Page 1513 - Ratings Are Magic

27th Mar 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Ratings Are Magic
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 27th Mar 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
I didn't expect to be interrogating the whole gosh-darn premise when I started writing this conversation, but I guess we're here now!

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



MechaDitz 27th Mar 2021, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Gonna need to call a repair pony about all this damage the 4th wall is sustaining.
emmerlaus 27th Mar 2021, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
And if you ask for an appointment online and type " Pinkie Pie" in the discount bar, you'll get a 30% price discount!
Guest 27th Mar 2021, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
Right, because they know they'll get repeat business.
ZhonLord 28th Mar 2021, 4:39 AM edit delete reply
Just make sure you DON'T type "Deadpool". You'll get a price increase instead from being overworked.
FanOfMostEverything 27th Mar 2021, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
If we get much more recursive, the PCs will end up playing a game of Ogres & Oubliettes. This is by no means a complaint.
Guest 28th Mar 2021, 2:46 AM edit delete reply
In our current Pathfinder campaign, it's canon that the adventuring party occasionally settles down to a nice game of Goblins & Grottoes. We once mentioned this fact to a crotchety old-lady NPC, who told us that we'd summon Asmodeus with this behaviour if we kept it up.
Guest 27th Mar 2021, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
It all comes down to preference. The GM's been dealing with one type of game the entire time, but not only is that not necessarily everyone's preference, that particular style of game is a difficult one to make enjoyable for the players. Here's how I look at it: there are 2 base rules that I try to follow whenever I GM. 1: Make sure the players are having fun. 2: Have fun myself. At the end of the day, ttrpgs are games, and they're supposed to be fun. You can make all the challenges, deep story, and overwhelming villains you like, but if your players aren't having fun, you've failed as a GM. GMing is hard, and it's easy to forget what the goal is supposed to be at the end of the day. It's easy to get caught up in your own story, or to want to show off the characters you've made, or to try and "win", beating your players wherever possible. But your goal isn't to win, it's to guide a game that your players are having fun in.
Digo 27th Mar 2021, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
What helps me with running games is to ask each player what their character goals are, and what their own player goals are. Make a list and try to get at least one idea of each added to your game's narrative. It helps to know what direction to take the game that will be fun for all.
aylatrigger 27th Mar 2021, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
It is also good to remember that your goal is not also to have the players win in a way you imagine. If your players find a way to defeat the boss or solve the puzzle in a different way than you were thinking of, celebrate their innovation rather than bemoaning that your 'cool puzzle' or 'cool boss' did not show their stuff. If my players find a way to make friends with or completely ignore the boss while still doing their goals, it is a good thing.

Ad a GM I feel is is sometimes best to just world build, and let the players decide if they will be destroying the Big Bad's lair, or taking it over as their own, or forming a circus and traveling (which I was a player for and that greatly upset both the GM and the two players we conscripted into joining us when they did not willingly want to run away with the circus). Don't get emotionally attaches as much to specific enemies, though you can enjoy seeing how they may be thwarted if you know your party *will* try thwarting them.
Digo 27th Mar 2021, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
This happens often in my Shadowtrot campaign. I think half the fights saw unconventional thinking for the win that I didn't think of. :3
Chakat Firepaw 28th Mar 2021, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
An important thing for all GMs to remember is that if the PCs never reached your "cool encounter/enemy/puzzle" it means the players probably don't know about it. That means you can slip it into your ideas folder to haul out later, tweak to fit¹, and have your players wonder when you had the time to come up with all this stuff.

1: Or even use straight up, when they realize that the new BBEG's right hand was the old BBEG's enforcer and wonder about it, they can get the answer: "I needed a new gig after some do-gooders killed my old boss."
aylatrigger 29th Mar 2021, 11:11 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. When I was gm'ing loonies, the positions of dungeons and planned monsters were maleable based on where they went... Though at one point I did need Dues Machi, the God of Plot Convenience, to give them a map saying 'go here'. But mostly cause they were not going anywhere...
Cliff Snowpeak 27th Mar 2021, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
I feel like Player!Cadance is channeling every brony and modern animation fan on this page.

And as for the page contents, I've always taken great pains to make sure everyone is on the same page, whenever I run a game. It definitely helps that I'm playing with, more or less, the same group of people that got me into TTRPGs in college.
Example 27th Mar 2021, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Any good example of Cartoon Shows like what Miss Cadence say? I stopped watching TV cartoon years ago as they repeated for around 267 the same episode of The Simpsons or a cartoon about a wannabe Robin and his wannabe Garfield dog
Guest 27th Mar 2021, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Aside from the obvious reference... you might give Avatar a shot, or if you're looking for something less anime, you might give Steven Universe a try. Young Justice pulled a lot of what I liked about the old Teen Titans cartoon as well.
CrowMagnon 27th Mar 2021, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Let's see, Gravity Falls, The Owl House, Over the Garden Wall, The Dragon Prince...
Eroraf 27th Mar 2021, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Sonic SatAM
Gravity Falls

