Page 171 - Overwhelming Will

6th Sep 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Overwhelming Will
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 6th Sep 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Being the Diplomancer is the approach that usually keeps the most people alive... but sometimes, you just want to destroy something.

Also, shoutout to Roy and Sam of the Brony Bookclub podcast, along with Lucres of the great fic Ponies Play D&D. You guys are awesome.

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



Cain 6th Sep 2012, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
And the crazy nutjob needs to apologize. Of course
schpeelah 6th Sep 2012, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Of course she does. How else will she learn?
Raxon 6th Sep 2012, 5:53 PM edit delete reply
Oblivious 6th Sep 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Last panel has best caption. You've done it again, Spuddy.
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
The problem with being a Diplomancer is that it requires all three sides to want to actually listen to what you have to say, and then actually use their brains to parse your words into something agreeable to their goals.

Far easier is it for people to just start swinging weapons. I know, I was a diplomancer in a party of Berzerkers traveling the land of Aggro.
Karilyn 6th Sep 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
It's usually advisable during diplomancy to appeal to their emotional side as opposed to their logical side, unless you're trying to diplomance with Vulcans.
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
True, but again all sides have to WANT to listen to you. In my case, both the enemy and my fellow PCs are about as diplomatically skilled as a cow rolling upstairs both ways.
The lowest common denominator is to draw weapons and roll for initiative. :)

The GM says he loves PC diplomancers, but I had to call him out because all the NPCs he's thrown at us haven't bothered to accept my demands to parley. >_>
Zuche 6th Sep 2012, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Have you ever tried opening with the offer of a bigger, better fight in front of an enthusiastic and paying audience?
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Can't say that I have, but I'll certainly make note of that for next time.
Karilyn 6th Sep 2012, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Less demands, more, "Hey, I can help you dawg."
Cain 6th Sep 2012, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis and the Were-rats. He tried to talk his way through, and the party decided that the twitch from the rat meant the he was under attack, so the rat gets a round in the eye. The wizard had been using ghost sound (I think that's what it's called, the one you can project your voice elsewhere) trying to stop the archer. during the fighting, Ranubis is whacking them with the sides of his hammer going "I'm so sorry it came to this."
Zuche 6th Sep 2012, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
I hope it helps.

Just out of curiousity, are knowledge checks ever relevant to your attempts at parley? I find a lot of players never bother with them simply because they assume a "monster knowledge check" requires a minor action. (Worse, I know DMs who insist on it.)

"What do I know about these guys?" can help drag your DM into negotiation. The other players can be trickier, but one option is to ask them, "what do you know about these guys?"

I'm also somewhat fond of the mistaken identity gambit.

"Hey, it's Nanoc the Barbarian Destroyer! Guys, this could solve everything! Did I ever tell you about the time Nanoc fought Tharokke of Balboa? I'd heard NO ONE came back from that one, but hey, here's Nanoc! Dude, you wouldn't believe how much we could use your help right now!"

My view is this: when all else fails, stun your table into silence by taking it as far over the top as you can go. Hook the NPC with flattery, and the PC with curiousity. The reverse can work, but this order tends to be more reliable. Still, the key here is to take the stab-happy out of their comfort zone before you make with the actual sweet talk.
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
Knowledge checks aren't very relevent with this particular GM. He keeps it so "high-level" that it reads like a Google search entry. :3

However, my character hasn't been "over the top" with her negotiation skills. more level-headed and pushy.
So I'm going to rent a dozer and pull out the stops over by my neighborhood and try your ideas.

Can't hurt :D Thanks!
Zuche 6th Sep 2012, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
You're welcome. Based on what I've read, the suggestions are now in more capable hands than mine. I hope you'll enjoy the results.
Ponyfodder 6th Sep 2012, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
"Tharokke of Balboa"

I see what you did there. I took pun damage. I am going to use that as a character name next time I make a fighter.
Zuche 7th Sep 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
I admittedly borrowed the first name from a guy who based his half-orc on a fairly well-known wrestler. It seemed like fair game to use it in turn for the boxer.

