Page 1208 - Insight Bait

16th Apr 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Insight Bait
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Newbiespud 16th Apr 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
I gotta admit - the more I pore over Season 8 for this arc, the more I kinda love it. I know the internet can talk about "objective show quality" until the heat-death of the universe, but I just personally love the characters they introduced, the things they tried, the places they went, and the way it set up its payoffs.

Really, it's just a lot of new toys in the fandom/narrative toybox, which is what it was always meant to be from a corporate standpoint... but as someone who is by necessity elbow deep in that toybox, I gotta admit there's some new things in the box I really like.

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



ANW 16th Apr 2019, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
If I remember correctly, we are currently on e5 of D&D.

What is your favorite and least favorite changes?
andreas002 16th Apr 2019, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
My favorite part of D&D 5e is its simplicity.
It's easy to get into and character creation/leveling is quick. There is less rules bloat for random corner cases compared to for example D&D 3.75 (Pathfinder)

My least favorite part of D&D 5e is its simplicity.
It has far too few options to really distinguish characters from each other. You make far less mechanically significant decisions compared to for example D&D 3.75 (Pathfinder).
Archone 16th Apr 2019, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Personally, I like game systems that are classless and offer plenty of room for customization... preferably in an easy and understandable format. People rip on 4th edition, but I've got some old books in my library for 1st and 2nd edition AD&D. As a little kid I played in games in that setting... THAC0's bad enough, but in 1st edition each individual weapon had a bonus or penalty to hit depending on what AC it was targeting.

Though to be honest, there are specific aspects of D&D that I never much cared for in the first place. Alignment's a big one - especially the way it gets implemented, with races listed as "(almost) always chaotic evil," which players generally interpret as "walking bags of loot and XP, murder without hesitation." Also, the magic system is based on an obscure fantasy book Gygax liked, with the "memorize spells and forget them after you cast" bit. I much prefer MP based systems, or the "each spell requires you to resist damage" mechanics from Shadowrun.

Of course, the Zeroth law and the tradition of house rules means that you don't have to have anything in your game you don't want to. It's not Major League Baseball, it's Calvinball! :)
Wulfraed 17th Apr 2019, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
"""game systems that are classless and offer plenty of room for customization"""

If this broken record may bounce tracks once again -- I'd have to recommend RuneQuest: no classes or experience points, three magic systems [spirit, divine/rune, sorcery (only first 2 in 2nd Edition); one can learn any and all forms], characters gain skills through the successful use of said skill [if you are a beginner with a 25% chance of success, and were successful, you have a 75% chance to increase it by a few points].

For most characters, Rune magic behaves somewhat like the "memorize/forget" -- one has to sacrifice POW to gain a one-use spell from the deity. Priests get multi-use ability (priest is not a "class" -- it requires mastery [>90% or so] in a few skills specific to the deity/cult, and having sacrificed POW (Closest D&D would be sacrificing Wisdom; POW is one of the few characteristics that can change over time)

Although if you don't want to learn the world of Glorantha you'll have to find an old copy of 3rd Edition [Avalon Hill boxed set and supplements] to get "Fantasy Earth"; Chaosium 2nd Edition, and the recently released 4th Edition are Glorantha-only ["Let sleeping dragons lie; especially if you've built your village on the side of one" -- during a war, the priest's managed to raise a dragon... Essentially an entire mountain range pulled away from the ground (this is part of the background history of Glorantha, not something one has gamed)].
Cliff Snowpeak 16th Apr 2019, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I really like the advantage system. It's simple, yet elegant, and is much easier on the brain than remembering a dozen different bonuses and penalties at the same time.
Jennifer 16th Apr 2019, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
I've been running Gateway, which basically just IS the advantage system and nothing else. Very easy to run and prep, which is good as I work with kids.
tipulsar85 16th Apr 2019, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
There are aspects like andreas002 that really make that question double edged.

