Page 195 - Don't Look At Me

18th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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Don't Look At Me
Average Rating: 4.75 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
There's no world except where the DM says there is. Most of the time.

In this page's comments, tell a story about an NPC or a location that a player had helped create, instead of just the DM.

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



Tulip 18th Oct 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Well. That certainly threw Twilight into everything pretty quickly.

In other news, after years of looking, I finally managed to find a local D&D group yesterday. :D
Digo 18th Oct 2012, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Congrats! :D
Ranubis 18th Oct 2012, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Awesome! Be sure to let us know how it goes. We always enjoy first session stories.
Tulip 18th Oct 2012, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Well, it actually already went. I learned that the local comic store holds D&D Encounters sessions about three and a half hours before the next one was going to start, so I just sort of filled up a plastic bag with a set of dice and a notebook and went over when it was time.

Basically, we were a bunch of drow in a diplomatic encounter with our respective bosses, who were interested in getting our opinions on how to proceed after the revelations of the previous session which I wasn't there for. So, of course, the two other players there at the time (a third came in like 5 or 10 minutes after that) had differing stories on what happened during the in-universe recap, and I was called on as the tiebreaker. I chose the story I felt was safer, and then mostly withdrew from the conversation while I tried to figure out the details of how to roleplay my character.

The first thing I did, once I mostly reached a conclusion on characterization, was to try to pickpocket a high-ranking wizard, with help from our own party wizard. She tried to distract him with Bluff, and I tried to pickpocket him. Both of our rolls failed so impressively that he didn't even realize that we were trying anything. Then I distracted him with Bluff and she pickpocketed a purse of coins from him. :3

So then, as a result of the conflicting directions we were taking in the "diplomatic encounter", it managed to devolve to combat after our party fighter managed to convince one of the NPCs that the priestesses were part of some sort of insane conspiracy, and he attacked the one conveniently located right in the room. The fight lasted only one round (plus the surprise round), during which only two attacks were thrown (the initial one and a second one). After that we managed to completely turn everything around and end up choosing to go for a compromise, thanks to a series of good diplomacy checks.

And then the guy we pickpocketed from tried to reward us for defusing everything, only to discover that he had somehow misplaced his coin purse, which the DM admitted he was planning ever since we stole it. It wasn't a total waste though, since he instead owes us a favor now, which I kind of suspect is going to be worth more in the long run anyway.

It was pretty fun overall. I'm definitely going back there next week. And if I'm lucky we'll eventually be able to start a homebrew campaign together, although for now we're just doing the official stuff.
Digo 18th Oct 2012, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Well, IS IT?!

Heh, only happened once, but in an old D&D campaign the player put money together and purchased a run down INN at a town they loved stopping at. They fixed it up and made it into a tavern that adventurers can gather and network.

The PCs even set up their own "Rogue's Gallery" there.

So in short order, the players had practically created a great location for me to start adventurers at. Quite useful and even served a purpose for the players who may have lost their character and needed a wayfor their new one to join the team.
Zuche 18th Oct 2012, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
It's never zombies, Digo.
Raxon 18th Oct 2012, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Zuche 18th Oct 2012, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Not until after she's made an appearance, no.
Digo 18th Oct 2012, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom 18th Oct 2012, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
I beg to differ.

Sometimes it is. ;)

By the by, I find it quite apprpriate that we have this discussion with Halloween coming up.
Gearling 18th Oct 2012, 1:43 PM My first comment on an exellent webcomic edit delete reply
Actually during the run up to Halloween last year I ran a special D&D session that followed the story line of Story of the Blanks.
It was quite fun to add in encounters that intensified the creepiness of the village and the forest.
As I was running it for a group who do not appreciate the magic of friendship I had to change a few bits of fluff to allow them to injoy the story.
The lack of Cutie Marks became general magical abilities and I attributed the whole village to the curse of a god.
They felt really sorry for the people of the village but overall they had a good time. Especially in the dark creepy warehouse with the crying girl in it, it was fun, scary... but fun.

darkwulf23 18th Oct 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
One campaign I'm involved in, the DM has all the players come up with ideas for the world, like locations, customs, even the gods. Me personally I have come up with a banking clan, a coastal town that is suppose to mimic Two Rivers from the Wheel of Time, and three Gods, on is the Blacksmith who represents fate, one is the traveler who represents free will, and my personal favorite, a Goddess of true love who appears different to each person and always appears as someone they are most attractive to if they have experienced true love, will appear very plane if they have never felt love, and hideous if they have only felt hatred for someone.
darkwulf23 18th Oct 2012, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Another player came up with a foreign land that has four kingdoms that represents the four elements, somewhat like The Last Air Bender. For them their gods are based around the four elements and carry two names, representing creation and destruction respectively.
darkwulf23 18th Oct 2012, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Anyway here is the lore he came up with.

Water is the calm seas and the raging storm, the gentle mist and torrential downpour. It is named Ben-Hadar and also Olhydra. It is both at the same time. Each seeking balance with the other.

Ben-Hadar is the constructive side. It is the water in a mothers womb and the soft rain on the land. It is the puffy clouds in the sky and the morning dew. It is the mirror ocean on a calm day. The holy places of Ben-Hadar are the homes of midwives. Midwives also happen to be the priestesses of Ben-Hadar.

Olhydra is destructive side. It is the tidal wave, the whirlpool. It is the flash flood and the waterfall. It is the dark, cold depths of the seas. The holy places of Olhydra are in the deep holes at the bottom of the sea. Only the Watershapers dare venture there and only then during times of great need for a sacrifice to always demanded of those who visit the Cold temples.

Wind is the angry gale and the lightning strike. It is the filled sail and the sweet smelling breeze. It is named Chan and it is named Yan-Si-Bin. It is both at the same time. Each seeking balance with the other.

