Page 1558 - Having a Normal One

10th Jul 2021, 6:00 AM in Magical Mystery Cure
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Having a Normal One
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Jul 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Almost ten years ago, the crux of the table dynamic was a majority of the participants trying to get everyone else to conform to playing the game their way, and the humor that resulted in trying to have a game despite that. Now, nearly ten years into telling this story, we finally seem to have come around on understanding and respecting everyone's distances rather than trying to make everyone play the game one way, and having a good time because of that rather than in spite of it.

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



Digo 10th Jul 2021, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
I wish more campaigns lasted long enough for this to take effect. It's great to see a group of characters grow together.
Kaze Koichi 11th Jul 2021, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
It's all depends on the GM. My current campaign is at 3rd season.
Demon Nachos 10th Jul 2021, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
By the Nine Divines it really has been a decade.....
Sci 10th Jul 2021, 11:43 PM edit delete reply
Heads up, Newbiespud- it looks like there's some backend stuff gone wrong with the site. Kaspersky (and like, Firefox itself too) is complaining about some sort of certificate being out of date when I come here? Have to click through a couple "Yes, I know this might be dangerous" popups. I don't know how hard that'd be to fix, but... can't fix something you don't know's wrong, and this seems like the sorta thing that'd turn away new readers.
Jennifer 11th Jul 2021, 3:20 AM edit delete reply
Possibly related: I can't access the comic from work. I can read all the text, including the transcript, but no image of the comic itself. No warning popups, but we do have firewalls and things that probably have something to do with it. The browser used is irrelevant.
kimjongunbabbies 11th Jul 2021, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
You may want to submit a bug report to ComicFury directly. I read another comic hosted on their site and was served similar messages about ComicFury's (apparently) outdated/invalid security certificates whenever I tried to access Friendship is Dragons or the other webcomic on Firefox desktop. That said, I've not had the same problem on Android outside of Firefox displaying "insecure connection" for any ComicFury-hosted site.

Alternatively, you could always try adding Friendship is Dragons' domain as an exception to your firewall and site scanning settings if you use Kaspersky desktop. It doesn't work if you try to create rules with wildcards for subdomains, like "*". I know; I tried.
Cliff_Robotnik 11th Jul 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Okay I've held my tongue but... Your blurb sort of tipped it over...

The recent arts have had a good message, and a lesson I feel every DM, and even PC has to learn...

But it's coming at the cost of the humor, the point if the parody comic... Everyone seems too focused on not offending one another, or pushing each other out of their comfort zone, which severely limits comedic potential...

Maybe it's just me, and it'll get back to DnD based comedy after this arc, but the length of this current lesson they are learning, combined with the update rate(which is usually fine) is makin it feel like it's BEEN ten years since the comic has made the HaHa sounds come out of my face hole.

I am just concerned the comics losing its point and becoming too preachy.
Newbiespud 11th Jul 2021, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
In my estimation, this comic's average humor value has always been less Ha Ha and more Sensible Chuckle at best. The literal L.O.L. moments have been few and far between because I'm really not that much of a comedian. Hard to be with all this anxiety and depression and stuff.

But you do bring up a good point that I'm actively contemplating right now as a writer.

A lot of the humor in the arcs before have been derived from the caricatures of unhealthy player types clashing against each other. The munchkins and murderhobos and drama queens versus the control-freak GM. The catharsis of watching those behaviors grind the gears. But for characters in a story, that's not really sustainable behavior - something's gotta give. The Discord arc was all of that giving, all of that going too far.

I chose to respect the characters working through that. Learning how to continue after genuinely hurting each other, not just bouncing off each other in a cartoonish way. Which means that organically, yes, the people in this group are kind of walking on eggshells around each other, trying to figure out where the boundaries are from scratch. And yeah, that's limiting, if not entirely cutting off, the output of humor value from those caricatures, because the characters are not entirely cartoons anymore and are trying to apply what they've learned.

This isn't entirely deliberate on my part. A lot of my writing style involves stepping into the characters' shoes and seeing where they want to go beat by beat, and this is where I followed them. But this is also clearly the story path I was subconsciously more interested in exploring. So this is where we've ended up. And I'm committed to staying the course, at least on the front of respecting the characters' growth and progress, because I think there's a glut of "parodies" and a famine of stories that actually try to tackle these themes of rebuilding a group after damage.

I don't really have a clear answer for you as to where the comic's going next. This comment has certainly been a bit of a wake-up call for me, I can tell you that, but in the sense that I've already been pondering a lot of this deep down. I can also say that the characters also want to go back to just having fun and cracking jokes. But they're recovering, and they're doing the best they can. In that sense, they're reflecting their writer, I suppose.
Swest Tobiz 11th Jul 2021, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Life moves us all into directions we do not expect - and this comic doesn't stay the same with the same level of "comedy" or theme as the first episodes because of something called "Character development" which grows like even the show itself did over time.

When writing creatively, all fictional or even non-fiction characters have to go through a change - otherwise they are stagnant in the story and not interesting. If they were constantly doing the same kinds of comedy and jokes over and over, nobody would read it.

But the development - the arch if you will - of the story and characters within the story - how something happens that changes everything and watching the characters adapt to the new situation, whether physically or with relationships, THAT is what makes a great story. I for one have been very interested in this story arch, and I look forward to where ever these wonderful characters take us in the future! :) <3
Cliff_Robotnik 12th Jul 2021, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
As a Forever DM and FanFiction spurg, I understand what you mean... Tho a weakness of my own writing style is that while things happen, and are awesome and interesting, and the work can change... Characters personality tend to begin a game approaching there final form... In DnD specially, PC reaction and comments applied to my original idea results in most NPCS achieving their final forms pretty much the first session they are important.

