Page 1165 - Pushing One's Luck

5th Jan 2019, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Pushing One's Luck
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Jan 2019, 5:00 AM edit delete
We get it, Rainbow, you did a pretty awesome job in this session. ...Doesn't quite justify giving the rest of the party a miniature heart attack.

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ANW 5th Jan 2019, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
Rainbow Dash, not cool.
Speaking of curses, which one was your favorite.
ZhonLord 5th Jan 2019, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I liked DiscorDM's version of Applejack's curse. "Never reveal the truth" is way stronger and more accurate than just "sometime's a lie is easier to take".

Plus the ways she had to gaslight as people figured out what was going on were great.
Vegetalss4 5th Jan 2019, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
I had one problem with it, namely that the truth is a lot broader than just things people say, and that as a result Applejack revealed the truth all the damn time during this session.

The very first thing she did after being cursed was revealing as true that she hadn't lost her voice to Twilight, to give an example.
She revealed millions of such truths, and really there isn't any way to avoid revealing truths except by not doing anything anywhere that anyone would notice.
Digo Dragon 5th Jan 2019, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I disagree. That was a pretty good troll on RD's part.
albedoequals1 5th Jan 2019, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Yes, that was great. A little humor to break the mood is just what they needed, even if it's annoying.
Tyrantviewer 5th Jan 2019, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
"the Truth" is the key part here, she couldn't purposefully reveal the truth, which could refer to the information she got before the curse, or, just in general, she did reveal information, that is impossible to avoid while interacting with others, but she couldn't reveal any factual pertinent information- or rather, Applejacks's metagaming backfired not only in taking the deal that got her cursed, but in how she ended up overthinking things and ended up playing into it, she was so distracted simultaneously sticking to the curse and trying to think of a way to over come it that she couldn't do either fully, but that did keep her mum on the important info, and generally unhelpful
evileeyore 6th Jan 2019, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
Rainbow Dash's curse was the best, because she really was awesome this episode. And she totes deserves to rub their faces in it a bit.
you know that guy 5th Jan 2019, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
But now Rainbow will not have her awesomeness removed.
Classic Steve 5th Jan 2019, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'd let her have this moment so she'd spend the rest of the game wishing she hadn't.
Needling Haystacks 7th Jan 2019, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
It would have been appropriate to remove her awesomeness for the rest of the session, methinks. :P
Scytale 5th Jan 2019, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
C'mon, she behaved the whole session instead of going for Chaotic Evil stupidness, let her have it.
Space Jawa 5th Jan 2019, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
I'm on Rainbow Dash's side on this one.
Rastaba 6th Jan 2019, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
The Old One 5th Jan 2019, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
Is there anyone who can say they truly would not have done the same thing? I know I couldn't have passed on that.

The only thing missing was that "YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" from that show that did that.
Needling Haystacks 7th Jan 2019, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
@The Old One: CSI Miami.

From the song "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who
TheStratovarian 5th Jan 2019, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Timing can be an art form, on both sides of the fence.

Still, its got a levity to it, the way of things. And im happy to see it because of that. The discord aspects, well, erf.

They had some fatigue in them, but its pulling out, and into better waters. So always happy to see that.
XScarredHeart 5th Jan 2019, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Round 2? 5th Jan 2019, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
So, now that everyone is healed, is time for Round 2 against the Super Robot of the Future (Alias Discord) that the prophet crusaders created time ago?
HappyEevee 5th Jan 2019, 5:50 PM edit delete reply
Hahahahahaha, good one, RD!
Hariman 5th Jan 2019, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
No, Rainbow Dash. Because you were a butt about it.
Tempestfury 6th Jan 2019, 2:00 AM edit delete reply
Anyone else been looking over Discord's interactions with the group recently and be sad he turned off his empathy when being Discord? I honestly think he's a great guy that has potential to be an amazing DM if he isn't stuck to this one style
Archone 6th Jan 2019, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
You kinda nailed it on the head there. Discord GM is not Discord GMNPC. The NPC Discord is literally the big bad of the campaign. The villain that Main GM asked for. Big bad villains do not show empathy, as a general rule (or when they do, it's condescending fake compassion like Thanos complementing the heroes even as he continues to commit genocide). Big bad villains kick puppies and do terrible things, because it's part of the job description:
Troubleshooter 6th Jan 2019, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
And by refusing to adjust his style when it became clear that it was causing problems, he has proven to be bad at his job.
Guest 6th Jan 2019, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
I'd say his biggest failing was being oblivious of the obvious problem, because he turned off his empathy.

Not so much "bad at his job" as "bad for this group".
Archone 6th Jan 2019, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
And once again there's the insistence that he's the bad guy. As I just stated, Discord GM is not Discord NPC. Main GM is friends with Discord GM. I do not think Main GM would be friends with someone like Discord NPC.
Talyn 6th Jan 2019, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I think the problem does lie there, though. He seems genuinely proud of what he did, and unsurprised at the strife it's caused, and remember his thought on the matter wasn't 'guess it doesn't work for this group' but 'when you ran into it, you flourished!'