Chan is the constructive side. It is the in the windmill turning and the bird soaring. It cannot be seen directly yet the existence of it is undeniable. The holy place of Chan is anywhere a calm breeze touches someone's skin. Everyone is a preist or priestess of Chan at least some time in their life when they are touched by the gentle breath.

Yan-Si-Bin is the tornado and the gale. It is the lightning storm and the in the torn sail. Yan-Si-Bin is much more visible then it's counterpart. Its holy places are places of lightning strikes and the touchdown zones of tornado. Those who's lives are touched directly by Yan-Si-Bin, such as people who live after lightning strikes them, are considered holy. These people are revered and their graves become places of worship.

Fire is the heat of life and the warming blaze. It is the consuming flame and the spewing volcano. It is named Imix and it is named Zaaman Rul. It is both at the same time. Each seeking balance with the other.

Imix is the Destructive side. It is the funeral pyre and the flowing magma. It is fever and it is a forest fire. Imix is a quick and decisive presence. Once Imix reaches the critical point it cannot be stopped until if burns itself out. The holy places of Imix are the calderas of volcanos. Mortal cannot approach them directly so most worship around the caldera rim. Those who feel dedicated to Imix often brand themselves, thus they become marked by fire.

Zaaman Rul it present in everyday life. It is widely known that living is worshiping the Inner Heat. Zaaman Rul is considered the companion to Ben-Hadar. Ben-Hadar is the bringer of life but Zaaman Rul sustains it by the inner heat that all living beings possess to one degree or another. Everyone is a holy site of Zaaman Rul as long as they live.

Earth is the dirt from which life springs and it is the sculpture uncovered by the chisel. It is the mountain slide and the grave. It is named Sunnis and it is named Ogermoch. It is both at the same time. Each seeking balance with the other.

Sunnis is the planted field and the sandy shore. It is the rocky cliff and the precious gem. The most holy of places for Sunnis are freshly tilled farm fields and their priests are the farmers who's hands have felt the soil.

Ogermoch is the dark mine and the immovable boulder. It is the landslide and the sinkhole. The holy places of Ogermoch are deep within the earth. The deeper a mine or cave is the holier it is for it is closer to the fabled caverns of Ogermoch. The holy ones of Ogermoch are those that have ventured deep and spent large amounts of time in the dark bowels of the earth. Their skin becomes pale in the course of their worship and thus they are easily recognized as the Holy of Ogermoch.
Dusk Raven 18th Oct 2012, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
Most interesting... and that gives me an idea. I wonder what sort of collective world we commentators of Friendship is Dragons could create...
darkwulf23 18th Oct 2012, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm, a DnD world completed by random personalities who will swing from serious to Raxon. How about it my good sirs, (and ma'ams) up for the challenge?
sunbeam 18th Oct 2012, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
I'd love to, but I'd need some sort of cliche density warning device to warn me when I wasn't thinking creatively...
Destrustor 18th Oct 2012, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
I wouldn't mind. I'm pretty confident in my ability to come up with crazy stuff, given enough time.
Masterofgames 18th Oct 2012, 6:29 PM edit delete reply
(Shrug) Why not? I could use a few more things to add to my list of things I am never again allowed to do in an rpg.
Jason Shadow 18th Oct 2012, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Sure, I'd be more than willing to contribute. Heck, I've already started work on a custom campaign setting for Pathfinder, so I have plenty of ideas that I can swipe from it for this setting. :)
kriss1989 18th Oct 2012, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
We'd need to set some ground rules on how to do it, but sure I'm game.
Raxon 19th Oct 2012, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
FYI, I am entirely capable of playing serious characters with reasonable builds. I just haven't joined any games yet, so I haven't shown it.
Dusk Raven 19th Oct 2012, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Ground rules? Why, we merely set up a place where we can share ideas, and popular consensus determines the canon!

I say "set up a place" because I'm not sure whether we should clog the comments pages with our ideas or not. Although we could always post ideas according to the topic/question of the comic.
Ranubis 18th Oct 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Ooh, a good subject.

DM Dan, would the Ward Estate count for this?
Stairc 18th Oct 2012, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Certainly. As would Soaring's home town, though it hasn't been encountered yet it's in the world.

From my home campaigns, my players have a tendency to leave their mark on the world. Ian has forged two different empires, my summer group founded their own colony, Carson created a flying arcane university, Ekthiew built an inter-planar city he calls Bastion, Nehiel founded a dark citadel and took claim of the plane where Torrin Silverfern died, which the group renamed as, 'Torrin's End'... Wow, there have been a lot.
Ranubis 18th Oct 2012, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
The Ward Estate came up when I was creating my character for Dan's campaign.

Alcazar Ward is a member of the Ward Family, a line of ponies who have served in the Canterlot guard for as long as they can remember. To assist in this, they built one of the strongest buildings in Canterlot and named it their base of operations.

When our group reached the capital and needed a place to stay, Dan had us head over to the Estate, and let me describe it's appearance and defenses. That, along with the extended family of guards and medics who lived their made it a decent place to stay.

Of course, all this is balanced by the place being inhabited by a rabid anti-Nightmare faction who all but hate that other alicorn who's ruling with their Princess Celestia, and who unwittingly unleashed a spell plague in the city.

And dang, those earlier campaigns had some sweet pads. Looks like we have some catching up to do.
Oblivious 18th Oct 2012, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Gotta start somewhere, Ranubis.
LoganAura 18th Oct 2012, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
And there's Medical Ward, Magical Ward, Infirmary Ward, Materniry Ward, along with rooms for various things XD
Masterofgames 18th Oct 2012, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
Hey, Stairc, new lore for your world.