Do anime count?
Draxynnic 28th Mar 2021, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure that Avater: TLA actually fits the premise that Player Cadence is talking about here. Avatar had a continuous storyline with relatively little in the way of 'episodic' content that reverted to the status quo afterwards. And up until the dramatic finale, the bad guys were on top most of the time, with the good guys winning minor victories here and there which were often just enough to keep them in the game rather than actually getting the upper hand. Heck, I could see Avatar being a campaign being run by Discord-DM, with the bad guys pretty much always seeming to be a few steps ahead of the players however much they quested to gain an advantage, and half of the MacGuffins they quested for turning out to be damp squibs in the end. Makes for a great show, but it's not really a cartoon where everybody smiled and laughed at the end of the episode.
redwings1340 27th Mar 2021, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
I see Gravity Falls and The Owl House have been put here already, those two are wonderful. I also really like Infinity Train, its probably the most creative show I've ever seen. Avatar The Last Airbender is a classic. The new Ducktales is well made too, lots of brilliant jokes in that. If you have Netflix then Hilda and Kipo are solid choices, not quite as good as the other ones here imo but still good. Oh yeah, the new Legend of She-Ra is also brilliant, Catra is probably my favorite character from any show now. Oh! Star vs the Forces of Evil too, it starts a little weak, some episodes are utterly bizarre and I found the ending of the series disappointing, but during its second and third season it figured itself out and has some truly great episodes.

Modern cartoons have come a long way from where they used to be, there are a lot of solid ones out there. A lot of good modern cartoons are relatively short too, meaning they have series long arcs that span a few seasons before ending, which means you don't need to commit insane amounts of time to watch them either. The longest show I've mentioned in this post is 5 seasons long, most of them are 3-4. You can get that feeling of completion that's sometimes missing when you start watching a show that's just going to go on forever, and it allows the show to have more coherent narratives/not always end up back at the status quo.
LazerWulf 27th Mar 2021, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
I kind of feel you on the Star vs Evil ending, but honestly, I don't think it could have ended any other way. There was never any such thing as the "Status Quo" at the end of each episode, with actions in one episode coming back to bite them in a future episode, so of course the series has to end on the Ultimate Disruption of Status Quo.

(though that series might make for a fun Campaign Comic, if it hasn't been done already)
redwings1340 27th Mar 2021, 8:38 PM edit delete reply
Star would make for a ridiculous campaign comic. Most comics use some sort of system, but Star would be the most ridiculously homebrew game ever. I'm trying to think of how I would even set it up. Star and Marco would be the primary two players, while the other characters would go in and out, having constant scheduling issues. Their two human friends would be new rpers, who create kinda boring characters and decide to create new characters after they realize they've not really done anything during the first season. Ponyhead would be a minmaxer who hates Marco for not taking advantage of any of the homebrew mechanics that their ridiculous GM has put together. Glossaryck would be the world's most annoying NPC, and the GM uses him a lot to criticize Star's rather... unique... level up choices.

I think this series would be a first time GM who's still learning how to run a game, so the first few sessions are fairly standard/bad, but then the GM starts creating hints of a broader plot and the campaign becomes more fun over time. The group is a mess at first, but its a beautiful mess by the end.
Guest 27th Mar 2021, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
This monologue seems important. It might be worth repeating it at the beginning of every session ;-)
LazerWulf 27th Mar 2021, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
Just repeat to yourself "It's just a game, I should really just relax."
Solitary Performance 29th Mar 2021, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Ah, the MST3k Mantra, applied to games. Something that, sometimes, people need to recite to themselves in some fashion before consuming most fiction settings. (Right up there with 'A Wizard Did It' for why unrealistic things happen)
She-Hulk 28th Mar 2021, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
And if you type my name I’ll remind you I only break fourth walls, I don’t repair them. Sorry.
Ghost_Writer 28th Mar 2021, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
For a good cartoon-ish D&D adventure, I shall again refer to the Unexpectables. DM Monty has a nice way of balancing long dramatic arcs with silliness. Bunch of automations being a problem, later a downhill sled race. Religious zealots almost kill the party, then there's a wedding where the cake tries to eat everyone while the mad goblin chef cackles. It also certainly helps when you have PCs that know when to laugh and when to be serious, even if Takahata does have a hard time keeping quiet sometimes... XD
Cliff_Robotnik 29th Mar 2021, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
"I didn't X but we are now" sums up my DM style....

People say you can't keep improv up as a DM, say to use it sparingly...

It's literally all I do.

I always attributed it as a positive to ADHD.
redwings1340 29th Mar 2021, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
I use improv a ton while DMing, but I kinda want to use it less. A big part of it is just that I have a hard time preparing or thinking ahead for the session, because its in the future, and I focus on things that I'm doing now (also ADHD). Sometimes I can make it work, other times I kinda wish I had more of a plan to come in the session with, because a lot of the time how the session goes depends on how much interesting stuff I'm able to think of on the spot.
Boris Carlot 30th Mar 2021, 3:04 AM edit delete reply
Depends on the system. It's extremely hard to improv heavily in Shadowrun. It can be tricky in DnD. In Blades in the Dark everything you're probably improvising 5/6ths of every game.