Fun player, as was his brother.
Raxon 7th Sep 2012, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
I love this concept, and I have used it in the past, though not necessarily with gaming groups.
Ramsus 6th Sep 2012, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Also usually advisable to just break out the mind control spells like Charm Person, Suggestion, and Dominate Person/Monster. Heehee.
Malroth 7th Sep 2012, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
And then use the opportunity to be nicer to your new mindslaves than their old employer so that they stay on your side even after the spell wears off. Give new meaning to "Friendship is Magic"
Ramsus 7th Sep 2012, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
Hahaha, nice.
Akouma 6th Sep 2012, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
I remember once I stepped forward to play diplomancer with some pretty bad results. We had been teleported into what we quickly discovered was unfriendly territory. My character stepped forward, trying to explain the situation and offered to leave immediately since we didn't know where we were. Our party's barbarian was furious at the insinuation that she might not be able to kill everything this session, and promptly charged the lead baddie.

...Our initial reaction *may* have been to just leave her to die, only stopped when the baddies attacked us (instead of just her) roping us into the fight one way or another.
Raxon 6th Sep 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
"I'm very sorry about that, mister dragon. Is there any way I can make it up to you?"
"Well, baby, I can think of one way."
Cue sleazy jazz.
Colin 6th Sep 2012, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
<i>Oh my.</i>
Oblivious 6th Sep 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
No, bad Raxon! You'll attract the wrong kind of attention with that comment.
Raxon 6th Sep 2012, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Ack! Not the spray bottle! I hate the spray bottle!

The whip is nice, though.
CharginChuck 6th Sep 2012, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
I really need to find an alternative to that spray bottle. I'm sick of having to replace my monitor every few days.
Raxon 6th Sep 2012, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
I have a special massaging shower head you can borrow, but I need it back by Monday. The old nine to five just isn't the same without my little lunch break pick-me-up.
Guest 6th Sep 2012, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Well, if the dragon wants to start a jazz duo with Fluttershy that plays sleazy jazz, I don't see how that's any worry to anyone except dragon nightclub owners.
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
And forever more in my mind I can no longer read the dragon's lines without using the Barry White voice.
nekollx 6th Sep 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
na dragons are better then that its Barry Ponylow
Raxon 6th Sep 2012, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
How has nobody commented that I am the wrong kind of attention?
Destrustor 6th Sep 2012, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
Because it's just so obvious to everyone.
And we wouldn't have it any other way.
Lyntermas 6th Sep 2012, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Ah, the great wish of many D&D players: being just so darn good at roleplaying that you don't have to roll the dice.

Here's a topic: Think of a time that a DM was so impressed by an idea or conversation, that they allowed it as an automatic success (or so bad they made it an automatic failure).
ThousandYearSunrise 6th Sep 2012, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Well, my DM absolutely HATES puns. She tends to reject any sort of pun-based action out of hand.
Ponyfodder 6th Sep 2012, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
As a DM, I have implemented "pun damage" in my game. You make a bad pun, your character takes 1 pun damage (nonleathal, no resistance). Your character makes a bad pun, and everyone withing hearing distance makes a save. Succeed, and you grant them combat advantage. Fail, and you make them take 1 pun damage.
Destrustor 6th Sep 2012, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
Is it possible to get critical puns?
Can pun damage be enchanted into a weapon?
Could an insane wizard invent a spell specifically to deal pun damage?
Are there Pun Elementals?
Is there an elemental plane of pun?
Power word:pun?
Punomancer prestige class?
Wand of puns?
Pun Dragons with their trademark pun breath?
Someone needs to weaponize puns. I'm sure there's a hilarious loophole to exploit.
Jason Shadow 6th Sep 2012, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
If I ever run a campaign, I need to implement ALL of this...
Anvildude 6th Sep 2012, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
Digo 6th Sep 2012, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
... ... ... ...I think... Never?

While I've granted auto-successes at times as the DM (Usually if the idea lends to "Rule of Cool" and isn't plot-breaking), the other GM in the group has never done so. Just not his style I guess.
Demonu 6th Sep 2012, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
3 words: ultimate dance off.

I'm going to get my notes.

EDIT: first dinner, then notes
XandZero2 6th Sep 2012, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
DDR style?

Or Just Dance?

Demonu 6th Sep 2012, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Dance. Because if we were going to do this, we might as well do it with style 8)

Anyway, this happened during my group's Halloween Extravaganza, something that has become a kind of tradition to do. The week leading up to Halloween, we would hold several game sessions that week (as opposed to just one) with each having another theme going. Examples include the obvious PC + typical (movie) monster template and have an adventure were they are the bad guys. Another is a variant on the drinking game where everyone notes down a famed (fictional) character, passes it to someone else and then they have to role play said character role playing D&D. ROLE PLAY-CEPTION! ^^ (with various effects/bonuses/penalties tied to it)
Of course, these session were also the opportunity to cranck up the silliness/weirdness/humour and everything that happens is considered non-canon (unless the group decides it is canon)
Also Dave, the BARDbarian had joined us for Halloween Extravaganza so awesomeness will follow. Those with a weak constitution are advised to read the following in seperate fragments :)

So one of these sessions start out with the group (just the regular PC's) coming across what's fairly obvious a pastiche of every famous horror movie out there. You got your typical horror movie peasants, swamps, perpetual night with a full moon, fog, castle in the distance with lightning cracking over it, etc.