Every single freaking one of Princess Celestia's personal students have turned themselves into liches. It's something like a graduation event. When both they, and the princess, feel that they have learned everything they can from her, they go through the process so that they may live many many years not learning, but DISCOVERING. They have formed a secret orginization that only members, and the princess know about, and they share everything they discover with her.

The princess feels that in another few years, Twilight might be ready to become an undead, though naturally hasn't told her. She gives them a choice of course, when they graduate, but none of her students have ever turned her down when she offers. Starswirl was actually Celestia's third student, and so is pretty highly ranked in the group. Needless to say, in their hidden group lab, where they go to share discoveries with each other, and experiment in teams, he never has trouble finding a free lab table.

The creation of a lich is an unspeakable evil act, but in Equestria, no liches are evil... The paradox...
CJT 18th Oct 2012, 11:22 PM edit delete reply
Outsider opinion: For this to be pony-compatible, you'd have to make it something almost completely unlike Classic Lich.

Xykon put it best: "I ripped the living flesh off of my own bones, because it was slowing me down." Not a happy process, or a happy mindset.

In-canon, the princesses also seem to be reluctant to mess with the cycle of life and death, despite it being anywhere from "straightforward" to "trivially easy" for them, depending on assumptions.

That said, it's your DM's campaign, not mine.
Rugsrat 18th Oct 2012, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
In my very first D&D game that I ran, I made a map on 4 standard 8.5x11.5" pieces of paper. A couple cities, a mountain range, forest, etc. Then I asked my players to put their hometowns on the map and tell me about them.

By the time my game started, the map had expanded to 3'x2.5', and includes: warring city-states, a ruined ancient capital, a forest being harvested for lumber and killing the native population, a lake that spawned from an ancient cataclysm from a prior campaign where I was a player, the setting became a peninsula on a larger continent (sadly never saw play there), 2 sister cities full of Elementals, one of which is at the base of an active volcano.

To date, my favorite map for any game I've ever run. All through player input. Definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I've had as a DM.
Theo 18th Oct 2012, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
I'm really starting to like this tactic as a way for players to not only flesh out the world, but become invested in it right from the start.
Digo 18th Oct 2012, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
I'll agree.
Classic Steve 18th Oct 2012, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Zombies usually swarm out in the open. Spike has a limited imagination.
Derpmind 18th Oct 2012, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
Ponyville is being attacked by ninja zombies. Obviously.
Crimson Doom 18th Oct 2012, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
You sure it's not a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot?
kriss1989 18th Oct 2012, 2:52 PM edit delete reply
Of course not, they were wiped out by the psychic alien cowboy dinosaur samurai.
Destrustor 18th Oct 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
My DM often brings up old player characters as NPCs.
I had one of my old characters show up as the brother-in-law of another player's future wife.
I once became the avatar of a god. When another character of mine prayed to that god for divine aid in another campaign, my DM handed me my old character sheet and let me play both characters in the following fight.
And then there's the current campaign, where we're trying to fix the off-screen world-destroying shenanigans of the character I played in the previous campaign. At one point, our central hub was a huge mobile mechanical boat/landcrawler-city that had been built and was currently owned by yet another batch of our previous characters.
It's basically a rule at this point: any sufficiently badass NPC we meet has probably been a PC at some point.
Destrustor 18th Oct 2012, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
Also, trying to role-play a conversation between my old and wise(but super-drunk) dwarven monk and my stupid grippli barbarian was harder than I'd have thought.
Raxon 18th Oct 2012, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Yes, Spike. There are. They sing and dance, and they're real snappy dressers. And the lead dancer is black.

Wait a minute. This gives me an awesome idea for a pony fic. Think Thriller, but with Zecora leading the dancing zombies.
Ranubis 18th Oct 2012, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
I'd read it. And fav it. And subscribe to the author.
Zuche 18th Oct 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, that could be entertaining.
Raxon 18th Oct 2012, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
Entertaining? That could be bucking terrifying, if done right.
Zuche 18th Oct 2012, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
"Pooh thought a moment.

"'It's the same thing,' he said."
Digo 18th Oct 2012, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
"Thanks for noticing," added Eyeore.
LoganAura 18th Oct 2012, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Lesee... In classical, I allowed Crossed Paths/ Videocrazy to describe his home in the town- for the most part. I added the interior, he described the size shape and stuff.
In Tatters, I had City Strider describe her mindscape once she allowed an alternate universe her to stay inside her mind to not be alone.
sunbeam 18th Oct 2012, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
That was one of the greatest moments of kindness I'd ever seen in D&D, flat-out topping the Blackguard diving in front of his animal familiar to save it, losing his Blackguard levels from performing a good act, and getting toasted because of it.
So, yeah. Pretty fantastic moment, right there. I almost burned someone because I read it right before Chem class.
Send my congratulations to whoever plays City Strider.
LoganAura 18th Oct 2012, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
I'll have to. City got 1/2 of the elements of harmony to have a bidding war over her XD and I mean LITERAL elements of harmony.
City Strider 18th Oct 2012, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
City Strider
Wow... Thank you, Sunbeam. Made my already good day a good deal better. ^_^
sunbeam 19th Oct 2012, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
This may have to do with the fact that you've had about 3 times as much character development as anyone else, but I love City's character as a whole. It's just...intriguing. It feels like, to borrow what I believe is newbiespud's terminology, a personality matrix, instead of a class/race/character traits combination. Plus there have been some flat-out ridiculous things thrown at your character, and she has the great reactions to them.
LoganAura 19th Oct 2012, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
The reason City's had the most, is because she's on the most. Dodge's getting some developmental post soon, and the rest of the party will get some in a bit.
City Strider 19th Oct 2012, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
City Strider
Well, Logan's not wrong about me being on the most... I'm that PbP post player who ends up posting the most due to involvement...

But as far as characters go, I'm a fan of developing them in my head to the point where they write themselves.

