Page 1284 - Low Barrier to Entry

10th Oct 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Low Barrier to Entry
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Oct 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
As absurd a concept as she is, as much as her existence as a character is an ironic, genre-poking joke in a way... this right here, in so many words, is what makes Cozy Glow sinister to me. She basically knows she's in a cutesy fantasy world and that everyone else in it has more heart than sense. So she knows exactly how to hack the system.

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



ANW 10th Oct 2019, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Before I get to Story Time, I have a webcomic to recommend.
Order of the Stick.
Stick figure based comic, who's main comedy is making fun of D&D.
While having 3.5 D&D adventures themselves.
LazerWulf 10th Oct 2019, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
I will second this recommendation, with the caveat that the archive is nearly 1200 strips at this point, and that by now they've mostly transitioned away from poking fun at the mechanics of D&D in favor of an actual plot, though the bard is still very self-aware of story tropes, and will lean against the fourth wall every now and again.
Cyborg7221 10th Oct 2019, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
I'm with Lazerwulf (cool name, btw). Great comic, but it's not really that strong on the overt parody these days.

That said, the complex epic fantasy adventure that it's evolved INTO is still rooted in heightened awareness of genre conventions. And the setting is still very much "what if the entire story world ACTUALLY followed the logic of D&D rules-as-written." Those underpinnings never change.

But while it can still be laugh-out-loud funny at times, the gags are now frequently punctuated by moments of genuine pathos that lend meaning to the comedy. The characters have evolved surprising depth, not beyond their archetypes, but within them; reminding us why these types of heroes became iconic in the first place.

Also, if you take a bird's-eye-view at how the arcs connect to each other, the antagonists are all basically a bunch of rules lawyers operating at vastly different scales: a dungeon, a court of law, warring kingdoms, a clerical democratic convention, the tapestry of reality itself. It's like, what if you applied the logic of gameplay to something vaguely resembling real-world praxis of law, politics, or religion, and then threw a bunch of adventurers into the mix? How would that play out? And that makes it a fascinating text in its own right. The story does NOT rely solely on humor to remain compelling.

Honestly, I think it's a genuine masterpiece of its medium. No question.
Guest 10th Oct 2019, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
I'll fourth this, but we probably shouldn't be talking about this here. Take it to the OotS forums over at
werefrog 11th Oct 2019, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
If we're recommending other "gaming" comics, The Werefrog recommend Weregeek (no relation).

It's about a group of gamers and it follows their real life as well as in games. Also, when they geek out, they get super powers to help defend them from geek hunters. When their powers awaken, it's called being a weregeek. At one point, they even manage to get a football jock to geek out on football, releasing his inner weregeek.
Princess Celestia 10th Oct 2019, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Because someone already did, dear Cozy. What? You didn't suspect me? Of course not. Muhaaahahaha!
albedoequals1 10th Oct 2019, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
The great thing about a proper friendship-based conquest (also known as a diplomacy victory) is that if you do it right, nobody minds. :p
Winged Cat 10th Oct 2019, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Which is exactly the part Cozy got wrong, and Celestia got right: Cozy left something for ponies to object to, by doing it first and foremost for herself.

If only Cozy had thought to apprentice herself to Celestia directly. She might even have risen to be an heir, or at least worthy competition for Twilight.
ANW 10th Oct 2019, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
What is the most interesting/unique monster your group has ever tamed?
albedoequals1 10th Oct 2019, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
I've been in groups that befriended a succubus, an animated marble statue, and a entity made out of pure magic, among other things
Sanne 10th Oct 2019, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
The first character I ever played was a ranger who managed to tame a vicious, man-eating Utahraptor that had been kept in a cursed circus and only fed human meat.

I made him my animal companion. His name was Randall.
Blyndpwn 10th Oct 2019, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
"Utahraptor"? I've never heard of such a beast before.
Anvildude 10th Oct 2019, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
Essentially what the Jurassic Park raptors were. Actual Velociraptors were chicken-sized.
Digo 10th Oct 2019, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
For me, it was my Rule 69 clone. Why the mad scientist changed the gender I'll never know (he died in the lab explosion thanks to us).

For context, my character was a large fire-breathing dragon here. :3
Guest 10th Oct 2019, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
I once made a Tarn Linnorm into a kitten with baleful polymorph. It got to keep its lava breath.
Freelance 10th Oct 2019, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
A couple of rocs. Our party had the levels to start facing them, but not really the manpower to defeat them, especially while on their backs/claws while flying. I was looking at their entry in the MM when I noticed (a) they had animal-level intellect, and (b) not technically magical creatures. This is when I, a ranger, used my Animal Empathy on it.

