Page 199 - It's All Relative

27th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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It's All Relative
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 27th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
This conversation always, ALWAYS comes up.

"You had family that was relevant to this game and you didn't mention it!"
"I didn't know it was relevant yet, and you never asked!"

Every. Single. Time.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
As a rule, no player has even a mother or father unless having one is vital to their back story.
Destrustor 27th Oct 2012, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Most of my characters are born from the void, popped into existence on a whim of the universe. I basically never even make a backstory.
The rule with me is that they never have families(or even a past) unless the DM decides to dump one on them.
I usually just go "oh, okay."
Greywander 27th Oct 2012, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
If I were the DM in a case like this, I would be severely tempted to craft a background for each player character that somehow ties into the campaign story, and possibly connects the PCs to each other as well. If you tell them an NPC is in danger, they won't usually feel motivated to do anything. You tell them their LITTLE SISTER is in danger, and they will move mountains to rescue her. As soon as their characters have personal stakes in the story, the players will become much more invested in it. Usually.

But what do I know? I'm not an experienced DM, I'm just going off of what I've heard around the 'net.
terrycloth 29th Oct 2012, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Eh. A background you dump on them isn't going to connect the players to the game.

It might be a hook that they feel compelled to chase, but it'll still feel like they're being led around by a sharp pointy metal bit lodged in their lip.
Atosen 27th Oct 2012, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
I've played characters who actually were popped into existence on a whim of the universe.

Yet one of those characters still had a family in an alternate universe she remembered being from. That was a weird backstory.
Blue Moon of Storms 28th Oct 2012, 4:04 AM edit delete reply
Blue Moon of Storms
@Destrustor + Atosen

Well, there's another variant. The Characters are created, in universe, as the solution to the problem.

-by the very force that needs the problem solved most.

Goddess: Hmm... The Big Bad is Getting kinda rowdy.
Angel: Someone should brew up a Hero.
Goddess: I'll get right on that. But first, I need to figure out what kind of Hero I want to make.
Angel: Take your time... Take your time... You have a few months.

No Backstory needed... Just "Goddess made your @$$".
Guest 29th Oct 2012, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
Sounds like Palutena and Pit.
Darkside 27th Oct 2012, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
True. Most of my characters with a backstory have been orphaned, though my most recent one has adopted parents.

He's a dragonborn, they're tieflings.
Jomoru 27th Oct 2012, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Universally all my characters are found in a cabbage patch.
DPV111 28th Oct 2012, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
Not every character can have a backstory as angsty and badass as Guts.
Destrustor 29th Oct 2012, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
DPV111, I must say that your avatar disturbs and terrifies me.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
First, or a least 2nd. AB was always my fav CMC. Will this comic explian scooterloo. Me hope me hope me hope.
Poll time: Who is your favorite CMC. You can only pick one. Total appers tommorow.
darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
I have to pick one!? Damn, ok I guess Applebloom. Unless it's friendship is witchcraft then Sweetiebot
Guest 27th Oct 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
My favorite CMC is the CMC it's self but if that's not an option...I don't really have one but, I'll just say Scoots just cause.
Anon 27th Oct 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle, of course.
CharginChuck 27th Oct 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle is best CMC. I would think this was obvious.
Mudpony 27th Oct 2012, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Indeed. Sweetie Belle is best.
Digo 27th Oct 2012, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Going with the Sweetie Belle crowd because she comes up with the weirdest ideas at times.
Destrustor 27th Oct 2012, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
I'd go with Scootaloo.
Apple Bloom always seemed like just a bite-sized Applejack to me, and Sweetie Belle just doesn't have all the chicken-related jokes to give her an edge.
darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
You mean that one throw away gag that became a memetic mutation?
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
main reason, scoot is the final for my list. no charther devopment. just for laughs.
The MunchKING 27th Oct 2012, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
She's got Dictionary jokes to keep her afloat.

And for me I can't decide between AppleBloom or Scootaloo.

