Page 124 - Counterpoint Character

22nd May 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Counterpoint Character
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 22nd May 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Sometimes, those subtle hints get a little lost in transit. Sometimes NPCs appear more evil than they actually are. Sometimes- "YES, you can be absolutely sure she is a succubus in disguise, you do not need to get it in writing."

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



Guest 22nd May 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Hitting players over the head with tag names can be great, or even better when only a few are in on the joke.

I don't remember any off the top of my head, what are your favorite tag names or stories about tag names in your sessions guys?
Zuche 22nd May 2012, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I remember a 1st Edition party who knew they'd taken a wrong step in their community every time they encountered Sir Pompasas.
Vapor 22nd May 2012, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
I'm playing a mid-level pathfinder game with some friends from a forum, and we know a character in the game is bad news when he/she has a username from said forum instead of a name.

"Mad Mask takes out a bottle of Diet Coke and some Mentos. Everyone roll a reflex save... seriously. Stop laughing and throw a reflex save."

That one actually was a line attack that got three of us >.>
Anon 22nd May 2012, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
I've tried to be too clever with a character name at least once. Photojournalist in a zombie campaign named Victor Timothies. No one else got the joke until I broke it down. (And in one case, not even then, though he could have been trolling me by that point.)

Hint: shorten both names.
Digo 22nd May 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
My party doesn't take hints well. At one point the boss villain showed up with a puppy for the sole purpose of illustrating his willingness to "Kick puppies" because he was that evil.
"Do you need a demonstration?!"

When the party acted surprised as if this was a sudden change in the villain's alignment or something, the boss let the puppy go and walked away ranting.
Guest 22nd May 2012, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
We all know Angel is serious business.

darkwulf23 22nd May 2012, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
Well I guess it's time to get the bunny fire started.
Digo 22nd May 2012, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
"That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on."
Dragonfodder 23rd May 2012, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
"He's got fangs like... He can leap like... JUST LOOK AT THE BONES!"
Solario the Visored 6th Jun 2012, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
"Bouncing baby bunnies burning brightly..."
Lyntermas 22nd May 2012, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
Seeing this strip makes me wonder how "Putting Your Hoof Down" would work. I mean, the DM is willing to have Angel be a jerk to Fluttershy NOW, wait until he asks for the veggie salad with a cherry on top. Not to mention Ponyville's farmer's market declaring it "Take advantage of the less assertive ponies" day.
MirrorImage 22nd May 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
One of the One Piece characters come back using a totally legit 4e Minotaur and promptly starts pushing Fluttershy to fight back?
XandZero2 22nd May 2012, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Silly Lyntermas,

Everyday is "Take advantage of the less assertive ponies" day!

darkwulf23 22nd May 2012, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Yea, it's not like we don't have examples of the timid snapping and taking out all of their bottled up aggression on everyone... Oh wait
Zarhon 22nd May 2012, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
"Take advantage of the less assertive ponies" day is another way of saying "Adam Smith hates your guts".

Urthdigger 22nd May 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
This is why I like having DM NPCs go along with the party. Sometimes, you need someone who can say things like "GEE, MAYBE WE SHOULD USE THIS FIRE TRAP ON THAT OVERPOWERED, YET HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, BOSS MONSTER!" or other such things. Or even just to hammer the point of "Dude, that guy is a dick."
Azureink 22nd May 2012, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
I agree with this statement. I get quite sad when players don't think of these things.
Zarhon 22nd May 2012, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
And even sadder when they do opt to explode/destroy things as opposed to opening them with the artifact key, like they were supposed to.

Although when it comes to monsters, a GM *has* to be obvious. Otherwise your lvl 1 party will gleefully poke the hibernating Tarrasque in the eye.
Zeeth 22nd May 2012, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
I recall one Pathfinder game session where a newer player had his level 2 rogue walk all the way around a sleeping cave bear (size category: HUGE) in a side room of a dungeon, poking at it, trying to see if it's lying on anything important like treasure or a trap door.

He made all his rolls, but the DM as well as all the rest of us had to very strongly remind him that his character was doing this without support from the rest of us, and if the bear woke up from his continued poking, he probably was going to have to roll up a new character.

