Page 185 - Elements of Smarmony, Part 3

5th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM in Intermission 2
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Elements of Smarmony, Part 3
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo

Guest Author's Note:
"Sometimes the players come to the wrong conclusion with the plot, but still bring about a good victory over the villain through luck, good rolls, or a forgiving Game Master. Comment on a time (either as the GM or a player) where the heroes didn't quite connect the dots in the adventure, but somehow still managed to succeed in the end."

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



Ted Ursus 5th Oct 2012, 6:13 AM An...Error in Judgement edit delete reply
So, I was in this Shadowrun game, specifically a 4e scenario based on Romeo and Juliet. You know the story: He was the right hand man in a gang, she was the daughter of the Vory (Russian Mob Boss)...Boy meets girl, boy wants to steal girl away to Brighton Beach to live happily ever after, girl misunderstands and kills his best friend so Tony can now be the head of the gang, her father wants to absorb said gang...So, naturally, we set up a meeting between the Three Kings and the Vory...And our weapons specialist pulls out his grenade launcher and blows up the three armored vans full of the Vory and his bodyguards...needless to say, we technically won. There was no pressure for Maria to run off with Tony now that her father had died...Hell, we even got the just wasn't supposed to be the way that shit went down.
(Scenario available here:
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
LOL, wow I rarely see the application of explosives win so smoothly like that!
gindranis 5th Oct 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
Then you clearly aren't using enough explosives.
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
hariman 5th Oct 2012, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Dammit, you got a nice victory from explosives. All I got from grenade launchers in shadowrun was media attention and an exploded scooter.

Damn jerk. He could have just had me sell the scooter instead of exploding it.
Ramsus 5th Oct 2012, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
I was part of a Shadowrun (also 4th ed) party that were an Aztechnology specialists squad. Just about everything we did resulted in things exploding.

All of our ammo was exploding ammo. All of our spells caused collateral damage (whether we intended them to or not). Our guy whose special skill was punching things very hard tended to cause things to explode by punching them.

We had a shootout in a parking structure that resulted in exploding every car anywhere near our opponents and doing a lot of damage to the structure itself.

We snuck into a guy's house and when he left we chased his car and our punch guy punched his car, once, and it crashed into a pole....then exploded.

We killed a chupacabra by buying a goat, cutting it open, sticking c4 inside, sowing it back shut and detonating it when the chupacabra showed up.

I (one of our two mages) killed a bunch of zombies with an uzi firing exploding ammo and then we leveled the building to take out the big toxic spirit residing there.

Our campaign never finished but, the last mission we were on was to prevent a plague spreading. We discovered they were going to put it in the water. Our plan? Well, I'm sure you can guess.
Bronymous 5th Oct 2012, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
Was it diplomacy? That's what I would have done, just to throw the DM for a loop.
hariman 5th Oct 2012, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
It would have been explosive diplomacy. Such as: "I'll make my argument *BOOM* and now that you're a pile of ash, this discussion is over!"
Jellybean 5th Oct 2012, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
The longest three-point-five game I was ever in had a plot involving the return of a dead god and a prophesized vessel. We finally found and killed said vessel, only to realize that killing her was the thing that would bring him back.

The chain of events that followed is incredibly long and strange and probably too much to relate here but suffice it to say it began with our party's cleric, who served Eurmal the Trickster, casting Miracle with the request, 'Oh Lord, if it be thy will, please do something very funny with this corpse.'

The look on the DM's face was priceless and he said we'd have to end the session there to figure out what happened next.
Fred 5th Oct 2012, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
Eurmal the Trickster? You got your King of Dragon Pass in your 3.5?
Cain 5th Oct 2012, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
You want humor, the second to last fight in crown of neverwinter, and the bar fight with the invisible halfling. With the bar fight, it just dragged on and I decided to end it, more details can be seen on the last page. The second to last fight was a miniboss fight. Davven (Ranubis's Dwarf Paladin) ends it by walking up and knocking the cursed crown off about 3 rounds in.
Ranubis 5th Oct 2012, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
Actually, I'm afraid I have to correct you Cain. Ending a miniboss fight just three rounds in? Don't be absurd.