*flips a coin*
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
P.S. do you want me do Poll Time in the future. If no, I'll do it less often. If yes, I'll probaly do it almost every comic.
CharginChuck 27th Oct 2012, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
I wouldn't mind more polls. I like such pointless distractions.
Raxon 27th Oct 2012, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
As long as you don't ask me to poll down my knickers, I-and everyone else-remains happy.

painkillers are bad. They make me tell nudity jokes, and nobody wants to see that.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
Poll update.
AB:2(my vote counted)
a 3-way tie. keep going.
sunbeam 27th Oct 2012, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
LoganAura 27th Oct 2012, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie is best singer, therefore she wins.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
Wow, that's right. however, fanfiction stories don't count. pick agian.
The MunchKING 28th Oct 2012, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
If we're going THERE Loki is best CMC.
Cyberfox VI 27th Oct 2012, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
I am disappointed in the relative lack of love for Applebloom here. +1 AB
Mudpony 27th Oct 2012, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
When half of her fans spell her name wrong, is it any wonder?
Hemi-PoweredDrone 27th Oct 2012, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
It's all about Scoots, motherbuckers. She's adorable and plucky, which is awesome.
arkey 27th Oct 2012, 8:51 AM private arkey edit delete reply
scootaloo, because she is the same race as the one of the mane six that I am most like, and the chicken jokes.
Masterweaver 27th Oct 2012, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle, the intellectual and star of my only completed fanfic.
Dusk Raven 27th Oct 2012, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
I'd have to say Apple Bloom, but that may be because she has the most screentime and I find her voice adorable.
The Hittite 27th Oct 2012, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
Scoots. Always Scoots.
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Current tally is 4-3-3, with Scootaloo in the lead.

Oh, and one abstention. :P
Greywander 27th Oct 2012, 10:13 AM edit delete reply

Or is it Apple Bloom? I'm not actually sure.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
2 words.
Guest 27th Oct 2012, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Scootaloo is best CMC
Malroth 27th Oct 2012, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
My favorite Command MasterChief? Well the one back on my ship was a real jerk. So I'd guess i'd Go with the Halo Guy since he at least has some funny smartass comments to accompany the Obligatory making life hell for the lower ranked Enlisted that comes with his Rank.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
Ha ha. cuite mark crusdars. Not Halo.
Malroth 28th Oct 2012, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
Eventually enough misunderstandings will cure this pointless abbreviation fad.
The MunchKING 28th Oct 2012, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
You'd think that, but it hasn't happened yet. If anything we've been getting MORE Abreviations.
DanielLC 27th Oct 2012, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Sweetiebot followed by Nyx followed by Thrakazod or whatever her name was.
Ranubis 27th Oct 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
I'll go with Applebloom as best CMC member. Sorry Scoots and Sweetie, but Applebloom's the original deal. And anypony who can put up with Applejack as a sister get's some major points.
Tatsurou 27th Oct 2012, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle. It's obvious her talent's going to be singing someday...and there's just so much that can be done with that. Can you imagine Rarity's reaction if she walked in on adolescent Sweetie Belle singing a ...risque song to a group of stallions? XD
Bronymous 27th Oct 2012, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle is best, because she has Sweetie Bot and Thrackerzod on backup.
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
And we're back to a three-way tie with five votes apiece.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
Zuche, thank you for keeping up with the poll while I was gone. A wedding takes a long time to do. the party after, was even longer. Say congrats to my unlce and my new aunt.
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 9:30 PM edit delete reply
Congratulations to your uncle, your aunt, and yourself for the addition to your family, ANW.

Poll favours Sweetie Belle at this time with a 6-5-5 lead. Count will resume tomorrow morning. Good night, all.
ANW 28th Oct 2012, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
Thanks. let me post the final results.
one hour left guys and gals.
kriss1989 27th Oct 2012, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle, I like her mane.
ANW 27th Oct 2012, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
time is up at 9:00 am my time aka 6:00 comic time. (Go GA)
tuxgeo 27th Oct 2012, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
Re: "(Go GA)"
They did, didn't they? (#10-ranked 'Bulldogs' 17 points, #2-ranked 'Gators' 9 points.) [I'm a 'Duck,' so I'm not allowed to say, "How 'bout them Dawgs!"]

