Page 1170 - MacGuffin Warranty

17th Jan 2019, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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MacGuffin Warranty
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th Jan 2019, 5:00 AM edit delete
Story Time! Any stories about "player precedent" being used against them later down the road?

It's been seven and a half years, so let me just say: Past Newbiespud, why in the world did you decide to make every 10th page extra long? Why did you do this to yourself?

In other news, I've made some changes to when this arc is going to end, so the deadline for guest comics has been extended to January 30th! That should give those of you with ambitious guest series a little more breathing room.

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



Greenhornet 17th Jan 2019, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Panels 4,5,+6.
I know it's the guest GM, but it's just like Discord to pop in with a left-handed compliment for his opponents.
FanOfMostEverything 17th Jan 2019, 5:57 AM edit delete reply
Oh, that's a clever way to fold in the Season 4 arc... though given that you've already used Cheese Sandwich, I suppose it won't be nearly so straightforward as a direct port.
Classic Steve 17th Jan 2019, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Also already used the Breezies.
Hankroyd 17th Jan 2019, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Some player seems to have spent too much time on TVTopes. :)
Digo 17th Jan 2019, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
See, Trixie counted on this when she fought Nightmare Moon and set the precident of just blowing up the villain. Because Friendship is Magic, but Explosions are Epic. :3
Redwings1340 17th Jan 2019, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I really like this page, not just because it's a really cool transition, but also because the dm and the players are applying the lessons they learned from this session. There's a lot of oc discussion here, and the players/gm are all being more willing to share what they're thinking.

If the rest of this arc were a good example of what not to do, this page is a good example of how to get things back on track.
Borg 17th Jan 2019, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
Ah. I gather you're tying in the keys from season 4, then?
Wulfraed 17th Jan 2019, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Just a non-sequitur comment: It took me second look to realize that was a candle flame, and not Twilight drooling...
Digo Dragon 17th Jan 2019, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well now I can't unsee that. :3
Dakkath 17th Jan 2019, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
I get the feeling we're going to end up with Magical Mystery Cure's swapped elements at some point.
Winged Cat 17th Jan 2019, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
A bit of a meta-example.

As I was recruiting players for the Pokemon game I am currently running, one of the would-be players stated that when I play games, I tend to break them (as in setting and rules), while when I run games, I expect players to break them (likewise).

I have subsequently run the campaign embracing the suggestion, forcing the players to think out of the box, question the setting conceits, and use (or make) tools as provided by the environment. They have pitted their team of trainers and pokemon against a Team that invaded and occupied their home region, an airship, ninja in a dance-fight, a giant cybertank and its army of person-sized tanks, a boiling sea of ghosts, trains and their tracks, the ocean itself, and an all-out war between armored cavalry and psychics to control a city (interrupted by the party's resolution to the aforementioned ghost sea) - to name just a few of their challenges. They are currently gearing up to fight off corruption in a town encased in glass to protect against acidic toxic vapors surrounding the town (which has discouraged people from just walking there, as evidenced by the skeletons, massively disrupting the region's pokemon trainer journeys: a lot of would-be trainers gave up rather than walk through acid to what would have been their second town). Next town, they challenge may be gravity, or at least the atmosphere, and there are a few towns left to go after that.
HappyEevee 17th Jan 2019, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Oooh, nice setup for the next arc! Looks like it's going to be fun!
DragonGeek 17th Jan 2019, 1:21 PM DragonGeek edit delete reply
What I love about this webcomic is that the conflict isn't only within in the story, and that there's another story going on with the players. It's a neat double layer.
Guest 17th Jan 2019, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
So if the elements can't stop Discord, what keeps him from 'tpk'ing the party to keep it that way?
Rastaba 17th Jan 2019, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
Simple. Where would the fun in that be? Chaos is only fun when there’s someone struggling against it. Otherwise it just becomes the very status quo chaos itself tries to usurp.
Aeshdan 18th Jan 2019, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
The Elements aren't disabled, just weakened. They can't drive him out, but he probably can't affect them directly either.
Archone 18th Jan 2019, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
The fact that a good GM is trying to challenge the party, not just kill the party? It's like the second season finale from "My Hero Academia," the final exams of the year. The students are forced to go up against their own teachers... who are not only wearing super-heavy bracelets to slow them down, but are also actively providing at least one way for the students to escape. They WANTED the students to pass their tests... but they needed the students to earn their passing grades.
Guest 17th Jan 2019, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
So..... my guess is Twilight is going first, and will result in her getting her wings.
Archone 18th Jan 2019, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
Why are they all glaring at Discord GM for giving them a genuine compliment? Including Spike - who is the Main GM NPC. Why is Main GM sharing in this wave of angry glaring at his friend for... praising them for doing well?
Newbiespud 18th Jan 2019, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Because the "to be fair" part implies "you hardly stood a chance in the first place" and "admirably" turned out to be "barely pulling back from the brink of tearing your own gaming group apart, no thanks to me."
Warlock 19th Jan 2019, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
If I recall right, the term for this action in a PC culture is a "microagression". I've always just called it a backhanded compliment, though. Same problem, it only praises them with a "condition".

Not to mention, "Given the circumstances" is another conditional that raises a lot of question. A player could easily take offense to this as it could imply that the party was "too inexperienced" or that ultimately it shoehorns them further by adding the circumstance that "the GM had to step in to save you all".

The problem with this isn't intent. You could debate to what degree his genuine purpose was to the end of days, but the issue is the word choice. He could have just said "You did well." or something along those lines.

But... telling them "good job, for a bunch of noobs" in more flowery words is still saying "good job"... "for a bunch of noobs". Even if that wasn't what he wanted to get across.
Archone 19th Jan 2019, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
...Wouldn't the "no thanks to me" part include the Main GM, who asked Discord GM for help, okayed the campaign concept, and also retained total authority throughout the entire session? That's scapegoating.

And the whole "you hardly stood a chance" bit is something I'm very familiar with. At the gym, when I've sparred with people who were vastly superior to me. They would play with me. Toy with me. It was humbling. It was frustrating. It was DEEPLY REWARDING, because I improved immensely by facing such challenges. Getting my butt kicked every session for three months straight by a champ did more for improving my technical skills than any amount of casual play with someone going easy on me.

(Also, Warlock... he said "you all performed quite admirably." Period. Then he added onto it when they all glared at him... which will make anyone feel uncomfortable)