It was 3 combat moves in. Davven's first and only move of the battle was to walk up to the crazy paladin and smack them upside the head.
Grimm 5th Oct 2012, 7:42 AM Agent edit delete reply
Awww....I was so sure Trixie was going to be the element of Charisma.
gindranis 5th Oct 2012, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
my money was on zecora for that one.
Zuche 5th Oct 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Between "This one's for Celestia, Black Snooty!" and the poses Trixie makes, that one panel is Daniel Tiger level adorable.

The final panel reminds me of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for some reason, though I'm pretty sure that last line comes from some other source.

I love having adventures end where you escape with nothing but your shirt, but not everyone counts survival as the best measure of success. It's nice to know you're playing someone that can bounce back from anything.
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
Thanks Z! The final panel was inspired from a line in the 2012 Marvel's The Avengers movie.

And honestly, I do love playing characters that get by without gaining much treasure. After a while you get rich and just buy your victories, but scrounging up resources can be fun and you get to really appreciate and find multiple uses for a piece of treasure when they come buy rarely. :)
Deckard Canine 5th Oct 2012, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
Thank you! I knew that line sounded familiar.
Zuche 5th Oct 2012, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
Right, The Avengers. I'll have to pick that one up when it comes out.

As for wealth, I'm okay with always relying on the kindness of strangers -- and a GM that's more interested in tailoring the game to what the party can do, rather than what some arbitrary standard feels a party of our level should be able to do.
Frerichs0 5th Oct 2012, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
Already out.
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
One early D&D campaign years back, there was an evil cleric who was going to ressurect a demigod using 5 powerful magic summoning stones. The PCs had one stone, so really all they had to do was keep it hidden long enough for the evil cleric's window of opportunity to pass. Or better yet, just destroy it. Honestly, I left it easy to just stop the ritual because then I'd have the evil cleric go to a "plan B" later.

But wanting to be creative, the PCs spent their collective fortunes to create a convincing duplicate of the stone with a BANISHMENT effect. Then the party surrendered to the cleric with their faux stone.
The Cleric bought it and proceeded with the ritual. Not only does the ritual fail, but the entire party somehow managed to make their Escape Artist checks to break out of their bonds and then beat the cleric (and his minions) in an epic "Good-vs-Evil" smackdown.

Rather brilliant plan that. Had to give them bonus EXP...
LoganAura 5th Oct 2012, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
I DM a play by post game in comicfury-- that, to put it simply, could be a novella right about now with how long it is and we haven't even reached the first dungeon XD-- and one of the party (Mist WALKER) spent about ten minutes out of game observing a coin on the ground. The player was supposed to observe the wall and I ended up saying, "Screw this" and giving him a friendly ghost to help.
Not really the player there, but he did eventurally get to the right thing.
Equestrian Wyvern 5th Oct 2012, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Well, The most obvious time I had the players get things totally wrong was in a D&D 3.5 game I was running. The party had been hired on to find out who was trying to assassinate the King, and after a run-in with the assassin in the Butler's room, they managed to completely misinterpret the situation and were convinced the butler was behind it (the assassin was actually attempting to kill the butler when the party came in looking for him. At the time the butler was actually out getting supplies for the chef). Deciding that they would catch him in the act, the party laid in wait in the throne room until morning, and when the butler arrived they made their move to arrest him before he could make his move. The barbarian ended up getting a bit overzealous in restraining the butler and ended up shoving him through the second floor window dropping shards of glass and the butler into the very surprised face of the actual assassin who was climbing the side of the castle.
Blue Moon of Storms 5th Oct 2012, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Blue Moon of Storms
When the Villain has free access to time, and stopping him risks destroying the Timeline, things get hectic...

The only way one can expect to win in the campaign I'm designing is to stumble across the answer to the problem... without knowing what it is.