Keeping with the Ponies theme, though: how often do the Boise State 'Broncos' play against the Southern Methodist (SMU) 'Mustangs'?
Bronymous 28th Oct 2012, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
Know what the worst part about living in Georgia is? UGA fans.

Go Jackets.
BadHorse 27th Oct 2012, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
am I the only one who doesn't much care for the CMC?
Ravenscroft RAVEN 27th Oct 2012, 11:55 PM edit delete reply
Trixie is best CMC. SWEETIEBOT is second-best. But CMC only really develop as a team or otherwise in the fictions, so it's a hard pick.
ANW 28th Oct 2012, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
AB:7 votes (mine inculded)
SB:9 votes
SC:6 votes
Sweetebelle wins. And for winning, she gets to go to our world for one whole week. Who wants to take her?
Tatsurou 28th Oct 2012, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
In this case, this is appropriate...
I call dibs!
ANW 28th Oct 2012, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Can your house even support her. She is very craf... Forget what he was trying to say. I'll come over right away... Tatsurou, good luck. Spell to send her back is "cutie marks don't exist".
Tatsurou 28th Oct 2012, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
Not to worry. I know ALL about Sweetie Belle. I'm sure my house can handle her. Besides, Can't wait to hear her sing!
DracoS 28th Oct 2012, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
My favorite Dinobot is Grimlock.

I mean, Sweetie Belle.
DracoS 28th Oct 2012, 11:13 PM edit delete reply
My favorite Dinobot is Grimlock.

I mean, Sweetie Belle.
Valron 28th Oct 2012, 9:05 PM edit delete reply
It's a tough choice, but I've got to go with Scoots
Artsy 28th Oct 2012, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
I have this deep love for anything southern and hospitable, so I'd originally go with Apple Bloom, but Sweetie is just SO CUTE! Plus, we never hear anything about Scoots. Ever.
terrycloth 29th Oct 2012, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Applebloom, hands down. She builds stuff, she manipulates adults, she brews evil potions. When she grows up she's going to be somepony's nemesis.
CharginChuck 27th Oct 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
So as I mentioned before, I've decided to start imagining the DM's line's in Patrick Stewart's voice. This has included Apple Bloom's lines, complete with accent. I only bring this up because this has made the comic funnier for me by several magnitudes. That's all.
Masterweaver 27th Oct 2012, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
"Captain... Jean'luc Picard oftheU.S.S. En Ter Prize."
kriss1989 27th Oct 2012, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989 win the Internet. OK people pack it up we're done here.
Cain 27th Oct 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
ah the families, to be used and discarded at a whim.
Masterweaver 27th Oct 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
One character of mine secretly had a daughter who she dumped onto a rich family right after birth, on the justification that "I'm a mysterious and blatantly evil unicorn, therefore not a good mother at all." She still visited frequently, claiming to be an auntie.
Oblivious 27th Oct 2012, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Speaking from recent experience, there are times where that, "You didn't ask," response just doesn't hack it. Like when a party member is related the BBEG, and the split loyalties lead said PC to inaction, causing a three hour alignment-style argument.

Yeah, not always simple, since family member NPC's can have a big impact on the campaign.
darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
Yea, I can imagine how that conversation started.

Paladin: Why didn't you tell us that the woman who is going around slaughtering villages, sacrificing dragons to virgins and training kittens as stealth assassins is your sister! We've been hunting her for three weeks!

Rogue: You didn't ask.

Paladin: What the f**k, do you really believe that we would consider asking if our companions are related to a genocidal mad woman!?

Wizard: Hey wait a minute, you're a paladin, you're not suppose to swear.

Paladin: Look up the code, all it says that I cannot knowingly commit an evil act or associate with an evil character. I can swear till the barbarians blush and it wouldn't affect my alignment. And speaking of which, hold still Rogue, I'm doing a detect evil spell on you.

