Page 1627 - Dungeons & Ponies, Part 2

18th Dec 2021, 6:00 AM in Intermission 15
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Dungeons & Ponies, Part 2
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Dec 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: GreatDinn

Guest Author’s Note: "So, funny story, I did actual research on this comic. Like a lot of people who play D&D, this show made me chuckle at the strangeness of it, in comparison to the game as I knew it. But as I was looking into the characters for this, it turns out that these are all legitimate classes in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - First Edition.

Wizard (or Magic-User to avoid the eeeeevil connotations of sorcery) was around from the beginning; Ranger and Thief were classes introduced to D&D in the original AD&D rulebook; Barbarian was a Fighter subclass introduced in Dragon Magazine #63; the Acrobat (a subclass of Thief) was introduced in Dragon Magazine #69; and the Cavalier (another Fighter subclass) was introduced in Dragon Magazine #72, which came out in April of 1983. This show first premiered in September of that same year, so given animation lead time, the show’s writers were on the cutting edge of D&D!

It still feels wildly off from a D&D game, especially D&D at the time, but honestly? It’s probably for the better. Shows work better as narrative, than math after all."

(Edit) "As some helpful commenters pointed out, I completely beefed on Hank's name, and called him Mark in the first draft of this page. Guess I got archery on the brain, and missed the target by a mile."

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



Sensei Le Roof 18th Dec 2021, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Wait, wait, wait... you're saying those people had names?!
Wulfraed 18th Dec 2021, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
<snicker> I note that most of the gang are "playing" the parts, while Rarity is "performing".

I never watched the show these scenes are based upon, so don't know if the names are anywhere near real... The so-called Barbarian looks like some school kid playing hooky. A scantily clad A/m/a/z/o/n/ Acrobat named "Diana" ???

Is the last panel a call-back to the episode where RD tries to sneak back into a hospital just to get a book?
Anvildude 18th Dec 2021, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
From what I understand (having not watched the show either), it was an isekai. A bunch of kids get vworped into the D&D world by "The Dungeon Master" (who's an actual character in the show) and essentially given their classes and told "Good luck defeating the demon king!"
ChaosStar0 18th Dec 2021, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
The only name that's wrong is Mark. It's supposed to be Hank.
Wyvern 18th Dec 2021, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
All the names are correct except for Hank the Ranger. I think "Mark" is a typo.

Also, I didn't guess any of the players correctly! Bobby has very much Rainbow Dash's personality - although I can see why Fluttershy is matched to the character with the animal companion. And Rainbow Dash, having forgotten her character sheet entirely, will justify many of Presto's less than effective magic tricks.
CrowMagnon 18th Dec 2021, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
I *did* watch this show when I was a very young kid, and it was pretty wild. I couldn't tell you any specific storylines or episodes aside from the overarching "thwart the big bad" plot, but I can say that they all got transported to the fantasy world by going on an amusement park ride, and Eric was the "this guy always has to be wrong despite sometimes possessing the only brain cell in the group" character.
Norgarth 18th Dec 2021, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
I watched this show when it came out in the 80s and remember it fondly. As CrowMagnon said (and that's an great name btw) Sheila the Thief and Bobby the Barbarian were siblings. A lot of the plots were 'searching for a way home' stories, and I recall 1 episode (after they had been in the Realm for weeks if not months) where they met a kid from their school who had been kidnapped by a monster under his bed and was being used as slave labour along with many others,

they broke the spell holding the victims to the D&D world and as the kids were vanishing back to their homes, they tried to tell their friend to pass along to their families that they were okay and trying to get back, but he laughed it off, thinking he was having a weird dream and saying he'd see them on Monday at school, On Earth it was still the same weekend as they left (possibly even the same night)

Cartoon intro:
Wulfraed 19th Dec 2021, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
And nobody noticed that the amusement park ride ended with fewer passengers than it started?

