Page 1538 - Core Competencies

25th May 2021, 6:00 AM in Magical Mystery Cure
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Core Competencies
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 25th May 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's a small, minor headcanon, but I'm still fond of imagining Celestia and Luna as former adventurers before they took the throne, with Celestia as a Cleric and Luna as a Warlord or similar leader/fighter hybrid class.

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Digo 25th May 2021, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
I think there is a Discord flashback that supports the idea that the sisters were prior adventurers. At least until they took responsibility to the knees and had to run the country.
Wulfraed 25th May 2021, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
I can just warp "Cleric" into Celestia wielding Kindness, Generosity, Magic -- though Equestria doesn't seem to worship any deities...

Luna is problematic, with Honesty, Loyalty, and Laughter... The first two make me think the dreaded* Paladin -- but Laughter confuses me. NG Ranger? {probably my bias showing through -- the "first" Wulfraed was an NG Ranger [with a CN cavalry^ horse; was a running gag that the horse was known to kick strangers off ferries, break paddock fencing, etc.]; the current is an Imperial Vargr Baron & Field Scout with a rather advanced variant of the Type-S scout ship)

* Most of my old gaming group would welcome a CN Thief over an LG Paladin. The few times someone played a paladin in the group, we kept getting into situations of annoying random encounters finding themselves on the losing end, surrendering to the paladin... who'd just turn them loose (they surrendered, we can not kill them) -- only to have them gather reinforcements and pester the party a few days later (like on the return trip from whatever we had gone out to explore). Granted, that may just have been the way the GM interpreted/enforced paladin LG behavior.

^ As my group used the term, it meant a horse that had been trained to stay controlled while one is fighting from horseback; but does not have the Airs-Above-Ground (ie; not a war horse)
Tempestfury 25th May 2021, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
A Paladin can laugh. A Paladin that can laugh is more likely to be an effective Paladin than one who doesn't.
The Old One 25th May 2021, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
As I recall, pallys in 4th didn't have an alignment restriction. They were just roughly the same as whatever power they were representing for.
Wulfraed 26th May 2021, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
At the time -- the ruleset was AD&D 2nd Ed -- yes, ancient stuff.

Our alternate game was RuneQuest 2nd Ed (my preferred, and first game I was introduced to -- I just ordered RQ Classic from Chaosium as it is supposed to be 2nd Ed with errata incorporated; just as a contrast to current RQ: Roleplaying in Glorantha). No alignments in RQ -- Just the Lunar Empire to despise (most material assumes one is in the Sartar region of Glorantha), and kill-on-sight Chaos beings.
rmsgrey 25th May 2021, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
If I were playing a Paladin whose code prohibited the killing of surrendered foes, and routinely saw previously surrendered foes returning with reinforcements, I'd adopt one of two policies: either taking surrendered foes to the nearest competent authorities (and if that means messing up the GM's plans, it serves them right for playing silly games); or making an explicit parole agreement - that for, say, the next 6 months, they won't take up arms against me or my party - and adopt the position that someone who breaks parole is clearly not genuinely surrendering, so isn't protected by having surrendered.
SanneNC 25th May 2021, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
LG Paladin does not instantly translate into "lawful stupid." It just means you strictly adhere to a moral code of doing good. That code can be flexible if you're creative about how to build your character.

I'm currently playing a LG Paladin in Curse of Strahd who recently seduced one of Strahd's consorts over to our side. Sleeping with "the enemy" didn't actually break his moral code, because A) he was raised in a brothel and has a lax attitude towards sleeping around and B) the aforementioned consort had already established that Strahd had stopped paying attention to him and he was feeling neglected. So in my Paladin's eyes, he was just showing love to a lonely soul and trying to demonstrate that he deserved better than Strahd was giving him.

Personally I find playing a LG character more rewarding than playing neutral or evil characters, but I will agree that it's a tightrope walk. You just gotta remember that there's other people at the table and make sure no boundaries get crossed.
Jannard 25th May 2021, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
At least in 5th ed, you can always go for a Paladin with the Oath of the Ancients and neatly fit Laughter in the package. Not that Laughter goes against being a Paladin, mind you, but having a Paladin who actually embodies its Elements through its class concept is always a plus.
zimmerwald1915 25th May 2021, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
The Journal of the Two Sisters supports their havi g been adventurers, as, I'm sure, will their Season 10 comic issue.
Ransom4 26th May 2021, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
I like that little book, enough that I'm willing to hand wave episodes in the show much later that seemed to contradict it (I mean, Twilight read straight out of it, that's as canon as it gets).

Some of those adventures in the book could be DnD sessions, Celestia even shows her Fluttershy side and rolls a 20 on intimidating a dragon.
Ransom4 25th May 2021, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
Wisdom/Charisma definitely makes sense for Celestia.

There's definitely a lot of merit to her and Luna being adventurers in the past. Given how beat up they were after retrieving the elements from the Tree in the Everfree Forest to defeat Discord the first time, and what we see in the Journal of the Two Sisters.
Keybounce 1st Jun 2021, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
Wait, are you saying that Intelligence is her dump stat?

