Page 1553 - Dress and Sensibility

29th Jun 2021, 6:00 AM in Magical Mystery Cure
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Dress and Sensibility
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Jun 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's a simple formula, but Applejack and Rarity are such good foils for each other that I was always entertained to see them trade places in the show.

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Vegetalss4 29th Jun 2021, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
I think this raises an interesting question of what is seen as part of what skills and abilities represent and what isn't.

Personally I'd have assumed in applejacks players situation that "sense for design" was part of what was covered by "high design skill", it'd certainly look more than a little side-eyed at a GM that after I rolled well on my "craft dress" skill told me I had made an ugly dress because while I was technically skilled/successful in my attempt to ability to know what makes a pretty dress is separate and not covered by my skills/abilities.

On the other hand I'd certainly come to the same conclusion with respect to passion and interest, those would to me be separate.

To me the question of what a large shift in ability scores would feel like is particularly fascination.
What is it like to suddenly have charisma through the roof, to find that the right words just comes flowing to you where before you only felt uncertainty? or the wisdom to notice all sorts of things about yourself and your surrounding you'd never have normally, but still filter it out to focus on the important details, or the intelligence to remember things and deduce connections that would yesterday have been opague to you?

On the other hand for the stats you lose, what's that's like, when suddenly things that used to be easy for you become very hard. When the words won't come, when you don't know what people meant by what they said or when answers and memories that used to be oh so clear suddenly elude you.

The physical abilities are less existential in my mind, less tied up with your personhood, but still interesting to me. does a sudden drop in constitution feel like you are sick and tired? Are a sudden increase in dexterity just downright make it a pleasure to move your body? all sorts of things to wonder.
Borg 29th Jun 2021, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
We've all experienced a drop in mental ability scores when tired, angry, drunk, et cetera. Sometimes we just can't brain right, and we all know how frustrating that can be.
Digo 29th Jun 2021, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
For cutie marks, the show was never consistent with how they worked.

But for your higher level discussion, something like a charisma bump to me would probably be like having less anxiety to talk to people, and more confidence in what you say. It's like that little nagging voice in your mind quiets down.

A lower constitution sounds like you'd get tired more easily.
Guest 29th Jun 2021, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
For the Craft Dress example I'd say it's one of those things where rolling well at a skill doesn't matter if you don't have the right crafting recipe.
golden_glass 29th Jun 2021, 5:42 PM edit delete reply
i think its effectively like you have high ranks in a skill, but no training in it- applejack's never made a dress before, even if she *does* have rarity's eye for it now. She can probably make a pretty dress, but not a *fashionable* one

its like making a dress for a minotaur- a human dressmaker simply isn't going to know the history, trends, or aesthetics go with it

and making several dozen unique, pretty dresses that are all good would take more successful rolls, because while applejack has the right skill ranks for it, she can't take a shortcut and base this or that design on a famous piece- here a failed roll would likely represent making the new design similar enough to the old one that its more a variation on an earlier success then something truly original.
Vegetalss4 30th Jun 2021, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
To me "high ranks, but no training" is a nonsense contradiction, training, and experitise in general, is exactly what having high ranks represent so that sentence to me just say "it's effectively like you have a high degree of training in a skill but no training in it".
(raw talent would be the ability score, which applejack also got).
Kittoradra 30th Jun 2021, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
First point: You can be very familiar and well-versed in the basics and steps involved in "doing a thing", but still not have any capacity to actually "do it well". Different from "talent", it's still a form of "skill" in that you put the effort into learning and going through it. Can you do it quickly? Can you do it efficiently? Is it something that comes naturally do you? While there are rules to allow such things, they're secondary to what the skill ranks and proficiencies are meant to represent. To represent that "these aren't actually your skills", such secondary rules could be locked off as "you can't use this option" during this kind of swap.

Second point: I think the "swapping sheets, skills, and stats" might be where the problem is for this. An interesting idea, but I personally don't think it represents what's going on here. At least, not enough with the ruleset of the system. I don't have any other answer for "what could be done", mind you. But swapping the skills and stats suggests their actual abilities change. Glass makes a good point, in that there's a difference between "able to make a dress well" and "able to make a dress that looks good"... but that would have been part of Rarity's skills, and swapped with everything else. Maybe a partial sheet swap would be a better option? Anything related to the cutie marks swap, but anything else remains static, since it's the "destiny tied to the cutie marks" that was scrambled?
TyrantViewer 30th Jun 2021, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
Personally I don't feel the mechanics here gel quite right with what is actually happening- Swapping character sheets is the simple answer, but since they are just doing role play, it falls a little flat, and if they did it mechanically It wouldn't be that bad.

Doing it justice mechanically might be possible by just juggling skills around, with the stat scores staying the same (I haven't played the edition they are playing so some more nuanced method could exist but be unknown to me, swaping proficiencies?) to represent how the ponies haven't changed, what they DO has. So Applejack would have all the strength, dexterity etc to run her farm, but that spread leaves her unoptimized to make the checks to know what ponies want to wear, basically intrigue. Fluttershy would be wisdom focused as a druid, and relatively lacking in the charisma to actually entertain others. Interestingly this method means that certain swaps could work out well but others would always bomb- Rarity is basically the only one other than dash in the swap that could do weather work via her magic, as fluttershy's stats would be all wrong for the physical way pegasi do it- and Pinkie would have the charisma and insight to make do with fluttershy's animals, but is lacking the strength and constitution for farm work, while conversely Dash would manage fine with a bunch of Applejack's chores. All of that applies to canon too, they did just the right swaping of roles to pigenhole each of the aflicted in where they couldn't succeed, but could reasonably believe that it was actually their role (imagine if applejack or pinkie though they had to manage the weather, how would that work?) which is fair since it is a show.

Though maybe once we get past this intro to the scenario we will see mechanics that expand on the situation, or it will be straight RP the whole time, so swapping sheets is basically to hammer in that out of character situation to get the RP juices flowing.
DM's Choice 30th Jun 2021, 1:46 AM edit delete reply
I think, trading places of Applejack and Rarity works so well not because they are polar opposites, but quite the contrary, because although appearing so different, they have actually a lot in common! Diligence, work ethics, a certain relentlessness and willingness to push themselves to the limit, and a readiness to apply this qualities even when they are out of there comfort zone.
I'd be hard-pressed to say which of the two is the harder working pony, apart from that AJ's work is usually more physically exertive.
Swap Question 30th Jun 2021, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
Something I remember... Was this Rarity not also part thief? While Applejack is bad doing dresses, I wonder how she'll do trying to swindle nobles and stealing
Wulfraed 30th Jun 2021, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Difficult to read this thread without getting confused -- especially when encountering "rolled well on my "craft dress" skill" suddenly dropped my mind into RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha
Manipulation [skills]
Conceal (05)
Craft ______________ (10)
___________________ (10)
Devise (05)
Play Instrument (05)
Sleight (05)

In canon, Rarity's cutie-mark related aspect seems more tied to being able to hunt for gemstones to incorporate into her designs. I think her design skill was something she developed on her own, not via mark. (An attempt to rebel against her country-bumpkin parents?).
Ebony Sable 1st Jul 2021, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
She didn't get her cutie mark when she found those gemstones. She got it when she saw her gemstone-decorated dresses on stage for the first time. It seems likely that her cutiemark is specifically about use of gemstones for decorative purposes, which she incorporated into her pre-developed dressmaking skills.

...wait, did I just say the same thing you did, but in different words? Huh. I thought I was disagreeing with you...