Some GMs work for some groups, some don't. I know groups who are happy to get plot-railroaded super hard as long as they get to stabby and steal across the countryside. Other groups want to do more with the campaign world than the GM does.

The problem is just on who recognizes whether things fit or not, and it's pretty clear that while DiscordGM recognizes it, it doesn't sound like he's particularly contrite about it. "I'm not the problem, your party is."
obscurereader 6th Jan 2019, 7:04 PM edit delete reply
While the continued misrepresentation here is annoying as usual (ex: Troubleshooter said DiscordGM was, "bad at his job," not that he was a bad guy, and the guest said he was "being oblivious of the obvious problem, because he turned off his empathy." and that he was, "Not so much "bad at his job" as "bad for this group".", not that he was a bad guy), I do find it amusing that you're finally admitting that Discord GMNPC (or as I like to call him, Discord the character) is a villain, Archone. I still remember when you tried to argue he was a "nonviolent trickster" and not a villain! Yay, progress?
Newbiespud 6th Jan 2019, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
I'm not exactly trying to paint Discord as an irredeemable monster of a human being who only exists to be evil, but the hints of apologism are starting to get a little blatant and weird.

Discord saw the challenge of breaking up a powerful, magical friendship and applied all his instincts and knowledge to the task - at the expense of any empathy to the group that didn't serve his goal of setting up the antagonist. It was the main DM's idea, but Discord GM was all too eager for it, and had to be directly told to back off.

None of this discussion is changing how I've written or how I'm writing Discord and the arc around him, to be clear. It's more complicated than "Discord GM is evil." The blame is shared with the main DM too. But Discord GM, for all he provided to the session, was in the wrong in this situation, in this group, because of his actions, choices, and personality. That's the official ruling, and the original intent from the beginning.
Archone 7th Jan 2019, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Spud... it's not apologism. It's the fact that Discord GM doesn't seem to have done anything particularly wrong. I've seen GMs (and players) be genuinely horrible. Sometimes the character who was supposed to be in the wrong... doesn't seem to be in the wrong, to a lot of the readers. This isn't defending his wrongdoings... it's saying that he doesn't seem to have done much wrong.

(or maybe it's just me, because I've dealt with GMs who were petty, insulting, capricious, etc. Compared to them, Discord GM seems like someone I'd enjoy being a player for. You might have achieved this: )
GrayGriffin 7th Jan 2019, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
"A lot of the readers." You're pretty much the only person left saying DiscorDM hasn't done much wrong.

Petty - Curses Fluttershy for speaking back to him in-character. Even he admits this was wrong.
Insulting - We can argue all day about how IC or OOC he was, but it's obvious a lot of his comments hit home a bit too hard.
Capricious - He's literally playing a god of chaos who does random things and keeps throwing random effects at the players.
Toric 7th Jan 2019, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
Noun. apologism (plural apologisms) A defence or excuse; a speech or written answer made to justify someone.

Archone, the last few months' worth of comments have consisted of posts identifying behavior that viewers have felt was at the least inappropriate for the setting and at worst outright malicious, swiftly followed by posts (such as yours, above) saying he did NOTHING wrong. Saying someone did nothing wrong or excusing the things they do as being appropriate despite obvious feelings to the contrary is the literal definition of apologism.

You are arguing with the AUTHOR about the in-world justification of THEIR CHARACTER, and whether that character has done anything wrong. You are excusing Discord's behavior in part because, as you say above, "I've seen GMs (and players) be genuinely horrible." Your experience with a thing does not give you the sole right to judge the thing, nor does it render the thing a non-issue because you've seen worse. Even if Discord had no bad intentions, the problems that arose with this session sprang in part from his behavior. Either he deliberately caused these problems, failed to notice them in a role that required him too, or he DID NOT CARE he was causing them. All of those things are "doing something wrong" in the situation DiscordGM was in.
Archone 7th Jan 2019, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
I'm not trying to excuse anything. Or even saying that his behavior "wasn't that bad." I'm saying I didn't see him do anything except... what he was specifically asked to do.

How many people here have ever worked in a job where they were told to do something, and then followed instructions... and then got yelled at because they were given inaccurate instructions?
"Here's your table you asked me to build."
"This isn't the right kind of table! I wanted the kind of table that's really tall and has lots of drawers underneath!"
"...You mean a chest of drawers?"
"Yes! You're stupid for not understanding what I wanted!"

