Page 1731 - All That Glitters

18th Aug 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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All That Glitters
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Aug 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
I'm a firm believer in the idea that a magical artifact with a dramatic backstory of how it was previously used is many times more compelling than a magical artifact with just a mechanical power and a price tag.

Any stories about spinning a yarn to help "sell" a magical item?

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



Demon Nachos 18th Aug 2022, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
If Discord was smart he'd double check that artifact to ensure it is in fact going to do as advertised before wearing it. 95% odds Tirek is playing him (And you don't need to have seen the series itself to see that twist coming).
Aria 18th Aug 2022, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
20 pages later...

Discord: "Wait, wait wait wait, you shouldn't be able to hurt me! I'm wearing your amulet, that's supposed to make me immune to your powers!"
Tirek, grinning: "Not quite, Discord. I said that MY BROTHER'S amulet made HIM immune to my powers. You have MY amulet, and that does no such thing."
Winged Cat 18th Aug 2022, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Also, while this applies to Tirek's own magic, does this apply to the magic that Tirek drained from others?
aylatrigger 18th Aug 2022, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Could also be a two way street. Both immune to each other's magic. But when magic is off the table, hoof-fighting still is available. And Tirek's getting awfully buff...
Ransom4 18th Aug 2022, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, that actually might be a way for an insight check of sorts to pass muster. It would tell him it does exactly what Tirek says, just not to whom he says.
Toric 18th Aug 2022, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
Problem is, to our knowledge Discord doesn't have stats, he has plot device powers. And related to a comment above, it's specifically a "matching set" likely needing both halves to be worn by two people to defend them against each other.
Vanshira 20th Aug 2022, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, Tirek did say "With this around your neck, I will be unable to drain YOUR powers". I'm not sure how the DM intends to exact-words that to Tirek's advantage, but there must be a way.
Truthkeeper 19th Aug 2022, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
He doesn't get to pull an Exact Words when he follows it up with "With this around your neck, I will be unable to drain your powers". That's just regular old lying, not nearly as dramatic.
Thomas Kemp 18th Aug 2022, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Oh Discord, not even going to cast Identify Object on the thing first? He doesn't even realise he's not the BBEG anymore.
Jennifer 18th Aug 2022, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Although there's an obvious pitfall - he says Scorpan's artifact defends against magic, not that HIS defends against magic - I can't really believe DiscordDM won't test it, for both in-universe and out-of-universe reasons.

DiscordDM ain't that stupid.

And Spud has a history of subverting our expectations.

I can't wait to see how this is going to go next.

Never noticed before, but there appears to be a ring in the ring of the artifact!
A Hat with a Smaller Hat 18th Aug 2022, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
At the same time, I think it's also very in character for him to think he's being so clever by pushing Tirek to this point that his smugness would overwrite the obvious fact that Tirek is being careful with his word choice.
CyanWhisp 18th Aug 2022, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Discord appears to be operating under the assumption that he’s still a co-DM while DM appears to be treating him more like a guest player this time around. His flair for the dramatic has gotten the better of him. He’s so fixated on the final battle between him and the girls that he doesn’t even consider that the GM might be working to subvert that.
Borg 18th Aug 2022, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
But how do you test whether an artifact makes you immune to a specific person's magic or whether they just want you to think it does?
CyanWhisp 18th Aug 2022, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
It’s Discord. It’s not a huge stretch to assume that he could pull the chaos equivalent of detect magic or identity out of his butt.
Digo 18th Aug 2022, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Maybe it's as simple as Tirek getting so powerful with the alicorn magic that it does not matter what Discord's power level is, Tirek could just overpower Discord by force.
CrowMagnon 18th Aug 2022, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
I have a story about keeping an item with backstory relevant. Which is tricky if you introduce it early on and don't want it to get forgotten thanks to an adventurer's pragmatic need to be equipped with the best gear.

The swordsman in the Strange Aeons game I'm running (Pathfinder 1e AP) has an adamantine longsword named Noble Heart, which is passed down his family of knights. It was given to him when he left home to find his fortune, even though he was the "grey sheep" of the family at the time he left, and had done some pretty bad things through willful ignorance of his employer's motives when he found a patron. Later in the story, he had to use that sword to kill an archon (LG celestial) that was in the process of being corrupted by the influence of a Great Old One before it could fall completely and go on a rampage. This causes Noble Heart to be coated in an ashen stain in the aftermath of that battle, and the swordsman takes the archon's flaming sword.

So, a book later, the swordsman character is a guilt-ridden mess who is fully devoted to the idea of giving his life to stop whatever his former employer is going to set into motion by tampering with Things Man Should Not Know, and I bring in his brother. A cleric of the good deity that the rest of the family worships and the swordsman no longer feels worthy of, the brother set out on his own quest to find the swordsman when the family stopped receiving word from him.