Rogue: Oh so that's how it is. You fascist pig, you find out I have one black sheep in my family and you automatically assume that I am cut from the same cloth as well.

Paladin: No, it's because you never told us about your sister, knowingly putting our lives in danger to the assassin kitten tamer. Now hold still while I cast this and draw your weapons. If I need to smite evil, I don't like doing it on a defenseless opponent.
LoganAura 27th Oct 2012, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Inb4 Inky starts ranting about Faded Tome.
sunbeam 27th Oct 2012, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Wonderful, Wonderful end to that rant. Don't you hate it when the Paladin turns out to be right?
Also, was she sacrificing dragons to virgins or virgins to dragons?
LoganAura 27th Oct 2012, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
*Insert gif of a latina little kid saying "why not have both"
sunbeam 27th Oct 2012, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I can make that work. Conventional dragons feed off the innocence of virgins to keep themselves strong enough to save themselves from being captured by Elizabeth I, the virgin queen's, knights, who take them back to her. Then the Virgin Queen eats their hearts in a dark ritual to gain more power, eventually growing strong enough to rule the cosmos.
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
I'm working on a story in which the source of dragon vitality was youth. (Peter Yarrow was almost correct. It's because of little boys that dragons live forever.) Fearing the power of dragon educated children, community leaders misrepresented the interest in youth as a desire for purity. Offering only girls to bond-seeking dragons, they stirred the public to fear and hate both dragons and those they taught. This also helped enforce the idea that a girl's value was determined primarily by chastity.

As you can guess, I keep bogging down in explanation. Attempts to be subtle on delicate points have also proven to be well beyond my ability thus far. This will require a bigger drawing board.
darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
Dragons to virgins. You all can draw your own conclusions as to why.
Greywander 27th Oct 2012, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Virgins to unicorns.
Unicorns to dragons.
The circle is complete.

Oh wait, you meant the sacrificing. Eh, still works.

Depending on what the DM decides to do with my backstory, we could be climbing over the corpses of a lot of my half brothers and sisters later on.
darkwulf23 27th Oct 2012, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
And for the conclusion of that party drama.

Paladin: OK I am sorry for flying off the handle about your sister being a major villain and I understand that you didn't tell us about her because you were ashamed. However in the future I think it would be best for the party if you did not hold out on vital information like that.

Rogue: It is just so hard seeing my sister decend like that and knowing I cannot help her.

Paladin: OK, before we continue is there any thing else that should be shared that may cause problems for the group later before we head out.

Party: Ehh....

Paladin: Sigh...Go ahead, I wont judge.

Cleric: Well actually I'm a noble prince who's family was killed by the rebelling nobles and they are looking to kill me because I am the true heir to the throne.

Fighter: I was once intended to a woman that I left at the alter after we celebrated our wedding night a little early. Right now her family declared that I owe them a blood debt.

Wizard: I am actually a reform villain. For all the good deeds I have accomplished so far I have done much more evil deeds and entire nations want my head.

Ranger: I am a spy for the nations rival kingdom. I have been placed with your group to keep tabs on you and get close to the royalty.


Paladin: Ah ^*#$ this, I'm going to form a new party filled with nothing but mercenaries. At least I know that they are only in it for the gold.

Cleric: You said you wouldn't judge.

Paladin: You're right, I'm sorry. And truth be told I have my own dark secrets. I fell from Paladin hood six times.

Rogue: Wow, how did your paladin hood back.

Paladin: I pick another DM that actually understood that Paladin doesn't automatically mean lawful stupid.
Videocrazy 28th Oct 2012, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
In my defense, Faded had a reason beyond "you didn't ask". Or have you forgotten Inky's reaction to seeing Scroll, and the massive property damage and loss of historical artifacts that ensued in her attempt to kill him?
Tvtyrant 27th Oct 2012, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
If I was the Rogue I would use my scroll of forcecage, and then go kill the Paladin's family. Being related to someone you are hunting does not increase the amount of danger you are in, and obviously if evil runs in the family so does crazy.
Malroth 28th Oct 2012, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Actually my favorite archetype to play is "evil on a leash" A completely unrepetant antihero at best and would be mastermind at worst who is always offering advice to the most good aligned person in the party that would accomplish the parties goals in the most morally objectionable way possible.
Raxon 27th Oct 2012, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: When did you get a sister? How did you get a sister?