Only real time they change is when there is adequate time passage between sessions, as a result of my shit memory(Brain Damage is not fun kids).

Relationships between NPCs tend to be more fluid, and functionally exist just from PC interactions and comments, motivated by my usual suspects being a bunch of bronies, with the expected fondness of shipping managing to be relevant.

My own rare PC tends to be the opposite, and become "whatever fits the party" malleable, as described in previous comments.

As I commented in my comment to Spud, I had forgotten that a big part of why I Read this is because of the care he puts into portraying the Perky, Playful, Pontificating Pony Players.

Likely because it's a weakness of my own,mystery wise. fact, the one Fanfic I made that got the most attention, was a play in the "X reveals they are Y" formula comics, with Fluttershy psyking herself up(with angels support) to reveal to her friends that she is a buggy love-chomper..

(Spoiler for a like ten year old fanfic)

The twist being that it turned out the entirely of ponyville was made up of rogue changelings trying to hide their natures from the nonexistent "normal ponies" in the village, and Fluttershy revealing her secret to the re-mane5 set off a chain reaction of everyone realizing there were no ACTUAL ponies in the entire village, cept for Bulk Biceps.... With the ending being a letter from Celestia apologizing that she "forgot" to inform all the changeling refugees, rejects, and such that she sent to Ponyville that the tire population was like them, with it being ambiguous if she actually didn't think she needed to TELL them that, and was bemused by her Whoops, or if it was a instance of Trollestia...

I bring this up because there is no development for any character involved... Then again, it was a comedy disguised as a cliche drama fic.
keybounce 6th Aug 2021, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
Would you believe that I ran into "There are no ponies in Equestria" that had something very similar -- everyone was an isekia'd human. (Well ... one exception ....)
Cliff_Robotnik 12th Jul 2021, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
In retrospect I feel I may of been a bit unfair in my previous comment, and treated my own case if "Arc Fatugue" as the fault of the narrative... And while it's an aspect, my own impatience and General Fatugue when it comes to walking on eggshells around overly sensitive people has sharpened my tongue, I fear.

You raise many a good point, and one of the reasons I follow your comic and not most other Campaign Comics is effectively the reasons you detail in your post... Yours feels different, you seem to... Care about these things more, the little emotive details, as an example and as a introvert, you've done Fluttershy's better then most... Most people write her in ways that mitigate her more tedious and slow to develop traits, sweep them under the rug ASAP, but as tedious as it can be, you've been very fair, and consistent with Buttershush and her severe weaknesses socially, where as most fics I've read either make her a background element, or lean heavily into Snarkershy.

And how Rainbow Dash has evolved to be less of a Murder Hobo, in part to dealing with others of her character type after having adapted to a less toxic group dynamic... The Gilda Arc is memorable to me...

You do emotion development and actual character good... And when I left my rant I think I forgot that, due to frustration, and as I said, my own impatience mixed with how long this VERY IMPORTANT arc is going...

Irregardless of where the comic goes from here, I am sticking around... I am sure once the girls find the each others comfort-lines they'll start nudging them for comedic effect again, while avoiding any real hurt or misunderstanding.

I sincerely hope I've not damaged your drive or motivation with my concern, it was intended with respect and concern, but on retrospect may if come off more agressive then I intended...

Again, I stress I'll likely follow the comic till its done, and the concerns I raised in my last post were not a deal breaker for me... Lord knows there are comics I HAVE dropped...
Azureink 11th Jul 2021, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
Now as a person who has trouble talking about feelings and empathetic subjects, I can understand a little in regards to wanting to move on from how this last arc has done a lot with "walking on eggshells around each other" (and the fact that they have been trying to help each other through difficult emotional problems), but I at least can handle the fact that these people really need this discussion (and that it takes a while to really get through this kind of problem).

The humor will eventually come back.
evileeyore 11th Jul 2021, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
"Okay I've held my tongue but... Your blurb sort of tipped it over...

The recent arts have had a good message, and a lesson I feel every DM, and even PC has to learn...

But it's coming at the cost of the humor, the point if the parody comic... Everyone seems too focused on not offending one another, or pushing each other out of their comfort zone, which severely limits comedic potential..."

As a gender neutral stick figure elf once said "I blame Cerberus."
LupisLight 12th Jul 2021, 3:27 AM edit delete reply
I think I prefer it this way. One of the inherent flaws with character-driven comedy and the status quo is that if you want to maintain that status quo and continue drawing on the humor that comes from the mistakes that these characters make, is that no-one is ever allowed to actually learn from those mistakes; or if they do it will only be until the next episode comes around.

Timmy Turner isn't allowed to actually learn to be more careful with his wishes because most of the show revolves around the humor in his bad wishes backfiring on him. Spongebob will continue to annoy Squidward until the end of time because that's part of the comedy of the show. And Wile E. Coyote is never allowed to wise up and just order ACME takeout pizza for dinner instead of obsessing over the roadrunner he has never been able to catch because that's the whole point of those cartoons. (And yeah, I know he TECHNICALLY did catch it at least once, but only when it was hilarious for him to do so.)

If you want more realistic character development and growth to happen, then you pretty much have to relax that status quo and let it change over time, even if it means leaving behind the old jokes. And accepting that this change isn't necessarily a bad thing. I've enjoyed seeing how these players are learning to communicate and get along better. Eventually everyone will be more comfortable with each other and we'll get the more light-hearted material again.

Considering that MLP:FiM was a show about character growth and development of friendships, I think this comic wouldn't be doing the show justice without the players learning their own lessons about friendship along the way. I'm very much looking forward to the resolution of the upcoming showdown with Discord. And hey, he's one of the most comedic characters in the show, so I'm sure we'll be getting some laughs along the way, too..