The group, having got the quest to investigate the murders around the village, walks down a dirt road until they come at a junction where they find a man who's clearly in distress, talking gibberish and shouting random sounds. With some prying and good dice rolls, they finally get the man to form some coherent sentences:

Mike: "Tell us, good man: what's going on here?"
Man: "It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark."
Mike: "What are you trying to say?"
Man: "Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart."
Jim: "What are you blabbering on about?"
Man: "You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it."
Tim: "A vampire? A banshee? what?"
Man: "You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes."
Tim: "A lich?"
Man: "You're paralyzed."

BAM, group becomes stunned and they start combat. Due to them being paralyzed, the man automatically goes first. He summons a bunch of zombies to assist him. Battle goes a bit back and forth until it's Dave's turn.

Dave: "My standard and move action can also be used as minor actions, right?"
Me: "Yeah, but I don't see what you would want to do with 3 minor actions."
Dave: "Okay, first I place my hand on top of my head while looking down."
Me: "Sure..."
Dave: "I then grab my crotch with my other hand."
Me: "Are you going to do what I think you're going to do?"
Dave (with a huge grin): "I start thrusting my pelvis."

And so, Dave held a dance off versus zombie necromancer Micheal Jackson. Billy Jean against Thriller. Billy Jean won, not due to dice rolls or outstanding role playing but because Dave put on the song and started dancing IR. We had to pause the game for 10 minutes to recover from cheering and sides hurting from laughing.

Of course, being Halloween, the group has gone the extra mile and actually dressed up as their characters. Well, nothing major the levels of cosplay but more things like Tim strapping on a cloak, Jim showing up with a sword, helmet and fur rug, etc.
Zuche 6th Sep 2012, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Once, when the rest of my party tried to figure out the best way to negotiate with bar patrons ill-disposed toward "our kind", my low Charisma dwarf threw a sack of gold onto the bar and called out, "A round for everyone, and the rest to the one that can drink me under the table!"

The DM decided that this was exactly the sort of Diplomacy one needed to win over such a rough and wild place. I'd just been hoping for either a bonus to an untrained check or to buy time for someone with better Charisma to work out something.
Stairc 6th Sep 2012, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
I remember a great time Chris Perkins did it in the Acquisitions game. The party had found a hellcow (as they called it) that was chewing on a bloodrock boulder. Later on, the hellcow still around, they were chasing a fleeing enemy who had grabbed a treasure chest. He was getting away and then Jim Darkmagic said, "Can I use magic to make him look like one of those rocks that the Hellcow was snacking on earlier?"

Perkins, "You don't even have to roll. That's genius."

And the hungry hellcow attacked their foe.

Demonu 6th Sep 2012, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Or in the latest PAX live Acquisitions Incorporated where Will Wheaton described what his character does when swinging off a rope. Flying through the ear, doing flips, opening cloak to reveal doves, change into an animal and such. It has to be seen/heard to be believed :p
Ranubis 6th Sep 2012, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Sure, being a Diplomancer usually keeps the party alive... but then, sometimes you split the party and the DM apparently kills off the other half of the group when you weren't looking.

*Glares meaningfully at Stairc*
Oblivious 6th Sep 2012, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, at least one of the fighters is also a diplomancer. We weren't totally boned...for long.
Stairc 6th Sep 2012, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
*smiles innocently*
sunbeam 6th Sep 2012, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
I don't think you can emote smiling innocently when your avatar is a god smiling menacingly...
Oblivious 6th Sep 2012, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
C'mon, let Danny dream. It's not like he can smile innocently while DMing the campaign, mostly because we can't see him. Also, because he attacked us with a nightmarish gargoyle.
Ponyfodder 6th Sep 2012, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
I personally find it helps to have character equally skilled in the magical schools of diplomancy AND pyromancy. (Yay sorcerers, charisma as a main stat!)
Demonu 6th Sep 2012, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
That works pretty well with another character I play: a wild mage sorcerer who's also a bit of a gambler so he favors Bluff/Intimidate instead.

