Page 1480 - Inside the Dust Cloud

9th Jan 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Inside the Dust Cloud
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 9th Jan 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Difficulty comes in many forms beyond just chances of success.

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



ChaoticBrain 9th Jan 2021, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
It's great seeing the players have so much fun turning the DM's gimmick against him.

Shame it's gonna be all for nothing when they reach the tower with the Elements and he goes "Changelings fall, everyone dies gets captured!"
Digo Dragon 9th Jan 2021, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The first half of this page is my kind of GMing style. Dice rolls don't always reflect a good idea, and so I feel that a good GM understands this enough to override a poor roll for the benefit of a player who came up with a really good idea. Second thing as a follow up, I feel that if a player comes up with a plausible idea you didn't think of, let them roll for it and see. It's part of my "Yes, But" strategy as a Game Master.

The second half of this page is just a reminder that GMs are fallible, so cut them some slack. But don't give up your AoOs. XD
Draxynnic 9th Jan 2021, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I was expecting something like this. The players each just need to keep track of their OWN token, and as long as they focus on fighting enemy tokens of their type, they're good Once there are no more tokens of their type, then they can focus on another player's token and attack that type. The DM, on the other hand, needs to keep track of all six. The DM is therefore the one who's likely to lose track of which token is which.

Which is why a good DM setting up something like this would have their OWN board behind the screen keeping track of where the PCs actually are.

Mind you, it makes sense that without some form of telepathy, the side with more numbers is going to make more mistakes, since there are just so many more opportunities to make mistakes.
aylatrigger 9th Jan 2021, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Yeah...GM should allow discreet checking of your type, and for themselves all types. So hide token and then check.
Guest 9th Jan 2021, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
I was wondering how a DM could make this work. Separate screen sounds like the best option. Add in some sneaky distractions so they have to take their eyes off their token (Someone entering the room, a quick text to the phone), and this gimmick could work out Ok.
Sensei Le Roof 11th Jan 2021, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
A virtual table wo do the trick, I think. Doesn't at least one have some sort of "DM vs. player knowledge" split?
Ransom4 9th Jan 2021, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
This is quite fun!
RuBoo 9th Jan 2021, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Don’t worry, DM, as the Changelings fall, you’ll have less and less to keep track of. You’ll stop getting confused eventually.
Borg 9th Jan 2021, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
In a way, it makes diegetic sense for the GM to lose track of which token is which. The GM is representing the entire swarm, so why shouldn't that come with the associated limitations?
Philadelphus 9th Jan 2021, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
Ha, this is fun. Looking forward to the next few strips!
DCarrier 9th Jan 2021, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
The players just need to remember who they are and attack any changeligns disguised as them. The DM needs to remember who all the players are. And even if the players just start attacking at random, there's way more characters that aren't them, so they're way less likely to attack each other. The gimmick favors them.
Hariman 10th Jan 2021, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
This is why the party agrees on an energy type, and EVERYONE in the party wears armor with resistance to that energy type. That way, the wizard can drop that as a bomb on the group of allies and enemies, do a ton of damage to the enemies, and the party is only mildly scathed.

Or you could go the One Piece route, and use a multi layered "I'm the real one!" indicator.
Keybounce 9th Jan 2021, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
By far the most interesting point of this, thank you, is that the changelings do NOT have some sort of hive-mind telepathy, no matter what fanfic authors want to give them. They were surprised/confused too easily for that to exist.
Advisor: "The shapeshifters grow ever bolder. In fact, they're in this room!"
(advisor turns into shapeshifter, shapeshifter behind king stabs king in back)
(king turns into shapeshifter)
Advisor: "Well, now I just feel like an idiot."
StrykerC 9th Jan 2021, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
Admittedly this is one of the nice advantages of a Virtual Table Top. Can just do some setting so each player and the dm can see what they need but not the others. This gimmick irl though, yeah this is about how that plays out.
dziadek1990 9th Jan 2021, 11:35 PM edit delete reply

I realized JUST NOW that Fluttershy was doing a bluff in this episode back then.

All this time I thought that she tried to intimidate the changelings with her "scary" hoof-punching and an Angry Face, and that they reacted with "Uhhh... yeah, that Fluttershy is worthless. Harmless. Waste of our time. C'mon guys, let's attack those other ponies over there."
Kira 10th Jan 2021, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
because as i said for 3 comics now (i missed one dammit) the players won't lose track of their tokens as they are constantly moving and reevaluating their position and where the enemies are. and are probably aware enough to keep track of some of their allies as well.

the gm has to watch the whole board. this is a really poorly thought out gimmick. though i should note that it's intentionally so on spuds part and not a complaint.
Cliff_Robotnik 11th Jan 2021, 4:33 AM edit delete reply
Players can and WILL abuse any gimmick you introduce, far more then you, as the DM could ever imagine...

Weirdly I can't remember any good examples right now....

Tho one of my players used a Pouch of Spices, a Common Quality magic item, to effectively make pepperSpray bombs en-masse... Not quite the same, but if you give a good player ANY sort of magic item that produces a permanent substance, even just the staff that grows any nonmagical flower you want, they with find a way to take over or build a city on it...

In my case, finding Chemicals and shit you could theoretically distill from "any nonmagical cooking seasoning or flavoring" or "Any nonmagical flower" using your proficiency in an alchemy kit...

...don't let your players find out what happens when you mix Potassium with freaking WATER.
Solitary Performance 11th Jan 2021, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
This also reminds me of a few magical things, including a way to twist a wish/the staff -- The ability to create non-magical flowers could easily lead to players making a bunch of Atropa belladonna, aka 'deadly nightshade', known for its toxins. However, if the player isn't clear they want belladonna, and just says they make some nightshade, there's an entire family of plants, Solanaceae, that are collectively known as nightshades; belladonna is a part of this plant family, but so are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and chili peppers, among other foodstuffs (as well as tobacco)... so plenty of space to twist a plan of poison, into sudden foodstuffs because the players weren't clear what nightshade they wanted to just... make happen.
... though, them making a bunch of bell peppers and the like to alchemize a bunch of Capsaicin into a weapon would be bad too, I guess.
Cliff_Robotnik 11th Jan 2021, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
the Pc in question was a massive nerd, a wizard, and a Scholar... and the staff did not really have "Charges" if i remember right... but it couldn't make Tomatoes, just... potentially, a Tomato flower....

I grew up on a farm and i've no recollection of tomatoes flower or not...
Khyrin 12th Jan 2021, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
I feel honorbound to point out that Bell Peppers are the only genus Capsicum member that does NOT produce capsaicin.
You did, however, say "and the like" so you're still on the right track.
Jennifer 11th Jan 2021, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
Part of the problem here may be that a turn takes ten minutes. That's easily long enough to forget something crucial like WHERE YOUR ENEMIES ARE.