I like to call players like that "button pushers", because if you give them a button to push, they'll push it.
Chakat Firepaw 22nd May 2012, 6:01 PM edit delete reply
And right when the party starts to get them in hand, you throw in the following trap:

On the wall is a lever, next to it a sign: "For a case of fire, don't pull lever."
Joe 23rd May 2012, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
"I wash my hands of you, little switch."
Bronymous 22nd May 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
I thought missing one day on here was bad. I just got back from 5 days without internet access, and as expected I missed out on everything.

And now that I'm back, all I have to pick from is alignments, which we've done to death, and Angel, which I am staying right the hell away from after last time.

So... Hey, Im finally starting a new campaign today! So hopefully new stories should be forthcoming.
Digo 22nd May 2012, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
New campaign? Ooooh, what of?
System? Genre? Flavor of chips on the gaming table? :D
Kaleopolitus 22nd May 2012, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Flavor of edible chips on the gaming table?
Digo 23rd May 2012, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
My group tends to skimp on lunch, so in the late afternoon when we get together we demand snacks.
?Of course I use this as an opportunity to elect my 4-year old daughter to pick out the flavors of chips for the session and she's gotten some interesting choices and combinations.

Oh, and pretzels make awesome counters for large scale battles. XD
Zarhon 22nd May 2012, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
Colors of the miniatures? Drinking game rules? Designated GM bribery foods?

Although if we want stories, here's a good topic to focus on: Stupidly obvious things you or your players failed to notice or use during the campaign.

Zuche 22nd May 2012, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
Each other's names.

Telling NPCs, "I'm looking for the elf," in the middle of an elven community is a twenty minute stoppage of play penalty.
Limitless Zero 22nd May 2012, 3:37 PM edit delete reply
Limitless Zero
A while back there was this campaign called the Midnight Games. there was me (the gnomish wizard, kidnapped on my way home from school), the near ever present Jerry the Kobold (probably in a minor meat coma or something) and Morrigan the Half-Elf Battlemind and resident badass (because whenever my friend Daniel makes a character, it's always a million times better than the rest of us -_-). The idea was that we'd all been kidnapped and taken to this gladiatorial arena that was actually pretty poorly defined until we killed the super badass arena owner Maximillian Pegas- I mean Nox. When we hit our third fight we came across a party of gnomes. I fought just like the last couple of times and we pulled through okay, but apparently I didn't get that I was supposed to have some reservation against killing members of the same race even though Morrigan already gave my character the "this is survival, just kick some ass" speech. It was as of that moment that the DM decreed that I wasn't allowed any more character developement -_-
Bronymous 22nd May 2012, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Don't get too excited, its a basic DnD 3.5e set up to introduce new players to the basics of the game. And by new players, I mean supposedly two but only one showed up. The DM had us all pick a different standard race and a different standard class, so at least I'm playing something a little different than usual (Elf Ranger).

If the campaign continues and we get a few more players it should end up being pretty good.

I will note that in this first session, the DM decided to derail himself. No idea why, he just did.
darkwulf23 22nd May 2012, 11:05 PM edit delete reply
OK, I have to ask, how did your DM derail himself?
Bronymous 23rd May 2012, 2:00 AM edit delete reply
He was playing an NPC Dwarf Fighter who was "misguided neutral good", or something along those lines- basically an eccentric who, for some undisclosed reason, really liked killing Orcs. He didn't hate them or anything, just really liked killing them.

So anyway, the objective was a Golden Dragon Egg that we had to retrieve to pass the final exam fro the training academy we were all enrolled in. Having scouted a path through the woods earlier, I was leading the party to the intended destination when the Dwarf, receiving some signal from his War Pig, charged off in another direction. By the time we had caught up with him, he had ambushed and slaughtered a harmless Orc caravan.

This in turn led us off on a tangent where we- again for no known reason- massacred an entire farming village because they were, of course, Orcs.

There was no hidden plot point, no special items or gear for us to find, no one to talk to. Just went off and killed them. And once we had secured their stuff (including two children for servants), we went right back to looking for the Dragon egg.
darkwulf23 23rd May 2012, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Something tells me that one is going to come back and bite you in the ass.
Bronymous 23rd May 2012, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
Could be. Our cleric (new kid) didn't realize until way too late that he was actually devoted to the patron god of Orcs, and he had a developing moral dilemma through the rest of the session.

