Page 1757 - Conditional Surrender

18th Oct 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Conditional Surrender
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Oct 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
In my Comic Life project file for the What About Discord arc, this is the 101st page. (Combined pages are counted as multiple, of course.)

Gee, this has been a pretty long arc, huh?

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



CyanWhisp 18th Oct 2022, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I think completing a full story arc is the point where you stop being a newbie.
Prairie Son 18th Oct 2022, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
In that case we're well past the point where Spud needed to change the handle. At the latest, the end of the Elusive arc.
Otterfriend 18th Oct 2022, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
Alternatively, we could stop reading his handle as "Newbie Spud" and start reading it as "New Biespud".
albedoequals1 18th Oct 2022, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
Veteranspud doesn't have the same ring to it. Masterspud? Expertspud? Elderspud might work.
NobleCuriosity3 18th Oct 2022, 6:58 PM edit delete reply

“Elderspud” has the best scansion, but makes me crack up a bit. I can’t help but imagine some Eldritch potato horror. Like when they’ve started sprouting, but with tentacles instead of stems&roots.

BahamutDragoon 18th Oct 2022, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
So I'm guessing Discord DM was not informed his style of DMing didn't exactly go over well with the players?
NobleCuriosity 18th Oct 2022, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
DiscordDM guessed (and CelestiaDM basically confirmed to him) in #1161 “Training Flashback” that “it’s not quite working out.”

This makes it clear that he did not grasp the MAGNITUDE of how much it “didn’t work out.”

His inability to recognize he was making the (majority of the) players miserable BEFORE CelestiaDM came into the room alone with him making an “I have some bad news” face (after talking to the players during the break) reflects poorly on him (and he probably didn’t understand before the break, as he expressed surprise that they wanted to break so soon). However, in fairness to present DiscordDM, he did eventually get invited back—which probably assuaged any nagging doubts he might have had about whether he went too far. Hence the shock right now.
A Hat with a Hat 19th Oct 2022, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
Even within that same comic, DiscorDM makes a lot of excuses for his actions, telling regular DM that "you personally did well when I was your main DM". It was the first sign that regular DM realized things were not exactly going as they should, that his group is clearly not a fan of DiscorDM's style of "watch me hold all of the cards and you just have to go along with my routine", which isn't even a very fun DMing style when it works. Every generation of D&D makes it clear: it is a game where the DM and players work together to make a fun experience, not simply watch as the DM steers his way to an easy victory.

I think it's why he got really mad when Fluttershy's player really wasn't having it. Sure, she definitely had a IRL response to an in character situation, but she was right on the money. He doesn't really *like* being confronted, he just wants a game where he can do what he wants, and often to the detriment of the players. And from a comic later at the end of the session, where he gets uncomfortable when Regular DM tells him to "knock off the character", it makes me feel like his IRL mentality and DMing style aren't exactly that divorced. Same when he quickly got out of dodge when Fluttershy's player tried to apologize and he acted like he wasn't bothered at all.
Cyborg7221 18th Oct 2022, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Huh. Sounds like it never occurred to DiscorDM that the others didn't enjoy his initial arc.

On the one hand, it'd be tempting to say that maybe the GM should have talked to him out of game about all this instead of concocting this elaborate plan to deal with it at the table. But given DiscorDM's personality, it makes sense that GM would be nervous about discussing it directly. And also, clear communication is the enemy of drama.

This is gonna be interesting.
Warlock 18th Oct 2022, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
There is also the (somewhat probable) notion that maybe even Discord *wouldn't* take the GM seriously even if directly told. It's never fun being told stuff via third party, for sure, but while many wish to mitigate the blow, some folks are made of more stubborn stuff, and will rationalize away anything that doesn't cause *enough* shock. While we will have to wait and see why Discord's reacting so weird to be certain, it is also possible that as a GM, enjoyment of the dramatic came from a naturally controlling nature, which is augmented by an efficient means of compartmentalizing feelings - they ignore individual discomfort for the greater enjoyment (aka, schadenfreude). However, in this arc so far, there has been little to demonstrate any sense of Co-GMing here - neither GM nor Co-GM have discussed the overall goal of the arc, the rewards of success, the outcome of failures, the boundaries of which mysteries are allowed to be revealed, solved, etc - at least on screen.