He was asked to do something by his friend, Main GM. He did so. He only became petty once, when a player started metagaming to attack him personally rather than the NPC her character was interacting with. He then apologized to the player during the intermission, and the player apologized for her own misbehavior. He put a great deal of work into creating a customized roleplaying campaign for his friend's friends, people whom he has never even met before. If doing exactly what he was asked to do was wrong, then the fault lays with the Main GM. Frankly, he's behaving quite civilized about everything, given the way he's being given the boot.

And yes, I am arguing with the author. It's called "critique." Readers give feedback. The smart thing to do is acknowledge the feedback, consider it, and either agree or disagree with it. It's not insulting to critique a work. All I have said here to Spud is "this character that you intended to be seen as clearly in the wrong, does not appear to be clearly in the wrong."
GrayGriffin 7th Jan 2019, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
If you want to use that metaphor, it's more like someone being asked to make a table and adding multiple shelves and drawers and various hidden compartments to it. Enough that it makes using the table difficult. Sure, it's a table and it has a bunch of cool stuff, but it's very bad at actually fulfilling the purpose of a table, which is to sit at it and work.
Mr Wednesday 7th Jan 2019, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Archone, I find this pretty arrogant of you. Everyone else here has presented a modified opinion since the situation started to turn around, but you haven’t budged an inch since October.

So you’re saying that since DiscorDM was following somebody’s orders, that makes it okay? You might wanna veer away from there at full steam. Main GM is at fault too, but has so far owned their actions and is trying to correct them.

Yes, DiscorDM put in a lot of work. That doesn’t negate the effects of his actions. His efforts would be better appreciated if he had remembered to tailor the full experience to his players. There’s challenge here, attacks on their playstyles and foibles, but very little in the way of reward. Nothing specific to what AJ or Twi or Pinkie or Rarity really GET out of roleplaying. Now I understand how you see the curses themselves as rewards, but the COMMENTERS, AUTHOR, and actual TEXT support the opposite idea, that nobody was really having fun, or not enough to justify the unpleasantness. On top of that, the curses were so heavy-handed in their delivery that they came off as judgements: “AJ metagames too much” “Twi doesn’t really get the point of roleplaying”, things like that. DiscorDM wasn’t really passing judgement, but his inability to make that clear is ALSO a mistake.

And yes, it’s HARD to acknowledge that what seemed like a great campaign has fizzled between paper and table, but ignoring the situation and forging ahead is never the right call. Lack of empathy is never a virtue of roleplaying—it isn’t a sign of DiscorDM’s skill, it’s a sign that he made a serious mistake and didn’t notice until it was pointed out by his friend.

I’m pleased to see that the last intermission seems to have brought DiscorDM back to reality. Now he’s taking player input, like he’s supposed to, and generally being much less obstructive. I am happy to see that he has corrected his behavior and this session will end on a good note. As Newbiespud had already said, DiscorDM isn’t evil. It’s been a long time since I believed that. If he’s as amazing as you think he is, Archone, he should be able to accept criticism from his players. Moreover, an honest appraisal of this session demands acknowledgement that he was at least somewhat at fault.

For the record, you do yourself no favours by giving condescending lectures on the nature of critique. For starters, arguing like this and real critique are not equivalent. Next, Newbiespud isn’t required to take your critique. Nor mine. How messed up would it be if we could dictate terms to him about what should happen next? Further, what you’re offering as criticism is mostly opinion and little evidence. Alternate points of view are always great to have, but something to back it up is better. You’ve gone past stating your critique to being contrary.

You once said I was trying to act like a wise professor. A nice assessment even if you meant it in a nasty spirit. If that’s true, then right now you’re that one student every teacher has met, who breezes in and tries to hijack the class.
Archone 7th Jan 2019, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
At no point did I ever suggest Discord GMNPC was a good guy. He was the antagonist. He was brought in to antagonize. That is what antagonists do.

I DID point out how, even as far as that goes, he was an antagonist who wasn't actually killing people or harming innocents (note: I said that prior to the attack on Cloudsdale).
Guest 7th Jan 2019, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
Oh, good. A page that has almost nothing to do with Discord, the living conflict ball…or really anything important, just RD having her obligatory RD moment…and the comments are full of more quasi-debate, borderline bullying, and condescension, with the ever-present top-notch moderation. Such a healthy community, always welcome to discussion, as with most pony-related works. You know. The show about, essentially, conflict resolution.

Ah, irony, you old so-and-so, good to see you again.
Newbiespud 7th Jan 2019, 10:59 PM edit delete reply
<sigh> Yeah, that's accurate. Touche.
Tempestfury 10th Jan 2019, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Considering it was my quip that started all this, I feel somewhat responsible... even though my entire point was 'Man, imagine what DiscordGM could have been like if he wasn't in the wrong'?
Mr Wednesday 11th Jan 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Tempestfury, that makes total sense. I think it came across. I also agree with the point you were making, that working in good faith, DiscorDM could create an amazing session for this group that everybody could enjoy all the way through.

Though it would have to come after they the players and we the audience had a little space from this session.