I do so hope it comes into play later.
Dwarfofdorf 22nd May 2012, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Heh. My current campaign is running Basic Roleplaying, and it's the DMs first go at using the system. I persuaded him to let me lose points in one stat to boost another in char creation. I promptly made an eighteen foot knight giant and tool all his SIZ points away and put them in strength. The DM didn't realise exactly what I'd done until the first time my cereal box sized character picked up a stagecoach and used it as a melee weapon.

He's been trying to kill of Bazinar the Six inch giant off since, with little success. The last trap involved big crushing wallplates. Bazinar stuck out his hands and blocked these three ton plates from killing everyone.

Last session the DM used "rocks fall, everyone dies" to try and get me. I picked the rest of the party in one hand and threw them out of the cave mouth we were in. Criticals rule.
MirrorImage 22nd May 2012, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
And now for a prompt detail...

ITT: Unusual Improved Weapons

How many of you have used your Gnome teammate for Improvised Thrown Weapons?
Digo 23rd May 2012, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
I've seen the party ranger weild a kobold as a 2-handed weapon once.
Akbar 23rd May 2012, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Which is why the tiny giant using a Knight as a melee is so deliciously ironic.
Gden 23rd May 2012, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
One of my most recent characters was an inquisitor (pathfinder campaign). He had catch off-guard, and throw anything (let's you wield improvised weapons and melee without penalty, and ranged respectively). He had a strong habit of wielding his enemies as weapons against other enemies. If those weren't readily available, he usually had a full bag of table legs available.
The_butcher 22nd May 2012, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
I once had them fight their way through a horrible electric deathtrap of a Wizards tower. I always described the high Quality of the furniture, the golden inlays and doorknobs, the silver candelabras and even a diamond-studded paperweight. And the party complained that the Monsters never dropped any gold. After they defused the Fantastic Nuke of the dead owner and getting out of there I had the Big Bad reveal that He followed them through the Dungeon, stole the Doorknobs and bought a +5 Armor, +3 Vorpal Sword and a Ring of Greater Regeneration.
The MunchKING 23rd May 2012, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
You describe how awesome the furnature is and what not, I'm going to think less about "How can I haul that off" and more like "I should totally claim this place oncce we defuse the Magic nuke".
Urthdigger 24th May 2012, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
I'm quite the opposite. I don't think the DMs ever expect me to go taking the scenery. In a recent campaign I was in, we were on a time limit of sorts racing to stop the big bad. Yet once a painting was described as being in the room, I mentioned using my sword to carefully cut it out of the frame, roll it up, and stick it in my pack. I proceeded to make like Spades Slick and try to remove every piece of art in the dungeon, either taking it with me or defacing it in the case of utterly horrid crap. Good times.
ADemonicPresence 22nd May 2012, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
one time my DM trapped two of us in a four room dungeon. we were using those pre-made map tile things and he rather constantly stated, "everything you see is there." two hours later, after more failed intelligence rolls than i'd care to mention, and LONG after we solved the secondary puzzle involving many traps and gadgets, we finally notice what the tiles actually represent. each one had stonework on the floor vaguely shaped like a letter. those letters were M, S, T, and Y. all we had to say was "this is MYST." and we'd have been free.
ADemonicPresence 22nd May 2012, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
ah, curses, wasn't logged in
CocoaNut 22nd May 2012, 11:11 PM edit delete reply
You want to know a great way to get rabbits to eat the amount they're supposed to?


Seriously. Rabbits are better off with lettuce and things like that. Carrots are root vegetables, which aren't part of a rabbit's natural diet. It's like giving people pure sucrose and wondering why they're all getting sick and dying.

So... yeah. To whom it may concern: Fluttershy is apparently not that good at taking care of animals.
Stairc 22nd May 2012, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
In Equestria, carrots are magic. Like friendship. They're part of everyday bunny diet.

Digo 23rd May 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
On the other hand, other episodes show Angel making/eating salads, so maybe this carrot is one of those mid-morning snack treats?
CocoaNut 23rd May 2012, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
The problem with that is that Fluttershy urges him to eat the ENTIRE carrot.

When was the last time you saw a parent tell their kid to eat the ENTIRE candy bar?

Of course, they urge their kids to eat all their corn or their cereal or things like that, but that's aside from the point. That's just ignorance in action.