Applejack: Well, it was a dark and stormy night...

Pinkie pie starts playing sleazy jazz music.

Rarity: On second though, some things are better left unspoken.
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
At least it wasn't banjo music. No one wants to revisit that "routine expedition" any time soon.
Crimson Doom 27th Oct 2012, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Oh hey, the big 200 is coming up! Shiny! :D

Anyway, I love the Faust in this comic. It's hilarious how much fun he's having! :D
Random 27th Oct 2012, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
I thought the GM was a female?
Zuche 27th Oct 2012, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
As long as you weren't looking for a phone number, it probably doesn't matter. ;)

...Wait, wait... Crimson Doom, as you encouraging Newbiespud to use the Faust?
Crimson Doom 28th Oct 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
The term really fits, so I'm using it as often as possible in the hopes that it catches on. It wouldn't make sense to use it in the comic, though; presumably Lauren Faust is either the DM or utterly irrelevant to the gaming group.
Zuche 29th Oct 2012, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
So would you call this campaign Faust's World, Home for Arcane Pony's Friends?
Crimson Doom 29th Oct 2012, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
It... wouldn't have occured to me if you hadn't mentioned it, but it DOES fit...
Tatsurou 27th Oct 2012, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
I remember one time - just a thing regarding backstories - I made a troll character who was raised by dwarves, and was on a quest to figure out which he really was. I managed to convince the DM to give me both sets of racial bonuses, as long as I gave him full control of family ties.
I wound up with an older brother (troll) who worked for the main bad guy, and a younger sister (dwarf) who was captured by the big bad as a ritual sacrifice, and after beating the bad guy into retreat I had to keep them from killing each other. I managed it by sitting on them (despite being raised as a dwarf, my character was big for a troll).
The Batman 27th Oct 2012, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
And then it turns out your parents were a Tiefling and an Elf?
Tatsurou 27th Oct 2012, 9:13 PM edit delete reply turned out I had seventeen children and all the wealth I had gathered now had to go to child support. I went from the richest character in the group to not even having enough for a health potion...
Tatsurou 27th Oct 2012, 9:13 PM edit delete reply turned out I had seventeen children and all the wealth I had gathered now had to go to child support. I went from the richest character in the group to not even having enough for a health potion...
The Batman 28th Oct 2012, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
... Trying to think of a D&D pun for Obamacare...
DracoS 28th Oct 2012, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
DoubleCross 27th Oct 2012, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Because I have your voice as my headcanon for the DM, Fuzzy, I'm having to imagine you pulling an Apple Bloom voice.

It's amazing.
Digo 27th Oct 2012, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
One thing my players always provide to me on their character backgrounds is a listing of parents and siblings. Besides the obvious fuel to use against the players, it's useful to have a few already established NPCs when the party passing through someone's hometown.
You think battling dragons are tough?

Try having dinner at the Paladin's parents house without embarracing anyone. :D

(P.S. Sweetie Belle is best CMC)
Guest 27th Oct 2012, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
RD: "You get extra points for a sister? Then I have twelve of them!"
GM: "No no and no. Besides, it's too late for that. The best you can get now would be a sidekick."
Masterweaver 27th Oct 2012, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
Ironically in my interpretation of RD she does have six siblings. As well as six parents and a slew of cousins that she basically considered siblings.

Also she's secretly a duchess.
Jason Shadow 28th Oct 2012, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Ah yes, I remember that story.
Kiana 27th Oct 2012, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
Rarity's screencap in the first panel is PERFECT. Just the right level of pouty.