"So either you agree to our terms or I let loose this here little wild magic spell. It might just make it rain or it could burn down the entire city. Wild magic is unpredictable like that. But here's the thing: are you willing to take that chance?"
Destrustor 6th Sep 2012, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
Feeling lucky, punk?
Ramsus 6th Sep 2012, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
I mentioned way earlier but one of my favorite and longest lasting D&D characters was a Beguiler, which is like a lot like a sorcerer except mainly only using charm and illusion schools.

So of course I had high diplomacy and bluff. "Do you want to sit down and talk things out? Wait, I don't care what your answers is. You do." =)
Jason Shadow 6th Sep 2012, 7:29 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
You know, I'd always felt a little sympathetic towards the dragon in this episode, but until now it never really hit me exactly what the poor thing went through. (The static images in this comic help.) Now I'm getting those blanket-and-warm-drink urges again...
Zarhon 7th Sep 2012, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
I'll share a diplomancy story from Pony Team Bravo, over what can be best described as a hostage situation involving one of our players...

We were given a task to go hunt for artifacts by Celestia and were about to board the train to leave Canterlot. Our team doctor, Midnight Moon, suddenly rolls a critical failure perception check. This causes him to fail to notice his pegasus fiancee, rocketing towards him.

At this point, we learn that Midnight Moon comes from a wealthy family. His parents had placed him in an arranged marriage with Platinum Coronet, a crazy, spoiled-rotten, rich pegasus with an obsession for Midnight Moon (one which he does NOT share). He decided to escape this fate by running away, becoming a traveling doctor, eventually winding up with us.

Long story short, Platinum Coronet is hugging (read: holding in a death-grip) our team medic and his status of eligible bachelor is in serious risk, as she's about to drag him away to get married, which would make us miss our train and/or delay the mission, as well as making Midnight Moon's life hell. What's worse, our resident klepto (and general troublemaker) is supporting the marriage idea. A grim situation, indeed.

This is where my character, Night Owl, comes in. He's a gem cutter/polisher by trade and has a partnership over a gem/jewelry shop. So he comes with the brilliant idea of persuading the marriage-crazed pegasus to go visit my partner's shop and buy diamond rings. Two rolls later (one to persuade her that I'm actually a gem cutter/polisher, since apparently I don't look like one), she loves the idea and starts dragging Midnight Moon to the shop. Midnight Moon then manages to convince her to go buy rings for both of them, diffusing the hostage situation and allowing us to board the train, whilst I send my partner a note to sell the most expensive gems we have to her and keep her occupied.

End result: Midnight Moon is still happily un-married, we manage to escape the fiancee and me/my partner make a huge profit from selling two ultra-expensive gems to a spoiled-rich bridezilla.

Everyone is happy, except our resident klepto, who wanted to marry and/or ship them on the spot, for reasons. She later tried to throw Midnight Moon out the window to his fiancee (who was chasing the train, dragging my hapless partner with her).

I think we might have been forced to combat her if we didn't manage to diplomance her. Or perform a rescue of our captive party member. Or a bachelor party.
redwings1340 7th Sep 2012, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
if she is a pegasus she probably has a way to get where you're going without the train. I doubt this is the last you've seen of her, and if her desperation is high enough, she may cause trouble for you down the road (strike a deal with the villain to get Midnight Moon back).
Zarhon 7th Sep 2012, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
Well we were worried about her catching up to the train when she started chasing it (she wasn't fast enough, luckily). And yeah, her re-appearing is almost certain to happen. Doubt she'd make alliances with the big bad (considering his very nature): She can probably just use her unlimited funding to achieve better results.
Demonu 7th Sep 2012, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
I am not appalled by the idea of Pony Team Bravo having to organize a stag party for Midnight Moon :)
LoganAura 7th Sep 2012, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
I really hope she doesn't have the Rainbow Dash or she COULD catch up to the train next session/whenever.
Demonu 7th Sep 2012, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
NPC's aren't build like PC's so I highly doubt it. Other than that, I don't think a spoiled pegasus would be able to achieve such speeds.
LoganAura 7th Sep 2012, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
Look up Princess from the old Power Puff Girls cartoon.

"Sure honey. Just let me write up a character sheet for you."
Hariman 8th Sep 2012, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Heh. Intimidated DM is flustered!

On a Random Side Note: I always hear "Friendship is Dragons" in the voice of the Heavy from Team Fortress 2.

I don't know why, I just do. And it fits. Look up "Heavy is Jetpack" on youtube for the fitting timing and pronunciation for how I hear it.