For instance, I knew City was compassionate. The bit with inviting Townie into her mind, though? Surprised me every bit as much as it did Logan. And when she examined her reasons? Still her own bit.

Point is, I've got... wow. Yeah. Eight total years creating and writing or roleplaying about characters. Combine that with the fact that I get obsessive over things (ask Logan, I don't shut up), and City ends up being a well-expressed character.

But that's really just a matter of experience. I actually really look forward to learning more about the other party members over the course of our whirlwind zany adventures. In fact, I fully expect that by story's end, City will be bland by comparison :P
sunbeam 19th Oct 2012, 10:44 PM edit delete reply
As this is rather off-topic, I'm throwing it in now, about 7 hours before the new comic, so few people will see it, but I'd just like to say that it is incredibly difficult to resist kibitizing on a pbp game. I've bitten back so many comments to avoid clogging things. (a majority of them have been variations of "Dammit, Dodgeball..." and "Why, Strangeknot, Why..." but still.)
City Strider 21st Oct 2012, 2:46 AM edit delete reply
City Strider
Hehe... You might want to check the Pony Tales forums. Looks like we're pulling a reboot, unfortunately.
Jarimor 18th Oct 2012, 6:47 AM edit delete reply

minion who became a magnet for the "WEIRD SHIT!" that either is an adventure hook or adventures themselves. usually both.

Culminating in a Tarrasque. ALWAYS THE FREAKING TARRASQUE.
Guest 18th Oct 2012, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Darn Jingles!

I was running a game of the players getting sent to a penal colony. As soon as they got off the boat, I waylay-ed them with a terrible bard that had sung so badly that he got sent there. He was begging if one of them knew how to make a harp. He didn't even have a name I figured they'd ignore him. They proceed to convince him to join the party, name him jingles and drag him around the rest of the game. It was so anoying having to continuously role play this bard that I began actively trying to get him killed. But the played worked together to protect him from the other criminals who wanted him dead. Most of that game just became me actively loathing Jingles.
Theo 18th Oct 2012, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
You should have had just given Jingles a happy ending that involves him getting a whole lot of money and power. Maybe it turns out he's a deposed prince or something and has to take back the throne and turns out to be weirdly competent as king.

Either way, he can't go running off with the party on adventures anymore, but he can reward the for all the help they provide him in the past. And as a bonus he becomes a stock quest giver and hub they can go back to every now and then.
MWS 18th Oct 2012, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I usually allow my players quite a bit of leeway in developing their backgrounds, including coming up with locations and characters.

In one game I was planning to run (superheroes), I established it as "Our world, except whatever you add." So if one had a background that including being used for a secret supersoldier project, the world now had secret supersoldier projects. Unfortunately, I was never able to run it before having to move.
TrueWolves 18th Oct 2012, 7:27 AM Card Lawyer edit delete reply
Just a simple story really, a newbie Game master was trying to run a rather cliche heavy game with no sense of time or scale in a realistic sense more often then not that ended in a rather easily avoided (then followed for pity sake) railroad and excuse plot. But along the way, the rest of the party (and admittingly GM) became fond with a vast cast of NPC's I helped create on the fly to liven up the game and explain the world's odd eccentricities.

One which was rather reacquiring, was a hobbit that was a licensed... "escort" in a kingdom with some rather strict laws. When we inevitably broke (or were framed) for a number of them as a group, he also turned out to be a licensed lawyer. And Merchant later, and Insurance men, and Stables men, all of which he had cards for.

He was also very fond of his own personal card-game.

I would not have ended up half-hijacking the GM's game if it did not take all of 15 seconds to get a Deck of many things just because the GM did not even know what that iconic item did... but that is a story for another time.
Guest 18th Oct 2012, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
An illusionist in our group tried to blackmail a nameless npc barbarian, which somehow ended up with him becoming Cronk, Chieftain of the Neanderthals.
AttentionDeficitGuy 18th Oct 2012, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
In the campaign I'm currently playing, the DM asked us what the name of a tavern in a town we were visiting was. One of the other players decided it was called "The Red Dragon". The name stuck, but unfortunately it was not until a little later that the DM remembered that there are no dragons in this world (yet). Hilarity ensued as myself and another player started questioning the barkeep about what a dragon is, and the barkeep had no idea.
AttentionDeficitGuy 18th Oct 2012, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Also, in this same campaign, the party was negotiating with a council of dwarves. Our bard, in order to try to figure out if any of the council members was evil, asked if any of the dwarves had a goatee, and the DM replied that yes, one of them does.

Fast forward to later in the session, when we are interrogating a spy from a rival nation, and I ask, "Why is councildwarf Whatshisname's beard so short?" The other players begin to berate me, stating that pointing out the size of a dwarf's beard is a massive insult in dwarven culture, and as they are scolding me, I simply ask them "Then why does he have a goatee?"

Utter silence.

The DM then admitted that he had never thought of that, and proceeded to spin a tale of a major scandal the councildwarf was in. That is one of my favorite memories from the campaign thus far.
Scrounge 18th Oct 2012, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
...Oh god, the things I could tell you about Benjamin Rex Saturday... Another player's character was dorm head in the Yu-Gi-Oh RP I was in, and it was mentioned he wasn't living n the dorm head's room, so I thought I'd introduce the guy who WAS and who thought he was dorm head because they other guy, to his knowledge, never showed. I introduced him by having him riding a motorcycle indoors, and from there... He kinda took on a life of his own.
CJT 18th Oct 2012, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
The most memorable of ours would be "Doug", mentioned in comments past. The wild mage would always make friends with an NPC named Doug. Doug would then tie horribly some time later, at which point the wild mage would encounter another person named Doug.

The first couple of times this happened it was by accident. Many of the deaths still were (critical hit from an orcish firearm, used as a projectile by a giant, got a bad card from a Deck of Many Things, and I don't remember the other one).

