Page 1440 - Fiendly Fire

8th Oct 2020, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Fiendly Fire
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Oct 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
When a gaming group gets enough experience that they start to know each other's motivations and boundaries, along with learning some best practices for handling the challenges of the table in a healthy way... that's when you start having consistently great improv and great games, I feel.

Not that there won't ever be friction even after that point, but it takes a long while just to set up a good foundation.

(And for anyone wondering, this is the precise reason why new players can't expect every campaign to turn out as amazing as Critical Role. They've been a gaming group for ages.)

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



Digo 8th Oct 2020, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I really dislike how often a GM will want their group to be just like Critical Role, but they fail to understand how CR got to where it is. You can't just copy/paste the same motions and expect the same level of experience. There's just so much more to it; the chemistry between players, their experience with acting, the style of campaign everyone wants... the money that CR invested into their production...
Jannard 8th Oct 2020, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
One needs only watch, like, half of their first campaign, and even noticing how long they had been doing it before they started streaming, one can still see the imperfections at the seams: the uncomfortable moments, the bad traits, occasional unwelcome intensity and/or cringey stuff. Even they had to learn to be a well-oiled roleplaying (and entertainmet) machine, although admittedly they were already quite far along that path when we got to meet them.
Hariman 8th Oct 2020, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
Letting villagers die to an undead giant because they're distracted by their own random whims...
Darkness2399 8th Oct 2020, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
Strange, for me it was usually encountering players who expected me as the DM to give them a game like it was from Critical Role. While I am sure the avenue of expectation works both ways, I have to say dealing with numerous people with the mindset focused on you is a lot more stressful than a singular person with that expectation. I've seen rookie DMs fold at a gathering that used to happen in real life because of people projecting those feelings. We had to actually put a note on our Discord server that stated that DMs or Players expecting the "Critical Role" experience should go elsewhere as it wasn't conducive to fun or engaging interactions or gameplay.
Otterfriend 8th Oct 2020, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Aren't the Critical Role folks professional actors, as well? Even without the show being scripted, they are presumably better trained at making their improv entertaining than most of us.
Kittoradra 8th Oct 2020, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm pretty sure they're all actors. I don't think I've seen Critical Role specifically, but I have a friend that enjoys it. They're actors, they've done improv, and they not only know each other well but communicate.

Plus, we only see the sessions. Who knows how much planning and discussion goes on between sessions, when there aren't any cameras! While it is fair to think "none", it's also not unreasonable to think that they might just have discussions about their characters, the setting, and what they're thinking about for the story and goals. I would think it's a lot easier to be entertaining when you have a good idea of what will happen
ChaosStar0 8th Oct 2020, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
To be honest I've never watched Critical Role. I've mostly just watched Spud's stuff.
Newbiespud 8th Oct 2020, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
I appreciate it!
terrycloth 8th Oct 2020, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
I tried watching it but it was super boring. And long.
FanOfMostEverything 8th Oct 2020, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
Couldn't get into it myself. I tend to view it like Game Grumps: It's better as raw material for the fan animators.
Ghost_Writer 8th Oct 2020, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
For me, the first third or so of campaign one Critical Role felt like a slog. I started watching the series three times before I finally got to what I felt like was the 'good stuff'. And even now it's not fun to go back to those early episodes, so I don't. (And don't talk to me about Campaign 2. Jester drives me up the wall.)

Then again, I find that a lot of podcasts are hard to get into because of that initial rough time. Personally, I think it's because of my social difficulties. But, if I can find something fun, I can bear with the rough stuff to enjoy it. Fallout is Dragons was fun. Imperfect, but fun. My favorite is The Unexpectables. True, they also had some rough patches as they worked out the group dynamic of the characters, but the fact that they were all friends before hand, and can differentiate between in and out of character emotions (they've checked in with each other a few times during difficult moments), not to mention a very patient and creative DM, makes it the best D&D group, imo.
Guest 9th Oct 2020, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
Holy shit, another Unexpectables fan in the wild? I almost never see one of us outside the discord. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to give it a try. First couple arcs are rough, due to anxieties of streaming a game, but they get in a groove and it’s fantastic
Ransom4 8th Oct 2020, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
I'd totally forgotten about Twilight playing Ocellus and having the OOC info, even though it was mentioned earlier in the chapter.

Ironically reminds me of just how caught off guard we were by that crazy Chrysalis reveal.
Robin Bobcat 9th Oct 2020, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, that was... pretty incredible.
Skyranger 8th Oct 2020, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Trust me Twilight.

You’re going to see exactly where that other form Ocellus was forced into came from soon.

Also, this is such a great story!
Ransom4 9th Oct 2020, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Twilight would probably still be more excited about the stat boosts but I do wonder if she would have roleplayed her character becoming the queen a little differently if that campaign had happened after this. Of course, then there's the question, which is part of the story here, whether she would have zeroed in on the imposter theory without that OOC knowledge.
MythicFox 9th Oct 2020, 2:20 AM edit delete reply
I see this as a good example of embracing a player's quirks and using them to enhance the story, letting Twilight justify these conclusions rather than just smacking her down for the meta thing.
Story Time 9th Oct 2020, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Any good story of a character trying to fool the villain only for the villain to give instant-death without a chance to roll? (Just like what Twilight party was thinking)
Boris Carlot 9th Oct 2020, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Shadowrun heist went bad and the team split. Two of the gang (face and another) got spotted by law enforcement and told to pull over. They did so. Police told them to get out of the car and put their hands behind their head. They did so. Face's plan was to either talk her way out of trouble or pick the handcuffs and escape, but the cops didn't care about her story and getting out the cuffs didn't get her out of the back of the vehicle. Last we saw of either character.