And the comic DM's lines are precisely why I love DMing and often have entire sessions of dialog: It can be so fun!

You don't HAVE to have high action and combat to have a fun time, after all. Nor do you need to be ON a quest to have fun: Often times, just trying to find a quest is entertaining.
Kiana 27th Oct 2012, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
As an aside, I finally got around to registering on ComicFury. Yay.
Guest 27th Oct 2012, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
I wonder how Applejack and Rarity will react when Twilight's sibling get revealed? Just look at her standing there so innocent without speaking a word about Shining Armor.
Masterofgames 27th Oct 2012, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
Even better, as captain of the guard of a goddess, that makes him the head of an order of paladins. Rarity would likely be flirting with him at first sight until that little fact comes up, then it would just be awkward.

You know, the good kind.
Guest 27th Oct 2012, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
It probably won't be the good kind since he doesn't get introduced until a few days prior to his wedding to the Princess. Although the fact that he'll soon be a Prince may just make Rarity flirt more to make a good impression with her best friends brother who's just about to join the exact social circles she's trying to get into.
Tatsurou 27th Oct 2012, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
That makes me wonder how the Canterlot Wedding sequnce will go down D&D style...though I can see one reaction.

The Invitation
RD: I get to show off? Meh, whatever.

Shining Armor revealed

RD: I the only only child in this team?
FS: I'm an only child...I think...maybe...does Angel count as a sibling?

Something's off with Cadence

RD: Do I get to roll for combat damage yet?
Everyone Else: NO!

Changeling's revealed

RD: FINALLY! EPic slaughter time! I've been waiting for this! Come on dice, mama needs another level!
ShadowDragon8685 27th Oct 2012, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Oh man, Tatsurou, you're so right.

Rainbow Dash is going to be as happy as... Well, as a Chaotic Evil Pegasus Barbarian let loose on a horde of clones of the friends who have been holding her back from letting loose and employing the violent solution for the ENTIRE GAME.

Cry havok, and let slip the dice of war!
CJT 28th Oct 2012, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Given that Shining was pulled *completely* out of nowhere in that episode, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that he's either not her brother in the gaming session, or that the DM plays the "long-lost brother" card.

Cadence is actually worse, though. The DM's put enough work into building the mythology for the campaign that he's going to have a _very_ interesting time explaning a) where a third alicorn came from, and b) why nobody seems to consider her unusual.

Heck, this could even be a dream sequence session. Or a "you find yourselves in an alternate universe" session. The wedding broke a _lot_ of things in FiM canon, and if you do that as a DM, your players tend to call you on it very forcefully.
terrycloth 29th Oct 2012, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Cadance is obviously a PC with such a fascinating backstory that the GM was charmed into letting them play a winged unicorn.

That, or she's also a changeling, just from a rival hive.

Possibly both.
Innisa 27th Oct 2012, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
Maybe I have a problem. I can't make a character without creating a ridiculously complex backstory. And then I dump it on my DM to let them play with it, if they so desire.... Sometimes it backfires, but sometimes the awesome NPCs that they make from them are fun!
ShadowDragon8685 27th Oct 2012, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
Whenever I make a character, usually I go for the safe route and give them a backstory as an only child whose parents are either happily deceased of old age, or who died in a tragic farming accident. And their childhood friends are all gone, too. Yep. Burnt to death in their sleep. Terrible shame, really, tragic accident of weather. Nothing at all suspicious about it all, nope, nope, nope. Nobody to want vengeance against, nobody to blame. It just happened, and I moved on, hit the road, and took up this 'adventuring' nonsense because I needed to eat and I figured I'd have a better life expectancy as the guy who slaughters bandits than as a bandit.

Next time I get to play something, though? My character is totally having an Apple Bloom... If it's a system where I can get points for having a Dependant, that is.
John Walter Biles 27th Oct 2012, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
In the Amber RPG, family is pretty important; our long-running Amber games built up a huge web of players and kinfolk.