I'll probably give...Subtle hints though. Such as items that summon Planar Allies, Gate Scrolls en mass, and having a few angels show up that can actually manage to put a dent in his plans... Despite the fact that anything from within the timeline shouldn't be able to have even fleeting victory.

Haven't Figured it out?


Try asking where... no... When! The Outer planes are in my campaign... that good enough for you?
Malroth 6th Oct 2012, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Expect your players to try to pull off the "Dream of Metal" Trick.
Blue Moon of Storms 7th Oct 2012, 3:59 AM edit delete reply
Blue Moon of Storms
Thing with that though, the villain (Supposedly) is meant to know everything that happens from one end of the timeline to the other. So Someone/Somepony attempting that trick as a fundamental part of their plans against him would be known to him. So would be either part of his plans, or otherwise be hijacked by himself for his own ends...

In fact, it might be the Player's attempts at that that cause him to gain power over all time and space.

Technically, in my campaign, only two Outer Planes still Exist: Hell (On his side, his future self runs Hell) and a realm of Pure Chaos (maelstrom) that Snakes through time.

As for where the other Outer planes the angels come from; they were... Ejected from time, with their main access to the material world being through the Maelstrom.

So that pretty much means, the outer Planes and its inhabitants are the only thing the Villain can't truly predict. (Being already "outside" it.)

Only an angel or something could beat him... or at least tell them how to beat him.

P.S. Sorry if this sounds harsh on the players.
Vouru_Kasa 5th Oct 2012, 12:15 PM DM, GM, Player, Game Junior Game Programmer edit delete reply
I was running a pathfinder game where the villain was opening up permanent gate spells to weaken the fabric of reality. One such gate lead to the abyss causing the town the gate was located under to morph in horrific ways.

To add some fear into my game I took away their weapons and set them up in an unnerving environment call of Cthulhu style. Turns out if you freak out the players enough they will put all their will power into retrieving their weapons and then BURN THE ENTIRE TOWN DOWN!

Trapping said villain that was creating the gates in a tavern that proceeded to burn down with him still inside thus killing him and accidently saving the world from destruction. I didn't even get a chance to introduce him or even the plot for that matter....
Mandarin 5th Oct 2012, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Can cast permenant gate spells but can't survive a burning building? What, did he roll will a 8 constitution wizard?
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
It sounds like a "Crowning Moment of Epic Fail Hilarity" to me. Sometimes the really powerful bad guys fail to protect from little mundane nuances...
Zuche 5th Oct 2012, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
It's one of the most realistic things they can do. We've had our share of people who built doomsday devices without ever become fireproof along the way.
CJT 5th Oct 2012, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
After the first couple of times we caught enemy casters off-guard, they started cluing in. The DM now has a policy of enemy casters having at least one "oh crap RUN" spell memorized at all times.

(The "wind walk" one almost worked; the spell took effect, but the caster died immediately afterwards in the same round. We spent a day or two looking for the bodies of that group, as they'd drifted downwind quite a distance and contained valuable intel documents.)
Bronymous 5th Oct 2012, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
I don't know if this counts, as the same thing, but in CS's PT game, we were set to investigate a string of murders. Details are a bit hazy, but while the rest of the party was dead set on capturing or killing the murderer, I managed to convince him to join our team.
LoganAura 5th Oct 2012, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
If that's the game I only stayed until week 3 on...
*Sigh* Now I'm glad I left :/
Bronymous 8th Oct 2012, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
It was. Its ok, though, its over now.
Digo 5th Oct 2012, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
Hope everyone enjoyed my contribution. :D
Lyntermas 5th Oct 2012, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
I certainly did, Digo. It was a compelling look into the contrast of the dynamic of "Power at all costs" found in most D&D, contrasted with the "Friendship is magic" ethos of the original show. While Trixie and her crew managed to "achieve" their goal, they did so with brute force and heartless actions, which resulted in a consequence of destruction rather than redemption for Nightmare Moon. In short, it was a nice cautionary tale about the actions of "powergaming" as opposed to "roleplaying".

