Page 1441 - Dungeon Pupil

10th Oct 2020, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Dungeon Pupil
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Oct 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
As I write these first pages of Part 2, it occurs to me that what I might tentatively call the Discord Arc has gone absolutely nowhere I predicted. Flashing forward to Season 8, then an entire guest arc in Equestria Girls, then coming back to the end of Season 2 to resolve a plot introduced in an intermission, ending up tying in thematically to how The Return of Harmony played out.

Fittingly chaotic, I guess?

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loyalChaos 10th Oct 2020, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Something about Cadance the last couple of chapters has made her come off as way more feminine than the rest of the cast. Dunno if that was what you were going for, but I like it.
RuBoo 10th Oct 2020, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Girls playing RPGs, what?
Seriously, though, that’s kinda Cadance in general. Makes sense, she’s the princess of love. Love is an emotion, emotions are seen as feminine... You follow my logic, yes? Meanwhile, the canon main cast consists of an athletic Pegasus and an Earth pony farmer, both traditionally masculine traits, a nerdy unicorn and a party-obsessed Earth pony, fairly gender-neutral traits, and a fashionista unicorn and an animal-loving Pegasus... Who, respectively, know martial arts and can wrestle a bear! ...Okay, I know it was just a massage, but still!
Aeshdan 20th Oct 2020, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
I think part of that may be that she's the only player whose femininity keeps getting brought up. Like, we know Twilight's player is a girl because she's referred to in passing as Shiny's player's sister, but her girlhood has nothing to do with anything else about her. And the rest of the Mane Six we don't even know their player's genders. Cadence's player, on the other hand, is largely defined by the fact that she's Shiny's player's fiancee, and so her feminity is a defining trait of her character.
Digo Dragon 10th Oct 2020, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
One difference is that Discord took away player agency, while here the players remain in full control of their characters. The party split up here by choice as part of a plan, not because "well now I have to this because I'm forced to and it's outside my comfort zone."
NoGentleman 10th Oct 2020, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Having put the series on a break since somewhere halfway through the EQG part and only picking this back up again very recently, I still keep my stance that DiscordDM didn't actually do anything wrong. The key here, same as in a marriage amusingly enough, is to bucking communicate with each other. Don't just sit there in silence and fester in your irritation and anger. Open your mouth and talk to each other. This is honestly what has been annoying me the most about the whole DiscordDM and in a lesser case SunsetDM thing. Everyone, including the entire comment section on this site, is so quick to condemn the two as these diabolical, toxic, evil, irremediable monsters, that spread nothing but strife and should never be allowed to played at any table, when no one acutely ever bothered to talk to them and actually mentioned that they don't like the way things progress. The whole issue could have been easily avoided right from the start if any of these selfrightous pricks went up to them and said "Hey I don't feel comfortable the way you do things, can we do". No instead they just sat there in silence and later bitched behind their backs about how things didn't went the way they wanted. Wow, I wonder why that was? It's a complete mystery -_-
And reading this arc, yeah that's really the big difference. Cadance openly took the players to the side and talked with them, even calling a couple time outs when things got too intense, and when fluttershy mentioned she was uncomfortable playing her bit (hey they actual spoke up this time), they skipped it. The difference here is that the players are actually communicating with each other and telling each other what they are comfortable with and that's what makes the whole thing work.
redwings1340 10th Oct 2020, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
I agree with you to a point, though I don't think I'll go so far as to say DiscordGM did nothing wrong. At some point, it is the GM's responsibility to step in and recognize things aren't going well and talk with the players out of character, to step in and ask if things are going all right. DiscordGM never really did that, and was a bit too comfortable that the session wasn't really being enjoyed by the players.

Now, what Cadence/Shining are doing here requires a lot of skill and practice, the two are going above and beyond what I'd expect most players/GMs to be able to do. I'll also agree that the players in the Discord arc didn't handle things particularly well either, and that they should have said something earlier. I'd argue that the players are being better here though, because Cadence/Shining set the tone early on and made it clear that communication was welcome, while in Discord's case, communication from the players felt like something that was to be feared and/or used against them.

So... I don't think DiscordGM is irredeemable. Spud might be able to do another discord arc where these lessons are used to show discordGM the power of communication as it relates to a fun game, that a good DnD campaign isn't all about winning and losing, that its more fun if everyone has fun. However, DiscordGM definitely has some lessons to learn about how to read the room and listen to the type of game people around him want.
Winged Cat 10th Oct 2020, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Almost as if Spud's setting up so that DiscordGM might be redeemed by DiscordGM's student's students (the players in this campaign)? ;)
A Hat With a Smaller Hat 10th Oct 2020, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
This speaks of genuine ignorance about these situations IRL. While I admit that to make the story work several of the characters suddenly became incredibly less bold about calling either regular GM or DiscordGm on their shit, DiscordGM was still a guest above all. They didn’t want to immediately make a bad first impression by immediately acting as if they were whining when maybe they just play differently. However, the lack of communication about the curses to the GM (and especially to Twilight’s player) and the general lack of a plan from either of the GMs (and DiscordGMs inability to recognize when his players are actually having fun, something any GM worth their salt should know) left the players feeling frustrated, annoyed, bored, or all of the above.

To place all of the blame on the “self righteous” players (insert appropriate clip from the princess diaries about words) is completely missing any context of the situation.
Guest 11th Oct 2020, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
(I think you mean the Princess Bride. Though a crossover between that and Princess Diaries would be hilarious.)
SilvercatMoonpaw 10th Oct 2020, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
One of the things that no one ever seems to bring up in "Teaching Writing" advice is the fact that weird tangents that can seem bad or just distracting can end up being gold-mines once you get far enough into them.

(In my case, writing the *normal* parts is the hardest bit.)
Jennifer 10th Oct 2020, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
I've read more than once recently that "writers' block" is not "not knowing what comes next;" it's "realizing that what YOU want to write won't work with this story." If the story or the characters obviously want to go a different direction, take it!
SilvercatMoonpaw 10th Oct 2020, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
Although sometimes the story refuses to go anywhere.
Jennifer 10th Oct 2020, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
In that case, it's the wrong story, and even if you could write it your audience wouldn't want to read it. Find another one.

This goes for roleplaying too, for that matter. I pretty much ignore plotting in my GMing; I just ask myself: "OK, given that the players did THIS, what will the NPCs do?" Or "If the PCs do nothing, what will the NPCs do?"

They'll never just do nothing at all.
RuBoo 10th Oct 2020, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
...I have a fanfic in which the character’s all set to go one way, and I know where it’s going to lead, but the path is... Well, it might as well lead off a cliff or into a void or something, ‘cause there’s nothing there...
BackSet 10th Oct 2020, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
And that was when everything went horribly wrong.

Cadence is right, don't tempt fate.