It was a ton of fun. You just have to make sure family is a benefit as well as a source of trouble.
Jellybean 28th Oct 2012, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Wow, hey Biles. S'a name I haven't heard in forever.
Raxon 28th Oct 2012, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
You can get roleplaying XP for dramatic moments. That's why I intend to have a wife and kid in every town. Lots of roleplaying xp, everywhere.
Digo 28th Oct 2012, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
One time I had a player who RP'd as a bard. Literally, he kept a notebook of EVERY female he was able to swoon, mooch, swindle, and shag as he adventured across the continent.

He even had them all Catagorized by town and Charisma score!! O_O
CJT 28th Oct 2012, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Keeping that sort of diary in-game would actually be a very good idea, so that he can make sure he doesn't have "oh, it's *you*" surprises more often than necessary.

Of course, that would give the DM a great big plot hook in the form of having someone steal said diary. And then either blackmailing the bard or ratting him out to selected victims. Or even doing nothing, but making the bard sweat over a) the possibility that they _might_, and b) the fact that he's now flying blind.

Much potential for fun, here.
Digo 29th Oct 2012, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Huh, I didn't think of that.

Too bad the character died when he courted the true BBEG vampire during the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft adventure. The party decided to leave after killing Strahd, thinking they won, but the bard stayed behind to make out with the mayor's daughter for a night.

Learned the hard way who really was behind the plot of Ravenloft. XD
ShadowDragon8685 28th Oct 2012, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
Hahah! So, Raxon, do you play in a setting where polygamy is acceptable, or do you milk it twice-over by taking Dark Secret (Mass Bigamist)?
Zuche 28th Oct 2012, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
In a plane-hopping campaign, he'd also have a girl in every portal.
CJT 29th Oct 2012, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
...And all I can think of on reading that is this strip:

There are several in that sequence.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
There are plenty of species that believe in polygamy. You don't have to play a human or an elf, you know.
Jellybean 28th Oct 2012, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Back in the epic game I'm sure I've mentioned before my character was the only one with a mentioned family: in his case the seemingly endless supply of hill-folk cousins who he became warleader and speaker for. Lias was a little 'traditional' in his thinking but sufficiently charismatic to make this seem charmingly rustic instead of backwards and ignorant, but his cousins were basically soccer hooligans in woad.

They were glorious.
Jellybean 28th Oct 2012, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
For that matter there was also the L5R game I was in where I and several of my fellow players decided to start writing family trees which ended up going five generations back and awfully wide horizontally. I used an actual genealogy website to make the tree.
LoganAura 28th Oct 2012, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Last time, on Pony Tales.
kriss1989 29th Oct 2012, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
Look what you do in bed is your own...oh wait you meant the section of the story before the falling action and the denouncement. Never mind.
Oblivious 29th Oct 2012, 10:44 PM edit delete reply
No, it is what you think it is.
Mr. Brony 28th Oct 2012, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
I actually had a character once who's father and mother were deeply important to his backstory. He was a gnome priest/thief named Pyon, and he had a complicated childhood. Born the son of an influential priestess and a master thief, both of them tried to influence his early development, hence his bizarre class split. However, they both agreed that he had to be kept secret, so they both conspired to hide Pyon's identity whenever possible. Pyon's father had hitmen kill entire families that had found out Pyon's identity. Now of course this was known around the player table but in game the other characters thought I was just a somewhat suspicious traveling priest, and I had this plan to have his story unfold kind of like Book in Firefly. And what's one of the first things our DM decides to do when we level up? Claim that it's impossible for me to level my thief side without my companions knowing. I briefly struggled with whether or not it would be in character to slit all of their throats, but eventually decided against it for player harmony and because they would have kicked my ass.
CJT 28th Oct 2012, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
It's entirely possible to have a good-aligned thief, or even a non-good one that the party considers acceptable.

This works best in wartime: they're _commandos_ (or scouts, if using the Wilderness Rogue version, or spies, if using the Urban Rogue version).

The "designated trap-disarmer" I'd mentioned a few posts ago is one of these. She's somewhere between a commando (a specialist in fighting dirty) and the medieval equivalent of the bomb squad (identifying dangerous traps on enemy pay-chests and the like).