And that's the story of how our team's animal menagerie began. Still not sure when/how we collected the basilisks.
Zorro362 12th Oct 2019, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
My group has. Tamed/befriended so many creatures. It’s hard to pick just one......but I think I would go with the time in. A castle rave loft campaign, we managed to tame not one but 2 t-Rex before level ten. (Thanks to several luck crits) nothing quite like the looks of sheer surprise and dawning horror on an enemies face when they see you riding a T. rex into battle .
Alias Unknown 12th Oct 2019, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
I have to deal with my party making a clockwork dragon. Does that count?
Ether Space 12th Oct 2019, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
As a halfling bard, I have hatched 3 red dragons and am raising them as my children, tamed 2 red drakes because I smelled like red dragon ( and I rolled high), and a fae dryad that I learned the true name of.
Uh... I also have a sentient sword with the mannerisms of Pyrrah from RWBY. Does that count?
Digo 10th Oct 2019, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Cozy is pretty interesting that she has that genre-savvy knowledge of weaponizing friendship because it is the most powerful type of magic in Equestria.

I assume that's why outside powers try to invade and take over, but usually they fail to understand how the magic works. Cozy is on a better level, being a pony that got lessons on it.
Joe the Rat 10th Oct 2019, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Genre Savvy is one of the most powerful abilities in fiction.
ANW 10th Oct 2019, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Unless it's Wrong Genre Savvy.
Or the monster take you out first because of being Genre Savvy.
jdb1984 10th Oct 2019, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Until I found out she wasn't truly evil, I was planning to have Oleander (yes, from Them's Fighting Herds) have a go at taking over Equestria
Composer99 10th Oct 2019, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
I think it's telling that you chose for Cozy to say that "every creature is too nice and gullible to be trusted" with the power of friendship.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that it's usually the case that someone is thought to be untrustworthy with power when they are corrupt, conceited, or cruel.

There is something to be said for her view that being "too nice and gullible" is also not a desirable quality for those who possess power.

Where Cozy shows how she herself has gone wrong is in the final panel: she doesn't want everycreature to be wise and discerning with the power that they are "too nice and gullible to be trusted with" - she wants to take that power for herself.
Greenhornet 10th Oct 2019, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
She's so refreshingly HONEST about wanting total power that I can't be mad at her!
Hankroyd 10th Oct 2019, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Let's be honext. Crazy Glue has a point.
BackSet 10th Oct 2019, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Her cutie mark is a rook. I just noticed that. Her cutie mark is a frikken chess piece! A chess piece! How did nopony see this coming! Even if you assumed it just meant she's good at chess, it's red! Which completely clashes with her color scheme!
Winged Cat 10th Oct 2019, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
If she's a rook, who's her queen and king?
Newbiespud 10th Oct 2019, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
Chrysalis and Tirek?
Warlock 10th Oct 2019, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Or it could just as easily be the fact that most people forget Rook is also a bird (hence why towers became rookeries). Which doesn't mean much, until you realize that they are on par with the Jackdaw and Magpie fame for stealing things.

Which is why Rook is also a verb meaning to defraud, overcharge, swindle, or steal. Which is exactly what she does.

Or, if you're really going for an odd stretch, the piece is known also as a castle. Which is a bastion of power designed to impose law over the land by instilling a fortifed position, while simultaneously throwing up artificial barricades (walls) to prevent outsiders from getting close. Castles are of course, outdated by modern standards, much like the pony herself (we know nothing of what she really feels, just that she has convictions, desires to rule, and has a very backward, almost political aspect towards friendship, or alliances of political convenience).
Some Bob 10th Oct 2019, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
To take it the extra mile, you could connect it up with The Tower in a Tarot deck- symbolizing hubris and subsequent comeuppance.
BackSet 10th Oct 2019, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
And just like that, an entire world of meaning is revealed.
Luminous Lead 10th Oct 2019, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
Cozy Glow seems kind of the Pokey Minch of this universe, huh? The kid next door that's unabashedly manipulative and evil.
Steel Resolve 11th Oct 2019, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
And that's why they had to take extreme measures with her. If you cannot reform a villain, you need to control them or contain them.
Luminous Lead 11th Oct 2019, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Wasn't starlight a villain though? She's heading the academy, so she's gotta be pretty reformed.
Composer99 11th Oct 2019, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Starlight was a villain in the show. In this comic, she was the DM's flimsy attempt to not have Twilight Sparkle be the head of the academy. (