That would mean ... she's wise enough to know the importance of a sister, but lacks the intelligence to solve the problem before it gets out of hand.

Or, wise enough to know the importance of training the next princess, but not smart enough to do it properly.

Hmm ...
Winged Cat 25th May 2021, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Cleric, sure, but was she this cleric?
Telltale 25th May 2021, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
That one has always been one of my favourite pages!
Anvildude 25th May 2021, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, the duo always struck me as "Caster and martial" myself. Celestia being a Cleric is solid. Luna strikes me as maybe a Monk more than just a Charismatic Fighter. Someone who uses their whole body to its fullest.

Or maybe she's a Barbarian! She holds a lot of anger inside her, has that intimidation factor... Nightmare Moon might be a manifestation of her Rage.
Cliff_Robotnik 26th May 2021, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
I agree with Celestia being a cleric, albeit one that draws power as an Ideal rather then a god, I must disagree with Luna...

Her role seemed to be to protect and inspire ponies in their dreams, and the cause of her fall to evil and tyranny, is due to her perceiving herself being ignored and taken for granted...

...what class would be most damaged from neglect and lack of attention?

Luna was a Bard, decorating the night skies, inspiring ponies and warding them from their fear and anxieties, she had a very important function... I'd like to think she did get ample thanks and gratitude, but compared to the herds and herds of ponies adhering to Celestia every morning as she raised the sun, aswell as her far more opulent scale and appearance, it'd seem a pittance... Pettiness, Envy and Jealously is the downfall of a bard, what leads that class to villainy, and Luna embodied these things intensely when she became Nightmare Moon...

As we've seen her method of helping ponies is far more personal, and small scale... Compared to people lining up from the castle gates to Canterlot's front gates, and the flaws I've discussed, one can easily see how a resentment could bloom, and cultivate into a venomous darkness.

And let's not get into the whole Tantebus fiasco... Self harm over ones guilt was a extremely adult topic for the show to tackle, and I loved the episode, I feel it was impossible to truly acres such a topic in such a short period of time... Ironic and a little worrisome that the closest thing Equestria has to a Therepist is also the one most in need of therapy...

...on that tangent, could see Spud working Sombra, the Tantebus episode, and the pony of shadows arc all into one story arc, due to shadow themes and imagery...
Wulfraed 26th May 2021, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Bard would have been one of my choices for Luna -- but as my experience ended with AD&D, wasn't sure what classes might be available these days.
Cliff_Robotnik 26th May 2021, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
5th edition has Orator bards, which I think fit.
Draxynnic 26th May 2021, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Not a bad analysis. I think people focus on Warlord for Luna because of the shouting, but a bard who focuses on inspirational speeches rather than singing might have the same problem.

Celestia I could see being an Invoker, although the distinction between that and a cleric is relatively minor (less healing, though, and while it's been a while since I've watched the series, I don't recall if healing is actually part of Celestia's demonstrated powerset). Celestial Sorcerer might also fit, although I don't recall all the details of that variant. As Twilight's teacher, it probably would make sense for Celestia to also be in the Arcane power source.
Cliff_Robotnik 26th May 2021, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
In much the same reasoning as Luna, I see Celestia as either a Cleric or Paladin, with how visible she is to the world and peoples in it...

Unlike Luna, whom emphasized individuals, Celestia guides and inspires the masses in a much more generalized, group-wide manner I would compare to a religious figure or icon, lacking the individual, personalized touch... The two work really well in tandem due to them operating on separate Ends of the spectrum.

Despite Luna being the Bard. Celestia might actually have Higher charisma then her, drawing all eyes to her, which added to Luna's fall from grace... Sort of why I consider Paladin for Celestia... Plus have you SEEN some of the fan designs for Celestia in armor?

Most Incorperate that big necklace thing into it, which always read to me as the most equilivent of a beast plate...

Regardless, all three classes can fill a leadership role, which of the two fits better for Celestia is more ones own preference then anything, I just picture Celestia, not Luna, as the more martial of the two... Even after complete retirement from the battlefield, and having grown oh so rusty( figuratively laying down her sword after she had to banish Luna), you need to remember one thing... Celestia's fookin' massive mate!

This reads to me as having more strength and constitution then her sister, rather then just assuming Luna is much younger then Celestia I see it as a result of getting good enough stats for the M.A.D. Class of paladin...

...either Celly got lucky with stat rolls or she cheesed like four 18s XD
Cliff_Robotnik 26th May 2021, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Also Luna only shouted for one episode, looking at her OTHER episodes, we see the much more emotionally intelligent as supportive Luna... She either just had some issues adapting to the times... Or MY take, she is still overcompensating for her own perceived lack of presence, hence that entire elaborate intro...

... That she came up with, which is another point for Bard.
TheBridge 26th May 2021, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
That is a cool headcanon! Something about it really fits. I hope I don't derail anything by saying this: RPGing has never been my thing and I have had only limited experience with it but I have been trying to get into this webcomic simply out of being impressed for how long it has ran.