Long story short because I need to get to work, the cleric brother performs a rite that calls upon his deity to fuse Noble Heart with the archon's flaming sword, to show that even if the swordsman is no longer a devotee of that deity, he's trusted to do what needs to be done.
rmsgrey 18th Aug 2022, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
An idea I've seen somewhere (though I forget which specific system, let alone which rulebook, etc) is having "heirloom" magic items. An item which has backstory significance, but starts off relatively mundane. As the party adventures, instead of getting item drops that would let that player trade up for better gear, their heirloom item gets upgrades - possibly just as GM fiat (sword goes up to +2 now), possibly through adventuring for story macguffins (finding a ruby of unusual quality to socket into the hilt adds or upgrades flaming), possibly through transferring enchantments from related items (merging with a flaming sword), possibly through pure mechanics (the item tracks XP in some way and gains bond levels, unlocking new powers for its wielder), possibly through story quests/goals (specific milestones or achievements unlocking specific powers).

There's also the choice between making this something special that only applies to some items, or something that changes how all (permanent) magic items work - making newly acquired items start weak but upgrade over time.
Prairie Son 18th Aug 2022, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
D&D has had rules for that in various editions, both weapons and items. I think RuneQuest as well.
Wulfraed 19th Aug 2022, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha (current edition of RQ) does have heirlooms -- which one may obtain during character generation -- but they don't change once rolled.

Heirlooms run the gamut from "ancestor worshiped as hero by your cult" (gain devotion(deity) or loyalty(temple), +5% Orate, +5 Reputation), a pot of Woad, 1D3 pots of Rhino Fat (stinks for hours, but provides 1 hour of 1pt armor equivalent when rubbed over the body), to "An ostentatious metal helmet (normal AP and ENC but worth thrice normal) and containing a 2-point spirit magic matrix"
Chakat Firepaw 19th Aug 2022, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
It's a not uncommon mechanic, plus some systems have it intrinsically.

As an example, with Hero you would handle an heirloom/legendary/etc. item by simply putting XPs into making it more powerful, (increasing it from 1dK to 1d+1K or adding Missile Deflection for instance).
Freelance 18th Aug 2022, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Personally, no. I will, however, admit I always did enjoy the lore of the various magical unique items I discovered in Baldur's Gate 2.
Guest 18th Aug 2022, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
I would like to point out Twilight’s player rolled a check to see what she knew about Tirek. I wonder if this is part of the GM’s plan. I hope DiscordGM is going to be ready for his sudden and inevitable betrayal because he is only relaying on knowledge from a quick look rather then getting the information other ways.
Winged Cat 18th Aug 2022, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I once had an entire character arc about today's story time prompt.

Imagine if you will a starfarer. Plies the space lanes on her own small magical starship, doing special-ops-like errands for the interstellar organization she works for. Until, one day, her entire universe ends due to an out-of-context threat. She manages to see it coming and bounce out of the only galaxy she has ever known, suddenly thrown from reality to reality, making her way as best she can.

Eventually she comes to a realm that runs on narrative. It is a pastoral place, with ships of water but precious few of sky and none of space. Her spaceship - her only surviving remnant of her precious, dear home - is alien and unwelcome, at first. She, however, is human (or human enough, even with her silver hair and clothes that shimmer in alien rainbows: yellow, blue, red, green, and purple in that order) and thus allowed to exist in the realm. She settles in, doing odd jobs and becoming familiar to the locals, explaining her backstory in more detail over time. Eventually she gets permission to bring in her ship, and wastes no time hauling her home (to which she had chained herself, via chains that existed just outside the realm) to dock.
Roguim 18th Aug 2022, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
And you accepted it without cast detect magic/Identify/detect curses... bad move, Discord bad move....
Wolfier 18th Aug 2022, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Could be acting so Tirek thinks he's got him.
Roguim 19th Aug 2022, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, it's possible, and it would be a good twist, but either he was fall or as other said this protection is only against Scorpan's magic.
Also Tirek could saying the truth and in the end Twilight sharing the power with the group will be enough to defeat both.
Guest 18th Aug 2022, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
This triangle has so much betrayal written on that it's gonna overflow into not happening
Hariman 18th Aug 2022, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
Happy belated birthday!

Also... that pendant should only protect Discord against Scorpan's magic, by the story.
A Quiet Reader 18th Aug 2022, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
I love not only how the comment section immediately identified several potential ways this could come back to bite Discord, but also how it doesn't feel forced or OOC for Discord!DM to make this mistake. Keep up the great work Spud!
Arcanestomper 18th Aug 2022, 8:36 PM edit delete reply
A lot of people have mentioned how Tirek says that his brother's amulet made his brother immune to his magic, and nothing about his own amulet doing the same. But in the very next panel he specifically says that the amulet he is giving Discord will make him immune to magic draining.

Now he didn't say anything about the other magic he has now, and he could be straight up lying to Discord. But that particular bit of clever wordplay has been ruled out.