Take for example Higher third party support. yes we're seeing a lot more of it, but only because of Hasbro's "Pink slip holiday Bonus" kinda gutted D&D's team over the course of over a decade. One of them moved on over to Magic just to keep his job.

Hardcover adventures from "WotC". Hooboy! Not all of them are of great quality, but it would be nice to have adventures on planes not directly tied to the fate of Faerun. Curse of Strahd, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, and the still in beta Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron are the only windows to what once was a vast multiverse.
Guest 16th Apr 2019, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
The new book "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" is going to contain Greyhawk adventures.

Also there has been more than one Spelljammer hint.
Digo 16th Apr 2019, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
I think 5e's simplicity has both good and bad points, but I believe the good outnumber the bad. I find it easier to add additional content to a simple base system rather than try and cut down parts of an overly complex system (I love the world building of Shadowrun, but it's system is so interconnected that cutting out something to simplify the rules is a pain in the cutie mark.)
Crisis 16th Apr 2019, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
I *love* the archetype/subclass system. It lets you broaden your horizons towards making a more unique character without having to bother with things like multiclassing or prestige classes.

Plus, it's *much* easier to homebrew a balanced and playable archetype than it is a full class.

...I think I have at least a dozen such subclasses I've homebrewed so far, with ideas for at least as many more.
Freemage 16th Apr 2019, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
It's not 4e. This is my single favorite thing about 5e.

It's what SHOULD have been done when they decided to deal with the excess complexity of 3.5. I enjoyed the greater complexity of character design of 3.x, but I understand that a lot of folks don't. And 5e still feels like D&D in a way that 4e never even approached.
Newbiespud 16th Apr 2019, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Now that I'm playing 5e a bit more regularly, I have one major criticism and that's the "user interface." I find that I have to look up something in the books a lot more often than I ever, ever did in 4th edition - both running and playing, even starting out as a newbie! Say what you will about the power card system, but at least all the text you needed in your moment-to-moment gameplay tended to be in a compact all-in-one form.

The information you need in 5e is just kinda scattered in a lot of places. Once you know all of it by heart, great, or if you can find an unofficial digital resource, great, but when you're learning and playing it on paper, you're just constantly flipping back and forth between pages.

Everything else I like and/or respect.
Crisis 16th Apr 2019, 7:02 PM edit delete reply
They've started publishing cards for easy reference of certain effects in 5e. Mostly spells, but I've seen a deck for monsters.
FanOfMostEverything 16th Apr 2019, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Agreed. I always appreciate getting new bits to play with in my pony stories. The Student Six represent a considerable amount of narrative potential.

Also, I do love the DM scrambling to come up with an alternative Skylight Lightverb.
Anvildude 16th Apr 2019, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Cozy Glow was terrifyingly adorable. And with such strong aspects of MLP 3.5 that I have to wonder if the creators deliberately played that up for her.
ThatGuest 16th Apr 2019, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'd already be rolling initiative even without knowledge of Cozy. "This is clearly a case of a character who outwardly looks innocent to gain love but is secretly more murderous than Jason Vorhees and has a basement full of really messed up shit. I'm putting one between her eyes."
Digo 16th Apr 2019, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
You make an excellent Applejack and I approve of your action. Too many DMs don't know what subtlety is when making "unassuming" villains.
Freelance 16th Apr 2019, 7:47 PM edit delete reply
The best way to counteract this would be to make them actually _not_ villains in order to subvert it all.

Young Fred: "And the actual perpetuator of the crime is... Red Herring!" -- Too many episodes of _A Pup Named Scooby-Doo_
Guest 16th Apr 2019, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
I don't get why they say "Headmare" in the show.

The title isn't "Headman" or "Headwoman" in real life, and Headmare isn't a pun.

Where they worried at the idea Twilight or Starlight would be called a title with "mistress" in it?
Digo Dragon 16th Apr 2019, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I think it's the pony version of the title "Headmaster"/"Headmistress". It could be that Hasbro didn't like the word 'mistress' getting associated with their brand.