In the current campaign, the DM lets us generate background NPCs within reason, but the really memorable ones were his.
XandZero2 18th Oct 2012, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
I can think of tons of examples of players helping to create NPCs and areas...

But the one that I believe is closest to my heart came up in a Pony Tales pbp...

Now, I'm the GM of this group running around a ponified version of New Orleans (New Orreigns) and we've houseruled that this one ability, Streetwise, can be used to remember recent history of a place - and even old friends you're character might have met; things like that...

Sooooooooooooooo, at one point I had a group of corrupt pony police officers come in to shake down one of the party's NPC friends - a rough and tumble Griffon by the name of Buck.

I was really curious how the party would react, but in true friendship fashion, they actually decided to stand up to the police.

Well, that was fine and good - but then one of the players specialized in Streetwise (and with a backstory of growing up in New Orreigns) says he's going to make a Streetwise check to see if his pony recognizes any of the police officers...

He wanted to see if his character, Whisper, could recognize an officer or two so he'd be able to more easily convince them to step off (Hey Bob! How's the kids? -Oh, this Griffon? He's kewl. Really. You don't need to worry about him. Trust me.)

Well, I'm thinking - Sure, why not? He can make the attempt, but it's gonna be a tough check since, I mean, what are the odds that out of the six ponies assembled, his friends would be among them? There are a lot of ponies on the police force, after all.

So, the player makes his check, and actually, he rolls pretty well, so I'm thinking -

Hm. After a roll like that I probably ought to give him something... But what? I still don't like the idea of just having random friend pop up in the police squad, as these guys are bullies and I don't imagine them ever having been too friendly...

-But then I remembered that the house rule didn't say anything about the NATURE of the ponies you recognized...

And then I gotz my evil GM plan.

I sent a PM to the player, that went something along the lines of...

"Hey Ramsus,

As it just so happens, Whisper DOES recognize some of the ponies in the police squad...

They were some of the worst bullies that picked on her back in elementary school!"

I went on to create a Pegasus - Crowd Control, a Unicorn - Lock & Key, and an Earth Pony - Excessive Force (all of which were in the squad) that altogether, had been the bane of Whisper's existence for many a year (using Ramsus' character backstory as inspiration). Among their crimes, they'd locked her in broom closets, flown her up flagpoles, and given her constant whoopins' on the school grounds.

-Oh, I know I was evil, but it was sooooo much fun! I really surprised the players, and I think Ramsus loved it too.
XandZero2 18th Oct 2012, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
-Oh, and in case you were wondering how things went...

The encounter with the police became much more personal and dynamic after I introduced Whisper's "friends", and it ended without a blow being struck. The party did some great role-playing, and showed the bullies up in front of a pretty big crowd.
Solario the Visored 18th Oct 2012, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes, when I describe a scene or character, or just an idea, my friend (he's a little bit of a chatterbox) will assess that he understands the scene by giving his own supplimental description. Sometimes, when it involves a detail I hadn't thought about and doesn't clash with the scene I'm trying to set, I just say "Yeah, that's pretty much it," and accomodate his perceptions. Since he's the only one I game with (only for lack of other people around), there's no real conflict with it. :/
Kynrasian 18th Oct 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
One of our players commandeered the position of DM for at least fifteen minutes to have a drinking contest then a bar fight and then a trial take place. All the while, I was left helplessly to watch.
The Batman 18th Oct 2012, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
Anyone here ever read Zombicorns by John Green?
ThousandYearSunrise 19th Oct 2012, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
No, but I want to.
Bronymous 18th Oct 2012, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
In team BaSgAS, prior to break-up, we invented a town called White Tail Junction, but we never got to actually go there.

And in my own game, I had the players decide where they wanted to start, so they invented a town called Neighagara falls.
Tatsurou 18th Oct 2012, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
Yay! It looks like we're at the Zacora story! This ought to be fun. Wonder how much metagaming there's gonna be.
Ryuutakeshi 18th Oct 2012, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Well, my group is actually involved in a huge questline right now involving traveling an entire continent that I created. My DM allowed me to get really involved in my ranger's backstory and he's using pretty much everything I've already created (gods, artifacts, races) for this questline. I even got to suggest a boss for us to fight that he is now using.

Okay, granted there is a little bit of difference since my ranger came back from the dead 3000 years after everyone he ever knew had died, but it's still my world in my DM's game.
kriss1989 18th Oct 2012, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
The Dresden Files game runs on this stuff. The players literally help set up the world they want to play in. The themes, goals, organizations, and the major NPCs.

Beyond that, our Super RPG includes Captain Tinfoil, The Corgie, and Exposition Man as a joke group of F List heroes. I came up with Captain Tinfoil, who has the power to command all tinfoil. The Corgie is a boxer with a stupid costume idea, and Exposition Man just doesn't shut up. I am still upset with Skyrim Bear for coming up with that one.
Roy Hankins 18th Oct 2012, 4:49 PM Poor Antonio edit delete reply
That is pretty funny, because at the moment I'm running a Zelda game using a modified Dresden system. In our first session, I opened it up to each character a little bit on how they were introduced.

Our Sheikah had his letter delivered, but because of a bad resources roll had no money to pay the guy. Not only that, I compelled his aspect Can't Remember A Face, so he could not remember this guy's name for the life of him, despite them knowing eachother literally their whole lives. So he spends a couple minutes trying to BS his way out with Deceit rolls. They fail. Eventually the messenger reveals his name as Antonio, and leaves in a huff.

