Page 1477 - Lost in the Crowd

2nd Jan 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Lost in the Crowd
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 2nd Jan 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Made it into 2021, woo.

I'll admit, I like coming up with narrative and gameplay gimmicks for fights. Combat lasts so long anyway, might as well make it more interesting. I've done enough actual wargaming (De Bellis Multitudinis anyone?) that I don't really want to rely on the "simulation" experience.

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ChaoticBrain 2nd Jan 2021, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
"Multiple Pinkies? Hmmm..."

And that was when the DM realized, he fucked up.
Guest 2nd Jan 2021, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
Future plot hook!
RandomRex6 2nd Jan 2021, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
I'm more concerned with the DM keeping track...
Robin Bobcat 2nd Jan 2021, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Oh, but that's Fluttershy's gimmick, as we'll see.

For the most part, though, DM doesn't need to. Knows how many changelings there are, and that a certain number of them will be able to attack the PCs each round. The changelings are minions, so the DM don't have to track injuries or status effects. While this runs very counter to 4th Ed's map-based combat, it plays up the confusion aspect.
Guest 2nd Jan 2021, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Calling it now; Pinkie is going to take over the DM role again in the future and "Too many Pinkie Pies" is going to be the scenario she runs.
Toric 2nd Jan 2021, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Controlling your players' visuals is a valuable part in making a combat challenging and interesting. I love campaigns where they actually give you encounters in rooms that are shaped well to compliment the abilities of sneaky enemies.
Winged Cat 2nd Jan 2021, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I don't know, creating confusion as to who's who seems mighty hindering.
ANW 2nd Jan 2021, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Fluttershy seems too happy about her comment.

I bet they'll do the 'attack only yourself' strategy.
ChaoticBrain 2nd Jan 2021, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
That's a changeling grinning, not the real Fluttershy.
emmerlaus 2nd Jan 2021, 1:58 PM edit delete reply
... I wonder if it was really a good idea. This will get confusing super fast for the players and the GM.

To be honest, combat is my least favorite part of roleplay. I prefer to be the support guy who does one thing and does it well, hence why I played a lot of clerics in D&D 3.5. now that D&D 5ed is here, I only play Warlocks to be honest. Its the most simple class I can manage and I like being ordered around by a patreon. Way simpler to roleplay too.
Anon 3rd Jan 2021, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
There's actually a few ways that the DM could have a much easier time than the players in keeping track of the combat. If the DM is using the traditional DM screen, they could simply keep a bunch of dice in approximately the same locations as the players and minions, using a specific side for either the players, the minions, or two separate sides for each side. There's also the possibility that since the DM normally has to keep track of more tokens/markers/minis than the players, they might actually be able to keep track of which ones the players are, which is really the only ones the DM needs to know in order to know how many attacks each player can logically be targeted by each round. Or, the DM could simply not really care, and play into the confusion by just having the players describe (or point to) which marker(s) they are attacking, have the player flip over any and all markers they successfully hit, with any "bloodied" result meaning damage for that party member; which is actually kinda beneficial to the party, as they all get a 1 in 6 chance of seeing where an ally is, granted it might come with a large amount of damage for a given player, but the info could give another player the opening they need to lay waste to a large amount of minions. I'm sure there's a few other ways the DM could keep track of combat, assuming they need to, but those are the three that popped into my head initially. Really, so long as the DM knows how to work with the gimmick, they've designed a pretty elegant combat scenario, if you ask me.
Bastet 5th Jan 2021, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
With no experience at DnD, if this were me, I'd make pictures for player tokens a tiny bit off - for example one lock of hair in a different position - something that is only noticeable when you know to look for it (but not on face, humans pay a lot of attention to faces). Then I'd only have to disguise searching for the player token as pondering the situation on the table :P
Story Time 2nd Jan 2021, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
Shapeshifters and how they confuse the party... Any good story about a DM with shapeshifters fighting the party and confusing them until they don't know who is who?
James K 2nd Jan 2021, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
DBM huh? That takes me back.
Dakkath 2nd Jan 2021, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
Watch Twilight one round the encounter again by fireballing the entire battlefield. The party can take the hit, the minions will all die.
evileeyore 3rd Jan 2021, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
This is why you don't make them Minions.

And who said they were Minions to start with? Oh yeah... no one. ;)
Khyrin 4th Jan 2021, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
Technically, Fluttershy hoped they were minions, Applejack agrees that they must be minions or this is a TPK, and Rainbow Dash is just happy to have cannon fodder, one way or another.
NobleCuriosity 27th Jul 2022, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
I’ve never played 4e, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard someone say that minions have Evasion-they take no damage on a failed Dex save, instead of half. So fireball would still be good, but would’ve kill ALL of them.
Khyrin 2nd Jan 2021, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
A detail that always tickles my sense of humor: The RD changeling mimics RD's confusion, presumably for its own amusement.
Kira 3rd Jan 2021, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
you know this gimmick falls apart when it comes to the players turn and everyone sees which piece is being moved.

that and the start of battle formation means on turn one it's impossible to accidentally damage an ally.

Jennifer 3rd Jan 2021, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I wonder how confused the GM will become...
Kaze Koichi 4th Jan 2021, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Honestly. GM is going to have it harder then the players. First, the players don't need to keep track on their own token. Second, no one prevents them from discussing strategy, so they can meta-ask: "where are you again" because GM didn't make the rule they can't (you probably shall fix this one). Third, when in doubt, just attack someone that looks like you. Or the one GM moved last.

By the way, lore-wize, is there a way for the changelings to recognize each other even in disguise? Something to prevent them from attacking their own side?
Ransom4 4th Jan 2021, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
Quite a few people are pointing out that this could be just as confusing for the DM...which is actually what happened in the show!

Also, some clever foreshadowing there.