec 2018, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
That works even better than what I was imagining. Everybody do that. :P