It is highly possible that Discord's been out of the PC loop for so long now, that the notion of "if I am having fun, everyone else must be too" is getting rocked heavily. It's possible the weird statements are causing doubt into this, and it's even more possible that they aren't able to comprehend what the plan could be - if people are miserable, it is a possibility they might have reached the conclusion of:

Players aren't having fun -> Rocks fall everyone dies -> New campaign begins -> Wait, I like this game! If they quit it's over, and that's not fun at all!
A Hat with a Hat 19th Oct 2022, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
I think the note about his DMing style and mentality tracks with one of the comics near the end of Return of Harmony, where RegularDM tells DiscordDM that the session is over so he can knock off the character for the night. DiscordDM gets noticably uncomfortable at this suggestion. I don't think his IRL self is very divorced from his DMing persona at all
Warlock 19th Oct 2022, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
It wouldn't be a stretch to assume Discord suffers from Main Character Syndrome, where the spotlight is not to be shared or passed, and definitely never to have someone else with a spotlight brighter than theirs.

At least, while gaming. In real life, it may be *far* more complicated than any comment section could fairly dissect.
Prairie Son 19th Oct 2022, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
It is to be noted that IRL he answered the phone in a very DIscord/BBEG style. I think the guy needs an evaluation to make sure he's in a good headspace or not.
Roguim 18th Oct 2022, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
not surprised that DiscordDM is unaware that the players haven't enjoyed his campaign.
NobleCuriosity 18th Oct 2022, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
It feels a bit telling that Discord expressed his confusion about the players’ tactical plan first, and their previous misery afterwards.
loyalChaos 18th Oct 2022, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
That's not really fair. It makes for a better punch line written like that.
NobleCuriosity3 18th Oct 2022, 6:54 PM edit delete reply
That’s a good point, yeah.
Wolfier 18th Oct 2022, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
How about the fact that he didn't clue on till someone actually stated the quiet part out loud.
NobleCuriosity3 19th Oct 2022, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
I discussed that in a comment further up the page—he actually did guess that things “weren’t quite working out” last time after the session break (but seems to have seriously misjudged the magnitude of how badly it didn’t work). And yes, it does reflect poorly on him to not have cottoned to anything amiss before the session break.
Digo 18th Oct 2022, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
I dislike when players are like "my character is probably being defiant, but I'm accepting this fate."

Aww, don't resign! Act out what your characters would do! Show me some energy! Say what's on your character's mind, don't hold back! I like to see my players flip the villain the middle finger. ^^
Warlock 19th Oct 2022, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
While anecdotal evidence isn't exactly "fact", and more "observational trends specific to a person", I can say this:

A player who accepts the fate but doesn't feel like acting the character out, is, again by my running experience, not fully invested. This could be from a slump of energy caused by IRL issues, just general disassociation with plot elements, lack of energy from other players, or just tantrums (plenty of options exist), but when a player is on point, the table often follows suit - until the one player starts getting main character syndrome. It's kind of like a bell curve, to me, and from what I've been able to tell, if a GM can manage to keep the spotlight dancing from player to player (rather than a single person always up on stage), the whole "resignation attitude" almost never crops itself up. (although it's antithesis, supersnark, may find a new way to bust in).

But again, that is just my table experience, and could possibly be affected by limited sample size.
Digo 20th Oct 2022, 3:41 AM edit delete reply
I can excuse a player if they have issues , but if I see that the energy and investment is there, then I want the players to use it.

I've also been on the flip side of the screen; I have the energy and investment to really get into character, but the GM just "phones it in" with the encounter and then I feel like it was wasted effort left on the table.
Tenebrae 20th Oct 2022, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Eh, I don't know that that is fair. They've been invested so far and this session has probably been running long. As both a player and DM, I don't think it signals any wider problem to occasionally have a moment of quickly summarizing your actions so you can move on to the next part of the plot. Sometimes it's fun to draw out a largely pointless scene, sometimes it is not.