Page 1759 - Goat Gloat

22nd Oct 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Goat Gloat
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 22nd Oct 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
There's few things more dangerous than thinking you've got it all figured out from beginning to end.

I've had months and months to think about Discord's state of mind in this narrative moment - some of which is "because plot," admittedly - but when it comes to character, sometimes it really is as simple as that.

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



RuBoo 22nd Oct 2022, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
…I’ll be honest, I forgot about Discord’s “insurance”. Never actually saw those episodes, so…
ZhonLord 22nd Oct 2022, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
In the original episode, that little necklace piece was only a symbol of camraderie, it wasn't any form of insurance. In the comic is the only place where Scorpan and Tirek had protections against each other's magics, and as we predicted quite a while ago, that amulet is the one that protects against Scorpan - which Tirek never had a chance to remove before his banishment to Tartarus.
NobleCuriosity 22nd Oct 2022, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Well, technically it could be literally anything that produces a “faint magical aura,” as DiscordDM only did enough magical forensics to learn that much (1732, Achilles’ Heel-which takes on an interesting double meaning in hindsight, now referring to DiscordDM not doing anything else to investigate it. I mean, he was able to look up lots of details on the Mane 6’s history, shouldn’t he have been able to take a look at the moment Tirek got the amulet?).
But it would make sense for Tirek to have been telling the truth about the amulets and lying about which one he had.
Blake Black 22nd Oct 2022, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Blake Black
I still remember when our DM thought he had us with a tough Lich fight. All of us where down to single digits and ready to roll up new characters and the DM had begun his bad guy monologue. But then I remembered something. "Wait, it's still my turn and I'm using my bonus action to have my Imp..." "It doesn't matter. Nothing your Imp can do will work. You're finished!" "Yeah. Cause this fight's over. The Imp attacks your Phylactery and uses my Hurl Through Hell to send it and you on a jaunt through the hell planes." The DM looked at me like I had just done something totally unbelievable. But we had talked this over and he had agreed that since I had Investment it could use any spell or skill that made physical contact. And due to the Phylactery being an item and not getting a saving throw it was destroyed upon return and so was the Lich. We did the Regular Show OH! for nearly three minutes and the DM banned me from playing Pact of the Chain Fiend Warlocks ever again.
Jannard 22nd Oct 2022, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Nothing quite like breaking arrogance to pieces. Bonus for remembering at the last second, because otherwise it kinda becomes like when they go "I was several steps ahead of you"/"Well I was several steps ahead of your being several steps ahead", which may be hilarious, but lacks the sweet contrast.

Now, considering that objects are usually immune to psychic damage, and the agreement that the Imp's attack qualified for Hurl Through Hell was pretty much house ruled, I think banning the player from ever using a subclass again is quite a mediocre response (I mean, it would still be a sub-par response if there hadn't been so much rules wringing, but those make it worse).
LupisLight 22nd Oct 2022, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
The *object* may be immune to psychic damage, sure, but what about the soul that is currently contained within?
Blake Black 22nd Oct 2022, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
Blake Black
I also abused the Imp's Invisibility power pretty badly too by playing fast and loose with the term 'carrying'. He didn't complain about it at first, but I think it was when I Fireballed his assassin that I broke his back. Still, it was hysterical when I sudden appeared with a flaming sphere in his face.
Vegetalss4 25th Oct 2022, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
The other big that'd stop the trick from working baring house-rules, is that Liches aren't destroyed if you destroy their Phylactery. That just renders them capable of being killed.
It's also a big long to medium problem for the lich since they can't feed souls to their phylactery anymore, but that's not too relevant at combat time-scales.

It's a bit like if you cursed an ordinary character with an inability to sleep or take long/short rests. Huge problem over time, especially if they can't fix it, but not gonna make them worse at fighting you in the next minute.
Gashren 23rd Oct 2022, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
Except... Hurl through Hell targets a creature, so phylactery (an inanimate object) is not a valid target. Also, even if it could target items, most of magic items (and phylatery qualifies as such) can make their own saving throws if not held by a creature.

Also, as a DM I'd rule that since lich already started his turn (by monologuing), your turn was effectively already over.

So while certainly epic, that feat did require some rules bending for sure :) Good thing your DM went for it.
TehSterBarn 22nd Oct 2022, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
Laser guided karma in 3,2,1...
Roguim 22nd Oct 2022, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
And the amulet is only against Scorpan or only until a certain level of power that Tirek just surpass...
So betrayal in 3, 2...
Kereea 22nd Oct 2022, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
And the other shoe DROPS HARD
Hariman 22nd Oct 2022, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
The REAL challenge with be the Mane Six resisting the urge to say "I TOLD YOU SO!", especially Applejack.
NobleCuriosity 23rd Oct 2022, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
No disagreement there! I think it’s going to be like in the show where they go “You really didn’t see this coming?!?” That’s going to be a huge blow to DiscordDM’s ego, especially since he was just gloating about how he, as Newbiespud put it, “had everything figured out.”

