Page 1534 - Inside All Along

15th May 2021, 6:00 AM in Magical Mystery Cure
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Inside All Along
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 15th May 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Twilight has merely had enough of the stolen MacGuffin trope, that's all.

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Demon Nachos 15th May 2021, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
The macguffin trope is rather highly abused in general.
Kereea 15th May 2021, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Let the Rainbow remind you~~~
Borg 15th May 2021, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Casting without material components isn't easy, of course . . .
albedoequals1 15th May 2021, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
You just need the right feat
FanOfMostEverything 15th May 2021, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure the Elements cost more than 1 gp.
Winged Cat 15th May 2021, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Each, or total?
Otterfriend 16th May 2021, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
I have seen munchkins seriously attempt to argue that a spell that required an Artifact as a component could be cast with Eschew Materials, because Artifacts don't have a listed value. It's a bad argument, but it can be made. After all, priceless and worthless are more or less the same thing etymologically.
BigNorseWolf 17th May 2021, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
I believe that bit of rules lawyering qualifies as a Rulebook to the head offense.

It's amazing how much a 4 pound core rulebook cuts down on those shenanigans.
Truthkeeper 16th May 2021, 3:09 AM edit delete reply
Even trickier considering that the Elements would probably be a focus component. Or divine focus? Is the orbital friendship cannon arcane or divine?
Composer99 15th May 2021, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
If it weren't for the fact that we've established that Discord is making a reappearance next in-comic session, I'd say this looked like a set-up for the episodes where each character earned their keys to the treasure chest at the Tree of Harmony in season 4.

Actually, it might still be a set-up for that down the road.
rmsgrey 16th May 2021, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
As I recall, as part of the post-DiscorDM post-mortem, the original plan was to spend a campaign arc empowering the Elements so they could be used to reach Discord, until they realised that established canon said they had to demonstrate their element spontaneously in hindsight rather than being able to plan it in advance. Which is why they did the School of Friendship (where their regular characters might or might not be the teaching staff) and Canterlot Wedding stories instead of immediately working on the Discord problem.

So the keys/chest arc has previously been established as a possibility, even if it was discarded at the time.

Besides, given the arc title, and what happened in those episodes, it seems more like they're setting up for Twilight to cast a spell that goes wrong and messes up the elements than for the chest and keys.
Cliff_Robotnik 16th May 2021, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Ha hah... That Rainbow Powers were visually atrocious and clearly forced in to sell toys and nothing else.
RuBoo 16th May 2021, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
...I kinda liked them... But I do find it disappointing that they used it once and did nothing else with it.
Cliff_Robotnik 17th May 2021, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
THEMATICALLY the Rainbow Powers were amazing, making the Elements obsolete, having been more of Training Wheels that even the sisters neve manages to grow past... Amplifiers of what the Ponies already held inside...

But then marketing pushed absalutely atrocious sticker-based toy design on them and made them use it, which resulted in them never using the powers again, which honestly sort of made a awkward plot cul-de-sac that resulted in them just casually taking the Elements out of the tree when needed, utterly robbing the whole "give up the elements" plot line of any lasting impact... Just about everything else would not need changing, including so bra destroying the Tree...

So I am just trying to be clear: I am shitting on the designs, and the reason the designs were put in despite being awful, not the narrative buildup and potential OF the forms.
evileeyore 16th May 2021, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
It's not a "MacGuffin trope" as the items they are trying to get actually do something. The Elements of Harmony are a Plot Device, specifically the Villain-Beating Artifact.
Otterfriend 16th May 2021, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
I would argue that they are MacGuffin-like insofar as the focus of the story is generally about acquiring them (or re-acquiring them, or re-powering them) rather than using them, with the conflict wrapping up in a single scene once they are acquired (or re-acquired, or re-powered).
BackSet 16th May 2021, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Still not technically a MacGuffin as they serve a purpose other than driving the plot. A MacGuffin is specifically, as per TV Tropes, "a term for a motivating element in a story that is used to drive the plot. It serves no further purpose. It won't pop up again later, it won't explain the ending, it won't do anything except possibly distract you while you try to figure out its significance."

The Elements do something. They repeatedly show up (until they're discarded for... reasons I forget) and they technically explain the ending, since they're used against the first two big bads to defeat them.

For example: a good example of an actual MacGuffin, though I loathe to bring it up, is the Oculus or Aculos or whatever it's called from the awful Artemis Fowl movie. In the movie everybody looks for it but we're never told what it does and once they get it they use it to... teleport Artemis' father to them or something and then never really bring it up again.

Another example from a story I actually like is Zeus' Master Bolt from the first Percy Jackson book (specifically the book, not the garbage movie) which has no relevance other than Percy and friends have to get it and once they get it and return it to Zeus it basically becomes a background prop.

And, of course the obvious examples of the Maltese Falcon, the Holy Grail, the Brief Case of Money, etc, etc.
Otterfriend 16th May 2021, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
If you demand a MacGuffin to be _completely_ without purpose, you'll find very few MacGuffins- it sounds like even the Oculus you mentioned is used by the protagonists to accomplish something. Wikipedia, for what it's worth, claims that George Lucas considered R2-D2 to be the "MacGuffin" of the original Star Wars film (but then, he also considered Jar Jar to be a good idea, so take it as you will), so at least some people see room for a MacGuffin to be able to actually do things as well as simply driving the plot by being desired .
Digo Dragon 16th May 2021, 5:54 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
If you, the GM, have to keep stealing the player's magic item, that you gave them, you might be doing something wrong.
belmontzar 16th May 2021, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
As a gamer id agree but considering the protagonists Chose to leave it locked up and protected both in game, and In MLP, its a little harder to work around.
The Comic needs to work with what the show had and used, while it can, and has, changed factors and story beats... certain things do need to stay constant.
Atleast it's not the Chaos Emeralds or the Dragon balls where you use them once and BAM they are gone! Or more accuratly go from taking an entire season and story to find, To tracking them down in the span of a commercial break. Hell its better than a Metroid game where you have and immediatly lose all your powers and spend an entire game regaining all of them all over again.

Either way... The protagonists Chose to leave the Elements behind so its a little different
RuBoo 17th May 2021, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Ah, I see the DM’s studied at the “Yes, But” School of Dungeon Mastery. I have heard many good things of that school’s style, so let us see how this goes...
tolich 17th May 2021, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
You mean, 'mare-ly', right?
Gray 17th May 2021, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
That "are you sure you're ready to try?" line must be one of those lines that's really fun to dish out as a GM.