I prefer to take the Doyalist approach and just say that Meghan McCarthy didn't know much about rabbit nutrition. Or maybe it's just a Looney Tunes reference.
Stairc 22nd May 2012, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
*laughs* That WAS funny Newbiespud! I'd forgotten about that moment in our D&D game you're referencing. Did Graeme literally try to get the Succubus Estra to put it in writing, or did he just want to see her true form?
Newbiespud 23rd May 2012, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, the Eberron campaign. He offered to show Estra his aberrant dragonmark in exchange for seeing her true form - immediately after they'd concluded the last of their business with her. Everyone else at the table knew she was a succubus, what with three-quarters of the party unnaturally falling head-over-heels for her the second they walked in! He gave her what was essentially blackmail material in exchange for making absolutely sure of something they could already infer!

That's pretty much my story for this comic.
Crimson Doom 23rd May 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Heh heh, irony. Twilight stole Applejack's line.
Fortunately, my players are smart enough to not miss obvious stuff. Although one of them makes it a point that her characters never remember anyone's name. Ever.
Digo 23rd May 2012, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
I envy your players, Crimson Doom. :D

My party always misses the hints unless I drive it home with a hammer:

DM (me): "You all walk into the study. There is a fireplace to your right with a warm fire burning, shining off the empty polished marble mantle and the equally polished poker. To your left are book shelves of old dusty books, mostly romantic fiction."

Player 1: "I'm checking out the books."
Player 2: "Me too, must be a secret bookshelf."
Player 3: "I'm checking the cushions for loose change!"
Player 4: "I'll keep a watch out for Strahd coming back."

DM (me): "You notice nothing odd about the bookshelf, it is bolted to the wall. The books are nothing unusual, the standard novels you all know. You find no money in the cushions. The only glittery metal here is that pristine poker by the fire place."

Player 1: "I'll take a couple of history books."
Player 2: "I'll check the shelves again for secrets."

DM (me): "Still no secrets. Nothing unusual in this room except for that very clean as if unused poker by the fireplace."

Player 4: "Does the mantle have anything unusual on it? Like china plates?"

DM (me): "No, there's nothing on it."
Player 3: "Hmm... I dunno."
Player 4: "Wait, does Strahd have Darkvision? If he has Darkvision then he doesn't need the fireplace right?"

DM (me): "Have you all not noticed that the poker is in prestine condition?! As if it was never used to stoke a fire even though this fire had to be stoked regularly if you were using it for some reason? Anyone want to check the poker?"

Player 1: "I check the poker?"
DM (me): "VERY GOOD. You find the secret passage."
the_butcher 23rd May 2012, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
You should make a tally for each time you drop a hint like that, then let your Party fail and show them the tally. I started doing that after the Doorknob incident.
Digo 23rd May 2012, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
Maybe I should!

Although the party brawler never leaves a valuable doorknob behind. Or really, a valuable anything if he can put the fire out or pry it off the nail.
the_butcher 23rd May 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Then just make the levers to your secret passages silver, duh?
Digo 23rd May 2012, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
Somehow I see the party just taking the levers and not triggering the mechanism to get at the secrets. XD
the_butcher 23rd May 2012, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
mh... Like, "As you try to take the poker a Secret Mechanism activates." "I rolled a nat twenty on my reflex save and avoided taking it as soon as I noticed something wrong. I cast Maximized fire Dagger and use it like a blowtorch to get the lever without triggering the mechanism."
Appkes 23rd May 2012, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
Heh. Been playing Skyrim recently and it shows.

GM: the room contains no treasure
Me: I take the plates, the food, the torches, the rug, and the candles.
xuincherguixe 23rd May 2012, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
This opens up a lot of interesting things itself.

In a realistic game, there's only so much of a market for any particular thing. How many plates does a person really need after all?

The other thing to keep in mind, is how much can you carry? Obviously, you want to prioritize the valuable stuff. But even then there can be encumbrance issues. If all you'd get for the 400 pounds of junk is an extra gold piece on top of another thousand pieces of gold? All of that hassle probably isn't worth it. Both in character and in the metagame sense of how long it takes to sort that out.

That being said, a true adventurer realizes that treasure doesn't always come solely in the form of shiny objects. Even the doors are worth something really. Even knocked out sections of the dungeon wall do have some value.
Gerkuman 24th May 2012, 2:00 AM edit delete reply
Angel may be contrarian, but if Fluttershy hadn't told him what to do he wouldn't have stopped eating.

I guess he's going through a punk phase.
Aurabolt 25th May 2012, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Huh. I guess the DM doesn't like Fluttershy. Even though we all do. Not sure why-Angel does like her. Whateva.