Selling a "Headmistress Twilight" toy might give parents the wrong impression. XD
Robin Bobcat 16th Apr 2019, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
Worse, given what SOME PEOPLE have created out there, doing a quick Google search for the toy...
Cygnia 16th Apr 2019, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
"50 Shades of Neigh"? ;)
Akouma 16th Apr 2019, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
So with the fact that it was obviously supposed to be Twilight as headmare of the school, any stories of PCs recurring as NPCs or guest appearances? Because I've got a few.

So, one of my groups had this really huge, sprawling superhero universe we ran Mutants and Masterminds games in. (Well, DC Adventures technically, but it's the same system.) Each game was typically a few years ahead of the previous one, so unless a character actually died, they'd make little cameo appearances later. Imagine like Iron Man realizing he's fighting a magical villain, so he visits Dr. Strange for advice. That kind of thing. If the person who originated a character was in the room, they got to play the NPC, with GM approval on how hopeful or unhelpful they could be.

A really memorable time this happened for us was when we had unmasked the man who had been making a bunch of killer robots that had been the focus of the campaign and he turned out to be a PC the GM had played several games ago. This was almost the exact group as had played in that game, so we stepped away from the current PC's investigation plot to all our characters from the previous game to interrogate our old friend. Probably the best part was watching a mundane cop try to stop each of us in turn from entering the interrogation room. One guy turns into electricity and rides the wires into the room. Another jedi mind tricks the guard into letting him in. I teleport to my home dimension, then back into this one on the other side of the door. That poor cop.
Arix 16th Apr 2019, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
I played a character in one game, a lizardfolk fighter, whose backstory involved him being enslaved by a dragon before being freed by an intrepid group of adventurers.

After that campaign, I DM'ed a game in which the player characters stormed a dragon's lair and freed a bunch of lizardfolk slaves. Everyone kind of squeed a little when one of the freed slaves introduced himself.
Derpmind 16th Apr 2019, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
Yona PREFER ground, but Yona can still fly. Wings are under blanket.
terrycloth 16th Apr 2019, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Yaks are best at flying. Best direction is down, and Yaks always fly straight down. Smash ground when land.
Winged Cat 16th Apr 2019, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
That not flying, that falling...with style.
Dakkath 17th Apr 2019, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
I feel like there's a "buffalo wings" joke in here somewhere.
Guest 17th Apr 2019, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
Have we seen any Buffalo since they sold their ancestral territory for pies?

Weird there is none in the School of Friendship.
Guest 18th Apr 2019, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
Yes. Weird. Because certainly nothing... unfortunate... happened to them.
*Hides foalpox blanket*
MythicFox 16th Apr 2019, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
While I've always been of the opinion that the show peaked at Season 5, I did enjoy 8 a great deal. Despite where it came from, OOC, I enjoyed the addition of the school and the Student 6. It provided a bit of worldbuilding, I liked the new characters, and Neighsay was a breath of fresh air, villain-wise.
Crystal Ball 16th Apr 2019, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
I have a feeling that they are going to roll for initiative to attack Cozy, about the reason, say "I feel something evil"
Big Bad Egg Salad 16th Apr 2019, 9:22 PM edit delete reply
Starlight being slapped in as a last second note?

Almost like how the real one feels...
Hariman 17th Apr 2019, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
I think Season 8 had a few really awful episodes, a variety of decent episodes, and a few stand out GREAT episodes.

I also think that a number of the critics are being too harsh, and finding the worst ways to interpret events.
Guest 17th Apr 2019, 1:05 AM edit delete reply
Sandbar: "Can I use my Crimimal Background's feature to buy cheaper Alchemist's Fire?"

DM: "..."

Trixie: "Alchemist's Fire, eh? Wanna buy a hint of Trixie's flare?" *Pannel of Trixie's sold-in-a-backalley-at-midnight firework*