Page 1764 - Loose Predictions

3rd Nov 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Loose Predictions
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd Nov 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
And the hardest part, on the author's side, was making this whole gambit seem remotely believable.

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



Red Regent 3rd Nov 2022, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Typo, "kind of" twice in panel 6.
Prairie Son 3rd Nov 2022, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
Nah, it's right. Replace the second 'kind' with 'sort' and you'll see it still scans.
Newbiespud 3rd Nov 2022, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Bleh. Fixed.
Toric 3rd Nov 2022, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
On the one hand, this feels a little like it took a turn towards the mean-spirited, purely from the delivery. On the other hand, I don't think the GM would have delivered it quite this way if Discord GM wasn't so outraged.

I dunno, I guess the phrase "meta comeuppance scheme" seems kinda venomous, and the last few pages feel like Discord GM is aghast that him losing was a real possibility. Not remembering the last time you were defeated seems like a flag for someone who does not take defeat well.
Tempestfury 3rd Nov 2022, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
I have to agree, the fact that the GM is openly admitting that this was baiscally a 'meta comeuppance scheme' rubs me the EXACT wrong way.

I thought the entire point of this session was to AVOID a situation like that, where the players/DM are all 'Ha, gotcha!' in a mean and vicious way, that they wanted to AVOID hard feelings rather than intentionally make them. The girls just wanted to have fun, and hopefully find a way to have fun WITH Discord DM as well, rather than give him any sort of 'payback' or 'comeuppance'.

I know that if I felt specifically targetted by the DM in order to 'Teach me a lesson'. I would be out of there is seconds.
Prairie Son 3rd Nov 2022, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Considering Discord's entire schtick is using meta-scheming to ru(i)n the game, using meta against him is really the only way to fight back. As long as you're playing in the box and he's in a different room from the box, you won't get anywhere. The rest is just the same problem with him in game and the show (and Q from TNG, also played by De Lancey): he's actually very predictable.
evileeyore 3rd Nov 2022, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
I don't see this as 'mean' or 'vicious', more like GM-Spike is coming off as "Well, yeah... isn't it obvious?" and then when Discord-Adversary is "But how could you possibly outwit me?!?!" GM-Spike just lays out the extremely simply path they laid... and with the tip "I know you well enough to know your foibles".

I strongly suspect GM-Spike has heard this from the other side a few times and probably is taking some small satisfaction in doing it to Discord-Adversary right back. Keeping in mind, this is exactly how Discord-Adversary runs games...

Which means they'll either appreciate being hoisted by their own petard, or they'll lose their cool completely. I'm leaning towards "respectss the moxie and takes being bearded well".
Toric 3rd Nov 2022, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
I guess to some extent, the way I read it is less "we did this to screw you" and more "if you're going to accuse me of it, I guess I'll own it." The goal was to beat him, and by the group's and GMs admission, it was as much the product of luck and the decisions of Discord GM that made it happen. There's no getting around the fact that defeating him was a goal. It feels a bit like Discord GM jumped to a very narrow assessment of what they did and why, and it was true enough that the main GM acknowledged the point without yet having the chance to parse a more exact explanation.
Guest 3rd Nov 2022, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
I think the "how mean is Spike here" all depends *heavily* on the delivery of that line. It could be vindictive, or it could be a sort of quiet realization that it is what he is doing, or it could be matter of fact. The nuances of delivery are really hard to pull off when all you've got to work with is 2 words. In prose, where you can describe more than just the two lines, you could change the intent dramatically. Here, the screencaps also affect our interpretation, and possibly alter the author's intent.
Arcada 4th Nov 2022, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
To me it seemed more quiet matter-of-fact honesty. And we don’t know yet if the mane Six were involved in the meta-levels, and meta-levels are where the DM exists, so…
Warlock 4th Nov 2022, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Mean-spirited may be, but ultimately the bigger issue at hand is that Discord has made this personal - a good way to invoke investment, but also a dangerously easy way to forget it is all a game - ignoring the past few panels for a moment, even Discord's GMing style preyed upon, and relished in, the making the game very personal, in *and* out of character. Again, making things close to a player isn't a bad thing, but a Tablemate has to ensure that "personal" doesn't become the "main character syndrome" issue. We can let our emotions run a little hot, but it went from "how did this happen" to something a bit more potent.