Near the end of the session, the Gerudo of the group confronted the Sheikah. You see, our Sheikah is the one who ruined that Gerudo's life in her backstory. She hadn't recognized him, so she asked him about the Sheikah she was looking for. He described Antonio and gave her his name. "Poor Antonio" has become a meme with us, and as GM I plan on running with it.
deeman45 19th Oct 2012, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
I'm actually reading through the Dresden series right now, and I heard about the game a little while ago. It seems to have a decent rep; do you recommend it?
kriss1989 21st Oct 2012, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Yes very. It takes a bit of effort to learn it all down pat, but it's very fun and you only need 4 six skidded dice to run. A set for each person would probably be better, but it's not needed.
Akouma 18th Oct 2012, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
Many of my sister's games begin with players adding literally whatever they want (within reason) to the world map, and it's THEIR responsibility to flesh it out lest the players never go there.

Also, the smallville RPG actually requires players to make up locations and NPCs that are relevant in their lives or the lives of the other PCs/NPCs as part of the character creation process.

In a less broad example, in the nautical campaign I'm in, we arrived at a large flotilla-city. There wasn't much of anything planned for what was going on there, so I threw out "the Festival of Funny Hats" as a joke. Guess what we were doing not 5 seconds later. (Hint: It was cobbling together hats to enjoy the festival.) since this festival was decided to be an elf thing, and my character was a half-elf, he already had appropriate dress with a bunch of hats piled on top of each other TF2 style then sewn together. At one point he won a bar contest where the winner gets his opponent's hat, which he promptly added to the hat collective on his head. My character in that game is wacky. This is the same guy who's an Alchemist trying to discover the formula for "Cure Light Emotional Wounds".
CJT 18th Oct 2012, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
Oh dear.

Plot hook for the next time the festival rolls around:

Have the Jagermonsters crash the party and participate.
Akouma 19th Oct 2012, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
I had to go look that up. It was an interesting little read. I particularly like the phrase "any plan where you lose your hat is a bad plan."
CJT 20th Oct 2012, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
The entire comic has moments like that; the Jagers just get more than usual, due to being full of intrinsic hilarity potential.

It turns out that hats are to be acquired in battle: the more dangerous the enemy killed (or defeated) for it, the more prestigious the hat. One of the supporting characters, who loses his hat, decides to look up a sandwich-maker nicknamed "Old Man Death". Hilarity ensues.
Philadelphus 18th Oct 2012, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Oh, NPCs and locations that a player helped create! We've got several of those in Pony Team Bravo's game:

–My character, Green Horn the gardener unicorn who works at the Royal Canterlot Gardens, has a small house/cottage on the outskirts of Canterlot with a garden of his own. This became relevant when the party reached level 3 and chose the A Place of Your Own boon, which we styled as a house built in a giant tree that Green Horn grew in his garden (kinda like Twilight's library, which is where Green Horn got the inspiration for the idea while we were in Ponyville).

– Night Owl, our resident narcoleptic jeweler, came up with a gem shop back in Canterlot and a long-suffering partner to run it while Night Owl is off gallivanting about Equestria. The partner (whose name I have forgotten) has made an appearance at least twice so far.

–Midnight Moon, our doctor, is the heir of a powerful and wealthy media corporation who ran away from home so he could pursue his real talent: being a wandering doctor. He also ran away to avoid an arranged marriage with his ditzy, highly-in-love-with-him fiancée, Platinum Coronet. She has the motivation to track him across the world, and the resources to do so, and has provided for some hilarious hijinks the times she's shown up so far.

–Mouse. Oh gosh, Mouse, our psychotic earth pony mare. So, at one point, right at the end of a session, we came upon the BBEG and some sort of aquatic eldritch abomination...thing that we figured he was going to sic on us next session. So, next session, Mouse attempts to use The Power of Friendship on the...thing, with everyone who could supplying assistance. We ended up getting over 80 on the skill check, which resulted in the monster, now nicknamed "Kitten", becoming non-hostile and somewhat confused at having friends for the first time. Later on, one of the group activates the Element of Magic (in Apploosa), and happens to end up summoning Kitten. Since Kitten was an aquatic monstrosity, it ends ups panicking and flailing around, destroying pretty much all of Appleloosa in the process. In desperation, the same party members attempts something discussed between game sessions by Mouse's player: using It's Witchcraft! to turn Kitten into a pony NPC so it can join the group. One high roll, a lot of Magic Points and Stares, and a magic-amplifying artifact we just happened to have later, and Mouse is now the proud adoptive mother of an eldritch abomination in foal form. The poor thing.
sunbeam 18th Oct 2012, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Wow. When the recap was "We broke everything," You guys meant it.
Philadelphus 18th Oct 2012, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
...yyyeaaahhhh. With the possible exception of the damage to the seapony kingdom by the zombie fishlife invasion, I think we have the BBEG beat in terms of damage we've caused so far. I also now have a phobia of the Element of Laughter.
Zarhon 18th Oct 2012, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
"The poor thing."
You referring to Mouse or Kitten?

As for the shop/partner of Night Owl's, the shop name is "Owl's Eyes and Ice Rubies", while the partner's name is "Ice Breaker".

It should be noted the partner had to deal with Platinum Coronet in full bridezilla mode (a distraction to get away while she shops for gems/rings). He now apparently has to undergo therapy.
Demonu 19th Oct 2012, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
The things I let you guys get away with baffles even me sometimes in hindsight :p
Philadelphus 19th Oct 2012, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon: ' "The poor thing."
You referring to Mouse or Kitten?'