I’m curious about how DiscordDM will react to that blow OOC. I suspect that he’s going to take it personally as a betrayal from CelestiaDM (much like he took Fluttershy’s response to Discord’s game personally), and try to argue it shouldn’t happen, but will grudgingly accept it once CelestiaDM points out all the hints they dropped (ex. Telling DiscordDM upfront that CelestiaDM wasn’t more invested in his success than the ponies’ and that it doesn’t make sense for Tirek to HAVE Scorpan’s magic-drain protecting amulet (why would Scorpan just give that to Tirek pre-imprisonment?)).

But what happens next? In particular, is it going to immediately blow up into a discussion of the problems with the last DiscordDM session, adding to his humiliation? It’s possible, as DiscordDM will probably be frustrated about his loss of agency and the players can rightfully point out that he did the same thing to their characters (LITERALLY taking their magic) in his previous session, leading into that revelation. If so that’s going to be an extremely rough double whammy for DiscordDM to take; I could even imagine him storming out of the session (and not coming back), and that being the reason Discord doesn’t do anything when the PCs beat Tirek and return all the stolen magic.

However, I think it’s more likely that, somehow, something positive will happen (probably not immediately, giving time for the Twilight-Tirek fight to occur), and in the end DiscordDM will at least partially make up with the main group, and Discord will tell the PCs how to beat Tirek (I.e. telling them something about the tree of harmony, one piece of the lore that DiscordDM knows more about than the Tirek story, that will enable them to access rainbow power—which Celestia already hinted at existing back right before this comic’s Magical Mystery Cure).

PS. I FINALLY got a ComicFury Avatar! Doesn't look that great at 125x125 px, so maybe I'll change it later.
Warlock 24th Oct 2022, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps, though I imagine another means would be to just play into their natural ego and fade to black, starting at the fight scene.

While it may make sense to watch the others play Twilight, having Discord actually start the fight as Twilight and have him 'solve the battle' could easily be just as disorientating. Start by playing Twilights character, then each turn the sheet could get passed along - any and all "plans" formed ultimately rely on everyone wanting to work together with Discord, who would start off by simply ordering the others what to do as they shrug him off. Each carefully crafted action, being thwarted by randomness, throwing chaos into the order his world demands. Unlikely, but given how well the main group understands each other, this volleyball playstyle would be quite a twist. And from personal experience, really can be quite fun when people just let the improv happen. Doesn't even need Dice to be rolled, just damage based on narrative description, and the GM decides how much to award.

It'd be a twist on the "tell me how it goes down", although i would admit i'd be amused to see Discord start trying to describe how Twilight fights before being constantly interrupted by the others about things they didn't know about adding flair to the scenes. Alas, also a very unlikely direction for the comic, if my intuition is anything I like to pretend it to be.
NobleCuriosity 24th Oct 2022, 4:29 PM Speculation on remaining session edit delete reply
Woah, it seems I was very unclear. I think it is extremely unlikely that DiscordDM will get to play as Twilight (why would he? He wasn’t part of the agreement on how her power up would work). He might try to tell the players what to do during the fight if he gets over the mass of negative emotions he’s about to experience faster than I expect. However, I think it’s more likely that DiscordDM has little to no input on that fight, either because he’s reacting badly enough to not be there or he’s simply sidelined and told he has to suck it up (just like Twilight’s player had to suck up having to sit around doing nothing but watch everyone else fall apart around her for half a session during his last appearance).

I think that after Twilight loses/forfeits the Tirek fight (which gives DiscordDM time to get over himself), he will make up with the group OOC and have Discord give the PCs some critical information (likely about the Tree of Harmony) that will enable them to unlock rainbow power, and finally beat Tirek. I’m not sure if Discord (the character) will actually befriend the PCs or not, since Discord would want them to beat Tirek and free all the stolen magic in order to get his own magic back, even if he still doesn’t like them. Regardless, I do think this session will probably end on the high note of Tirek’s defeat, and having at least partially mended the OOC relationship between the main GM/party and DiscordDM.
Stormy Tinker 22nd Oct 2022, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
One of my guilty pleasures is watching Survivor. There's always that one person who boasts about how THEY have all the power in the game, how THEY are the ones in control, and how NOBODY KNOWS. They'll then cut to folks discussing booting them out next tribal council... I mean, I realize it's being edited for better television, but the fact is that other people pick up on that...
Wolfier 23rd Oct 2022, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
I'm kinda surprised that we are going to betray each other *right* now. I would of thought that Tirek would wait till the primary threat is dealt with before fighting his allies.

Bonus point, wouldn't it just be easier to delay till Discord turns to stone if Tirek wanted him gone? Why risk the fight?

Second Bonus point, I find it funny that we got all this worked up for a big final battle with DiscordDM and he could totally get tossed aside at the finale.
NobleCuriosity 23rd Oct 2022, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Tirek is going to drain Discord’s magic. Tirek is doing that now because:
a) He’s finally confident that he’s gotten all the information he needs out of Discord, and that he is strong enough to drain Discord.
b) Discord said he wouldn’t join Tirek in combat. By draining Discord now, Tirek can use that power if he has to fight Twilight.
c) It ensures that Discord can’t immediately betray him once Tirek has dealt with the last of the Elements of Harmony.