Is Spike being mean? Possibly.
Is Discord moving through the stages of acceptance (denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance - not always in that order either)? Definately.
Is Discord being particularly emotional, to the point of harming others? Very possibly to full out yes (depends on your read)
Are the barbs thrown between the two hurtful? Yes.
Is it reached a point where it cannot be recovered from? Of course not.

Ultimately, even the best of friends will disagree and even fight over certain aspects - however, while the "highest" moral ground is to never lose patience and turn the cheek every time, it rarely is the most human and almost never as easy as it sounds - and more and more modernly, the moral "high" ground is only inches away from the mud.

We must also remember it's barely been a few minutes since they went to 'break'. Let's wait a few pages and see what happens when logic regains control over emotions.
ArmoredMerchant 3rd Nov 2022, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Now that's an wright-level turnabout!
Impressive! Didn't see it coming, well done, Spud!

In all honesty, we knew Disc would get a shock from this session, and DM is handling it well,
explaining things calm and openly like this.

Greatly looking forward to next, time,
thank you Spud!
Digo 3rd Nov 2022, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Oh it's believable! I once ruined a party because the trap I set up only required you tell a knock knock joke to pass and they over-analyzed the trap until they gave up.
Prairie Son 3rd Nov 2022, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
That's almost as funny as when I gave them a door with a sign that said Knock To Enter. Since they did everything possible to avoid even touching the door, they never found out it was an illusion even after I had the druid's animal companion walk through it and back out again.
NobleCuriosity 3rd Nov 2022, 3:43 PM Lol edit delete reply
That’s hilarious and I love it. How’d they not get it even after the animal companion literally walked through it, though?

My only other question is: who made that door/why does this door exist? I want an excuse to use it.
Prairie Son 4th Nov 2022, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Analysis Paralysis is an insidious trap, worse than anything in Grimtooth.

The lair in question was a decoy set up by a Diviner Lich as essentially a glorified Skinner Box (look, after a thousand years you start to get bored). I may have modeled the undead in question after a certain psych professor.

Come to think of it, I don't think they ever even managed to meet the lich, let alone beat.
Darkness2399 4th Nov 2022, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Not my idea originally but I insert it in whenever it fits:

I have a room just after the main entry to a dungeon. The room is unremarkable, with smooth walls as if the room was cared out rather than built. Along the upper edge of the wall near the ceiling circling the room are runes carved in Abyssal. The runes count from 10 down to 0. The room as 3 notable features beyond those walls, the door that is the entrance, the door on the opposite side which is the exit, and a pedestal in the center with a button. To leave the room the party just has to walk through the doorway on the other side.

However, if someone gets curious of the button and pushes it, both the entrance and exit get sealed off by a slab of stone that slides up from the ground and slams shut. The room starts to dim as the runes flash to life, first with a yellow light counting down: 10.... 9... 8... . Then the color changes to orange: 7... 6.... 5.... . Then it goes deep and crimson red: 4... 3... 2... . Then it starts to pulse quickly and urgently: 1... 0 ... . The numbers also slow down their counting the closer to 0 they get, the break between numbers starting at about a second, but as they near 0 they drag on just a bit so the party doesn't know if they are experiencing things in real time or their mind is racing and making things seem slower. If they push the button again it resets the runes to start the count again from 10, resetting the rune colors and the whole process all over again.

The sealed room has no observable seams if they examine the entrances. No obvious arcane sigils or external mechanisms to mess with and the stone barriers require a DC 30 Athletics check to break down. The button will always reset the countdown. The only way to escape the room, is to let the runes count to 0. Then the lighting returns to normal, the entrance and exit are unsealed and the room looks the same way it did before the party entered.
CCC 3rd Nov 2022, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
Once, in a pre-made adventure (at a convention or similar, I think it was), our decently high-level group found an elaborate dungeon door with a series of knobs with strange symbols. The DM noted that the scenario didn't exactly tell him which symbols to select on the dials, but he nonetheless didn't stop us from arguing (in-character) over how to open this door for a full half-hour.

Then one character reached out to touch the first dial and his hand stuck. The door had been a Greater Mimic all along.

(We defeated it and went onwards, but the poor guy with his hand on the "door" was in trouble for a bit there)
Blyndpwn 3rd Nov 2022, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
I can actually hear something go "pop!" in Discord's brain in the last panel.
Hariman 3rd Nov 2022, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
DiscorDM: "So THIS is what "getting played" feels like too... I don't think I like this either."
Roguim 3rd Nov 2022, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, from my experience as player and DM/GM/Narrator is that toget any one who overthink to much the simplest of plots/trap are the most effective.