Hayatecooper 20th Oct 2012, 4:40 AM edit delete reply
Mouse is never poor, just temporary moneyless
linktoreality 18th Oct 2012, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
At the very beginning of our game, the DM had us all introduce a place on the map. One player decided there should be an archipelago in the sea to the south, inhabited by Rasta-Dwarves and Tiki-Warforged. It didn't come up again until a year and a half later, but it was so very worth it once it did.
Cain 18th Oct 2012, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
what the hell... I should see about getting some Jamaican dwarves
Zarhon 18th Oct 2012, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
From my own campaign (Zilean's revenge), the players, via backstories/sillyness/other interactions, created:

- A finders/thieves guild with interactions involving several of the characters
- A snake named Matilda, who the resident kobold decided to charm
- A demon possessing one of the characters
- A mimic, which the bard decided to go nuts on befriending and miraculously went through without losing a limb.
Xander Cruize 18th Oct 2012, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
All the time. I find that it helps immerse my players if I let them throw in one or two ideas for the setting.
Colin 18th Oct 2012, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
One of my players fearfully asked if a zombified fleshblob would burst messily once it dropped from the ceiling. Well, it does NOW.
Artsy 18th Oct 2012, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Oh, poop! I checked for an update on a day when there actually was an update! Usually, I check on the day before there's an update, so that I can check the next day and not have to wait. But now...
Ravenscroft RAVEN 18th Oct 2012, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
Well, I've got an interesting one. I'm known for powergaming, but also for being a pretty good RPer in my local group, so I'm often handed characters to play instead of making my own, if the DM needs something of a role in the party.

I was handed a bard in one campaign, Isara, because the party had no face, skillmonkey, or rogue character at all. Our job was to steal back an evil artifact from a thieves guild to put it in "proper" hands (ours). My background handed was pretty pedestrian, and the build was atrocious (if you know 3.5e bards), so I wasn't too attached to the character. I took a lot of unnecessary risks, but through stupid luck, dodged every trap, never got hit, etc.

So we face the BBEG: A half-fiend rogue, and a small troupe of kneecappers, protecting the artifact. At this point, on a whim, I tossed a note to the DM: "Clearly in immunity to everything here, I must be the guild leader. What do you do?"... In jest, of course.

Bless her heart, the half-fiend finishes his speech with "My coup will be perfect! Isara, time to retire permanently so I may claim what is mine! Rulership of all the thieves in the city!"

...That got the rest of the party a bit riled. And began a three-way battle as some rogues defected (they never hit me after all), and the party paladin attacking me. It turned into a court case, and Isara died by hanging at the paladin's bequest, but it screwed up the rest of the campaign as the thieves guild was then leader-less, and began acting more and more unruly, eventually threatening the entire town while the party tried to get the rest of the artifacts.
Urthdigger 18th Oct 2012, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
I honestly wish I had a story about this. My biggest gripe with my usual tabletop group is that they tend to assume that what the DM tells them is entirely accurate and all there is. They never take a closer look at things, never investigate, always assume anything that attacks them is a fight to the death... they do very well on characterization, which is why I kept playing with them, but they really leave the world entirely up to the DM.
Greywander 19th Oct 2012, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
Another one from Logan's Tatters of Harmony game.

When I was first applying to his game, he told me my backstory was too Mary Sue-ish (which, admittedly, it was. I'd come up with it for a now aborted fic, and it made sense in context). One backstory rewrite later, I'm in the game. THEN the DM informs me I'm staying in Twilight's library (looking after it while she's away), and tells me to come up with the events leading up to the start of the story (how I ended up in Ponyville, and at the library, etc.).

Of course, one of the most common traits of Mary Sue characters (besides being alicorns), is knowing or having a personal connection to one of the mane six, especially Twilight. Now, this doesn't always have to be a Mary Sue, it's just one of those things, like alicorn OCs, that Mary Sues seem to gravitate towards. So I found this humorously ironic in light of the DM's [well deserved] comments on my original backstory.

Now, I could have played it straight, but then I wouldn't have been a very good Bearer of the Element of Laughter, now, would I? So I decided that a pony named Contrived Coincidence introduced my character to Twilight shortly after he arrived in Ponyville, mentioning that she just HAPPENED to be heading out of town for a bit and needed somepony to watch the library (my character has a skill point in Profession: Librarian).

Apparently, that used up my Laughter power for the day (well spent, I say). Contrived Coincidence showed up later when we were about to leave for our adventure. Because, of course, somepony STILL had to watch the library. I have a feeling she's going to be a recurring NPC.
Zuche 19th Oct 2012, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Contrived Coincidence might just be the best NPC name since Biff the Understudy.
Theo 19th Oct 2012, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
You almost have to think that Contrived Coincidence is somehow related to Pinkie... and probably also works for the local news doing those oddly specific reports you always seem to run into.

"Coming up next: A story on conveniently-placed news stories in television shows. But first, Peter, watch out for that skateboard."
LoganAura 19th Oct 2012, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
:3 I liked her. Easy way to explain stuff like. "I want you to go this way" other than having Arcana tell ya XD.
There was also City and Sun's brothers and grandfather (latter there) although Sun's events aren't gonna happen for a while.
City Strider 19th Oct 2012, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
City Strider
I loved Contrived Coincidence and swore to steal her for any ponies game I might run in the future. Hope you're still cool with that, Grey ^_^
Limey Lassen 20th Oct 2012, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
Limey Lassen
My gosh. Best character ever.
Demonu 19th Oct 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Players aiding or creating locations? Oh yeah, all the time.

The town were the Five Fathers Adventuring Party lived got changed or added to so many times that, if I kept all the changes, the town would be bigger than the capital of the country. I remember one instance in particular which was so out there yet so amazing, I actually made it a permanent feature.

The original set up for me was to get the party to a certain forest in a valley that was known for its diverse fauna. Of course, "go there and do X" doesn't cut it as a plothook so I came up with the idea that Sarah was learning about magical fauna and flora in school and that the teacher had given some homework about it.
(Sarah's teacher: best NPC (questgiver) I ever came up with. She was golden)

Anyway, so my assumption was that the party would take Sarah on what you might call a fieldtrip to the valley for MAXIMUM GRADES! But yeah, players don't always do what you think they're going to do.