If Tirek just tried to delay until Discord turned to stone, a) Discord would definitely put up a fuss about that, b) Tirek wouldn’t get to eat Discord’s magic if Discord actually petrified, and c) in the remaining time, he might get surprise-jumped by Twilight (and possibly Discord at the same time, if Discord realized what Tirek was up to and decided the fake heel-face turn was his best shot at that point).
Digo 23rd Oct 2022, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if the betrayal is simply let Discord turn to stone anyway. Basically pull a "not gonna kill you, but not gonna save you either" move.
Otterfriend 23rd Oct 2022, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
If Tirek were going to do that (and, for the sake of argument, weren't suffering from Cartoon Villain Psychiatric Syndrome), announcing his intention to do it in advance would seem rather foolish, particularly when there's at least one major opponent remaining against whom he could use Discord's help.
CyanWhisp 23rd Oct 2022, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
Not to mention an undrained Discord would still be very capable of absolutely destroying Tirek if left alone.
NobleCuriosity 23rd Oct 2022, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Actually, Discord himself characterized it as likely to result in a “draw” in the discussion leading to Tirek giving him the amulet—saying that Tirek had gotten strong enough to break out of any cage Discord could place him in, but that Discord was far too slippery for Tirek to pin down and defeat.

But an undrained Discord could definitely still cause a lot of problems for Tirek.
Digo 24th Oct 2022, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
The elements of Harmony is what's turning discord into stone, yes? Tirek has five of the six elements drained. What if that's enough to make the stone effect move faster? Could be an interesting predicament for Discord.
NobleCuriosity 23rd Oct 2022, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
Nah, Tirek is going to drain Discord’s magic so that he can use that magic if he has to fight Twilight (Discord said he wouldn’t join Tirek in combat), and to ensure that Discord doesn’t “pull a Scorpan” and decide to team up with Twilight against the greater threat now that 5/6 Elements of Harmony are supposedly out of commission.
Prairie Son 24th Oct 2022, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Interesting that DiscordDM's reaction in the last panel isn't "pardon me" but rather "pardon you"
Vanshira 24th Oct 2022, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Wouldn't it be funny if Discord-DM actually saw this coming and knowingly set his character up to take a dive here for the benefit of the regular players? Though I think that would require more awareness of how his first session hit them than he seems to have.
Warlock 24th Oct 2022, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
Taking a dive still can be glorified and self-centering, something easily in Discord's wheelhouse, as long as the camera is on them. The action of the dive wouldn't be the part needed to be sold; it'd be the part about it being "for them".
FrostLock 24th Oct 2022, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
My prediction is that DiscordGM is actually going to be perfectly okay with being bamboozled this way. It seems like he was only upset at Fluttershy beating him because she did it via metagaming, while here Tirek beat him entirely through good roleplay. Once Tirek reveals that the amulet does nothing and he's still perfectly capable of draining Discord, I think DiscordGM is gonna be like "...well then, good show old bean" and not protest as Tirek siphons his energy.
NobleCuriosity 24th Oct 2022, 4:53 PM DiscordDM’s reaction to getting drained edit delete reply
I really don’t think DiscordDM will be that nonchalant about this. He just spent an ENTIRE PAGE gloating about how he “had it all figured out” that to me felt much more like him celebrating his success than Discord doing so. CelestiaDM has told us how much he loves being underestimated and being clever. He initially protested the PC’s reversing of the trap until CelestiaDM spelled it for him, at which he gave a reluctant “clever girls”—and that was over actions and reactions that he did not roleplay out personally, while this is.

Fluttershy’s player wasn’t metagaming in her reaction to Discord’s curse attempt at all (how could she have possibly been reacting to any meta knowledge of DiscordDM when 100% of her experience with him has been while he was playing Discord at points where her character could hear?). The entire time Fluttershy talks to Discord in that scene, she explicitly refers to (and names) Discord, not DiscordDM. It’s possible to confuse that a bit since she refers to Discord’s speech over the phone as such instead of saying “your speech in the vault room,” but with that one substitution, it’s completely in-character (even if her ability to assess Discord’s character is in-part informed by her real life non-D&D experiences, it is literally impossible to NOT have that be the case). Fluttershy’s player even flat-out states that she meant Discord the character not DiscordDM on the following page—when DiscordDM takes it personally, reacts badly, and only accepts the main DM’s recognition of Fluttershy’s effective defense with a sour grapes grumble about “fine, she’s not the lynchpin anyway.”

In those two moments he reacted to overall minor setbacks a bit poorly. But again—he literally just spent a page gloating and is about to outright, nigh-completely LOSE, over actions he personally role played out.

It’s going to be a big hit to his ego and he’s going to be upset. I do expect he will eventually accept it, and maybe even get over it in this session, but he will not be a graceful loser about it at first.

Especially if it leads into talking about how badly his previous session went, as it likely will if he realizes he can’t overrule this on in-character logic and tries to tell CelestiaDM it’s bad DMing to take away his agency like this.

A Quiet Reader 24th Oct 2022, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
*munches popcorn* Dis gonna be GOOD