Granted, Andre Norton's "Quag Keep" may have had a similar problem (unless the abducted left dead bodies behind) The abduction being done via enchanted gaming figures; the abducted sort of waking up in some tavern and becoming a party. At first they have no memory of their original lives, all that ties them together is that they all have (unremovable) bracelets with various polyhedral dice as charms. As the story progresses, they realize the charms tend to roll just before they run into danger -- they then try to influence the charms to stop in different positions hoping to get better results, etc. Finally reach the "big bad", which is where the enchanted game figures are being produced and somehow getting shipped off to Earth. They manage to defeat the villain, but also discover they can't return to Earth.
Norgarth 20th Dec 2021, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
As far as 'No one noticed they were gone', since there was no 'final episode' made (although there was a script written, titled Requiem if you want to look it up) where they make it home, it's quite possible there may have been a Narnia effect where they get back moments after they let, even if they spent years in The Realm.
Digo 21st Dec 2021, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
There is an episode that they found a portal home, but the problem was that Venger followed them and they didn't want to doom their world with that crazy guy, so the backtracked out.
GD 18th Dec 2021, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
...Mark was very much a typo. Thank you all for pointing it out. I'll get an updated page up soon. ^_^'
Peliaos 18th Dec 2021, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
Fun fact about that show, it was considered one of the most violent shows on television at it's time. And that's despite the fact it used swords to shoot pew-pew lasers instead of... you know, being swords.

Also, it showed off the thief's panties in one episode, and the acrobat's nipple in another.
Stormy Tinker 18th Dec 2021, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, they got refined and collected into the Unearthed Arcana expansion.

Ranger - Missile fighter subclass, but they threw in tracking and some Druid spells at higher levels.
Cavalier - Similar to Paladin, but more focused on chivalrous combat. A *snobby* Paladin. Aigh.
Barbarian - Trying to tap into the Conan themes, with an active dislike of magic to the point they're anti-magic. Known for D12 hit dice.
Acrobat - Ditches the traps and stealth for mobility and dodging.
tipulsar85 19th Dec 2021, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Oddly enough, the Ranger in UA is missing the spells that are in the PHB version. Also prior to Oriental Adventures, the only class to get a skill like function was the thief and acrobat. These "Nonweapon Proficiencies" would not be fleshed out until Dungeoneer's Survival Guide and later, 2nd edition would try for a bit.
Stormy Tinker 19th Dec 2021, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
I thought UA was where they introduced Nonweapon Proficiencies (at least, outside Dragon articles). I may be misremembering, it's been ages.
StrandedGeek 18th Dec 2021, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Having gotten into the show in more recent years on youtube (seriously you can find the whole series youtube no hassle) it's kind of amazing of what this show could do despite it's limitations. It's actually no surprise this was done so well because it was done by Marvel Productions & Gary Gygax himself helped worked on this show. It has a lot of rough edges so it's not perfect. We don't get a lot of deep character moments, a few of them is a bit on the subtle side. And of course it suffers from the "will they ever get home" tease cliche. That's why a lot of fans of this show were really pissed because it got canceled with one unfinished last episode of Requiem that I mentioned last update: which ironically would have given us the answers, with the defeat of Venger & the promise of them getting home. I actually found a website that shut down fairly recently that was a hardcore dedication to this show and accord to them: there were plans for a 4th season where the kids would be home but monsters from Dungeonland would invade kind of like what happens in Digimon. There was a lot of foreshadowing to really indicate that they had always planned for the kids to get home.

If there is one episode I would recommend it's ironically one of the episodes that was considered controversial: The Dragon's graveyard. It's not as bad as some other stuff that's came before or since. It fact the reason why it was controversial is stupid because in the context of the show & in real life it makes sense. And it has some important plot details. It's a bit of a SPOILER but after getting screwed out of another way home for the zillianth time by Venger, the kids do the most progressive idea they can think, they demand Dungeon Master to tell them how to get Tiamat's help in capturing Venger & putting an end to him so they can finally go home. It's dark episode and upset parents didn't like the idea of these kids being "disrespectful" to their elder and have the heroic good guys consider the idea of killing, even if it is the bad guy. But it's actually a good story and in the end the main lesson to take away from it was that they eventually don't go through with it, doing whole "If did I'd be no better than you." lesson. A great lesson I think kids need to learn and the show actually addressed the obvious roadblock for once. I could ramble on more but I go over everything in my written review on my Deviant Art page. Which if asked I'll give a link if interested.
KSClaw 19th Dec 2021, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
You mean missed the "mark" ;)
Winged Cat 19th Dec 2021, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Given how the show's love interests played out, is this setting up some Rari-Twi shipping?
b-wolf95 19th Dec 2021, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
...Is no one going to point out that, based on who playing who on this page, *Dash* is the one playing the wizard?
Wulfraed 20th Dec 2021, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
As long as she doesn't play him with the personality of "Cheech Wizard" (let's see how long it takes the non-greymuzzles to figure that one out <G> )
Prairie Son 20th Dec 2021, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
Given how his magic rarely worked as intended, I wouldn't be surprised if RD is actually playing a Wild Mage. Also, unlike the show these are unlikely to be 0-level schlubs who really have no clue what they're doing.