Player (don't recall exactly who, probably Jim:fighter or Mike:paladin): "So you want us to take Sarah..."
Me: "Yes."
PC: "To a valley filled with magical beasts and plants..."
Me: "Yes."
PC: "Where she might get hurt?"
Me: "Well, you guys will be there to protect her so I don't see the problem..."
PC: "Screw that! How many favours do we have?"

Anyone here familiar with the saying "If Mohammed will not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed"? Yeah, that's what happened...
The group cashed in on some favours from various NPC and BAM! Overnight build magical petting zoo.

Of course, it was a great success. It later got expanded to a full scale magic zoo which is now one of the major tourist attractions for the town. But the original petting zoo is still there, for the little ones.

The zoo itself is loads of fun to play around with but not something I'd expected.
"You want us to go out and find some magic beast? Screw that, magical petting zoo it is!"
sunbeam 19th Oct 2012, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Fantastic. Simply fantastic.
tuxgeo 19th Oct 2012, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
[pedantry]"If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain."[/pedantry]
But your way works nearly as well.

[See also the example of King Knut ("Canute") of England, sitting in a royal throne on the beach and commanding the tide to stay away as it rises. Of course the tide just keeps on rising anyway, despite the royal command not to; and that was Canute's lesson to his advisers: No, the King isn't really all-powerful, he just seems that way at times. This is similar to Mohammed's lesson: if The Prophet cannot move a mountain with his mind, there's a way around that: he can still go to the mountain, thereby achieving the same effect with far less work.]
Zuche 19th Oct 2012, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
"First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is." ~ Zen koan
tuxgeo 20th Oct 2012, 8:57 AM Ken Zoan edit delete reply
"Oh Juanita, Oh Juanita, Oh Juanita, I call your name."
ThousandYearSunrise 19th Oct 2012, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Wouldn't it be an amazing twist if, over the hiatus, Spud got someone to draw a campaign with zombie ponies?

And Zombies with Zecora has a weird full-circle thing, since the concept of zombies was introduced in pop culture from African voodoo.
smashbro 19th Oct 2012, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
When I was DM'ing for one of my groups, I got to the point where pretty much whatever the players thought up could become cannon.

The players were looking for a magical item, and came across a warehouse filled with thieves, loading items onto ships. The players eventually win, and two of the thieves run off, not wanting to die like the rest.

Some of my players decide that the main plot really doesn't interest them, and decide to create a mafia family and take over the world, and decide to follow those two thieves, and hire them. Within a few minutes, the two thieves went from mooks to named characters, who would have been influential in future adventures (if we had actually played much past that).

Then, my players want to get recruits to fight for them... I tell them they get to the nearest town, in the middle of nowhere... where, uh... people don't know how to fight... and they believe the most impressive thing they've ever seen is... (I look down at what I'm eating) a turkey wrap. Yeah, they love turkey wraps.

My players learned that they should never expect townspeople to be competent enough to put out a fire. And I learned to always have a random name generator open, and say "yes, of course mook #3 is important! He has a name now, and whatever backstory makes this interesting!"
Limey Lassen 20th Oct 2012, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
Limey Lassen
This happens ALL the time in my campaign. Partly due to my mischievous GM style and partly because the players figured out early on that I have a weakness for creative solutions- they can get away with all kinds of crap as long as it sounds cool.

The most memorable session was when one party member turned a routine dull encounter into an epic boss fight by fumbling his "curse powers" and polymorphing one of the enemies into a giant tentacle monster.

The techno-mage of the group retreated into a nearby building to roleplay cowardice... the building just happened to be a fire station. He then had the clever idea of modifying the fire truck into a Transformer. Which was ridiculous, so I set the DC way high.

Long story short. Kaiju monster fight. It was just supposed to be a freaking encounter. o.O

This from the same player who decided to take two defeated snow-elemental enemies and craft a half-mechanical golem out of them. Which ended up becoming one of everyone's favorite NPC's in the game.
Nighzmarquls 23rd Oct 2012, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
I named a character in a one piece game by randomly gesturing when I was supposed to have entered a bar and saying "Hey Bill!"

then proceeded to role play off the DM until bill became 'oh-bill-wa' who we later learned was a terrifying terrifying logia of salt.

best qoute from that character "This Porridge is Ugly"
Super_Big_Mac 1st May 2016, 10:28 PM Player-made NPCs edit delete reply
In a Ponyfinder game, we're trying to collect the Elements of Destiny in order to help Illiana Ascend to Godhood.

My character, Overwatch (currently an 11th level Unchained Rogue)'s wife Cool Evening (Celebrity Bard; DJ specialty) helped kickstart Illiana's campaign for Godhood by singing songs about Illiana's teachings, and how you should be kind to your fellow pony, and all that.

We ended up creating a guild/church called the Students of Illiana, with Evening's songs as the Hymns and basis for the guild's motto, and Illiana's journals from the past three thousand years the basis of the teachings.

The guild is kinda like the Seeker's Guild, except instead of being for Adventurers, it's more for in-town problems. You go to Seekers for goblins and ghouls, and you go to the Students if you need to settle a dispute that's not in need of Guard intervention.

The Guild is even set up like a church.

Teachers instead of Oracles
Scholars instead of Preachers
Corsairs instead of Paladins
And so on. There's even a seperate group that started up, known as the Shippers of Illiana. They basically go around settling Herd disputes, and playing matchmaker. Nopony really takes them seriously, but I rolled three Nat 20s in a row when having them ship two characters together, whose marriage has started yet another plot thread which has led to our group travelling back in time.

And then there's my proudestish creation. (Technically, all of the NPCs that make up my character's family were made by me, but they came around as a matter of course; this character came around as a way to let my character say an oath that is sincere without swearing by a Goddess)

The Party Proctor, and her Promise.