Overanalysis for the win!
Digo 7th Oct 2012, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
LOL, well, maybe not 'too' over in the analysis XD
tuxgeo 5th Oct 2012, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Re: Hope everyone enjoyed my contribution. :D

Yeah, that was spanditious (i.e. it "expanded" on things). Naturally, I wouldn't have done it that way -- I would have diverted from the plot entirely, and would have depicted ponies representing the Elements of Grains, Dairy Products, Green Leafy Vegetables, Meat, Cheap Italian Red Wine, and Chocolate Frosting.
Malroth 6th Oct 2012, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
And Thus confronted with the Elements of Fine Dining Nighmare Moon promotes you to her personal Chefs
Melisandre 6th Oct 2012, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
So I was running this Amber: Diceless game, where the players had been framed for killing king Random's son, Martin. They tried to figure out who killed him by calling all the npc and trying to cross-reference who was where doing what. There was a lot of thath going on, and when they were checking out princess Fiona I screwed up and came up with a gap of ike fifteen minutes. The players lached onto that and came up with a complex and elaborate intrigue that was so well put together and so plausible that I went all "ok, fine. I'll just put it into my notes". Originally I had something completely different, but I adapted the plot to include this new intrigue and it actually became an extremely fun and interesting game for everybody involved.
ThreeLeftHooves 6th Oct 2012, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
For me it was a module adventure for our group and I really am useless at rp. But the ending encounters went like this. We forgot to get the password from the informant and so our bard effectively mindwiped the entire room of evil guards with a natural 20 on a charisma check to make them think we were the party that they sent to the first village originally. In spite of the fact there was no way we could be the same people. Then we had to climb down a deep pit, none of had enough rope individually but collectively we did. There were beholders watching us climb down and I got turned to stone. Now technically our rope had knots in it because otherwise it would never have been long enough, so there was no way the statue could actually fall all the way, however we had never intentionally knotted the rope to make it easier to climb.
Arwing 6th Oct 2012, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
It pains me to know that few people even get the pun in "Black Snooty"

(Also, love the Avengers ref at the end.)
Digo 7th Oct 2012, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
It is a pun that must educate the masses!
Tharag Bocc 6th Oct 2012, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
Star Wars RPG game: The players had tracked a hutt crime lord to Cloud City. They managed to figure out that the hutt was brokering a deal with the Empire and that the payoff was going to go down as part of a gambling tournament. Locating the imperial agent was easy, but along the way they learned that said agent didn't know identity of the hutt's agent (only having a code signal). They quickly enough figured out the best way to identify the hutt's agent so they could follow him back to his boss was to enter the tournament themselves so they could be there first hand when the deal went down. So far, so good.

Problem is they managed to attract the attention of a third party, another entrant in the tournament who if he couldn't win the pot legally was planning to use armed thugs to just steel it. Anyway, he'd observed the players casing the joint and assumed they were planning the same. He set them up by sending a message to have them meet him on a docking port, while also tipping of the local police force that an illegal arms deal would be going down at that location. After fighting their way out of that spot of trouble the players somehow decided that now was a good time to stop waiting and just decided to bust their way into the imperial agent's hotel room. They fought his stormtrooper guards, and started violently interrogating the officer. Then finally one of the players remembered that the entire mission hinged on this guy meeting the hutt agent at the tournament (and now they'd blown their own cover). Fortunately the group had a force adept specked for both mind tricks and diplomacy. With some creative phrasing, some high rolls plus a destiny point or two they managed to convince the guy that he'd been attacked by assassins that killed all his guards and that the players hearing the commission had come and saved his ass.

Long story short, despite inadvertently driving clean off the rails for a bit there, the tournament payoff went down as planned and the players ID'd the hutt's agent. They even got to kill the guy who had set them up with the police, after he lost and went with his B plan to just rob the joint (though they never did figure out that he was the one who set them up).