So, levelling in thief should be possible without having to reveal the backstory or get the party unduly upset.
Mr. Brony 29th Oct 2012, 7:47 PM edit delete reply
Well, the problem wasn't that "Oh no thief in our midst," cause damn near everyone in the party was at least part thief, and I think my guy was neutral-good anyway. The biggest issue was that his backstory was supposed to be secret so it could be this cool reveal later on, and the DM goes and ruins it the first or second time we level up.
CJT 29th Oct 2012, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
My point is that the backstory could still have stayed secret. Nobody would bat an eye at "oh, I have commando training" in most mixed-party campaigns. Or your character could have been a quick study from the ones who were also taking thief levels.

I agree that the DM could have handled things better.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
I remember a DM like that. If you introduced anything into his game, he had to get it out of the way immediately. Secrets were made public within minutes. Plot hooks set up to guide your character through at least a few levels were resolved in a single session. Open-ended opportunities handed to him were sometimes just tossed aside by NPCs. If you weren't available, but had a character who was set up to provide useful background support (such as information gathering) during your absence, he'd have an NPC cover that instead.

After he'd done this a few times, I told him point blank to leave a particular plot point alone when another player said she wanted more time to develop it. He resolved it within the week, with her character serving as little more than a witness.

I sure hope he's learned something since then.
Demonu 28th Oct 2012, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
Back when I played my Warlock Grymnos, I had crafted an elaborate backstory for him including family. The reason why he didn't bring them up much was because he thought they were a bit embarrassing. As in they didn't behave like thiefling warlocks and warlords as Grymnos thought thiefling warlocks and warlords should behave.

So of course, they had to show up at some point.

Me: "Hi mom, dad."
Dad: "Oh hey son. Who are your friends?"
Me: "These? They're my travelling companions. We're in town to do (quest X) and I was wondering if we could stay here for the night instead of having to pay lodgings at an inn."
Mom: "How wonderful: you're having a sleepover!"
Me: "It's not a sleepover, mom! We're here on business."
Mom: "Don't you worry, Grymnos: I kept your room just the way you left it."

Needless to say, when the GM decided to pull in my character's baby sister and older brother, things got hilariously awkward. On the plus side, the end of that session also showed what happened when you try to kill a member of a family of warlocks and warlords. ^^

And I'm not even bringing up the times when Grymnos' grandparents showed up or extended family...

(I put way too much effort in my character's life story XD)
Tatsurou 28th Oct 2012, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
I was just remembering something I did once for a character...
I joined the campaign late, so I was allowed to have a higher leveld character with good equipment...if I could come up with a good backstory to explain it all.
My human barbarian/wizard's father was a great hero to the realm, and had through his adventures gained an oath of friendship from a powerful good-aligned dragon. WHen both my characters parents died at the hands of the big bad when he (my character) was a baby, the dragon fulfilled his oath of friendship by raising and training the child to seek vengeance, and arming him from his hoarde. Because of the dragon's teachings and training, I had barbarian and wizard bonuses, and since it was an ancient good-aligned dragon, I started with three artifact equips. At one point, we actually bumped into said dragon...who, since he was controlled by the DM, just HAD to share the baby pictures and embarrasing stories with his 'adorable hatchling's new friends.'
Zuche 28th Oct 2012, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
When I try to imagine it, I keep hearing James Hong as the voice of Po's father. It's a good fit.
Guest 28th Oct 2012, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Our DM has a way of making us know characters we never met before

Case in point, for a while back we had this mission to get some books from this strange old rich guy who liked to invite pretty young ladies to party

So we got hired as guards for 3 girls who were invited to his party. One of us playing played a kitsune thief and at the house she made one of the 3 sisters show her the bathroom. First thing she did was knock her unconcious and used her kitsune trait to look just like her

2 scenarioes later thesame player used a diffrent character and our DM starts by the real woman banging on the kitsune player's other characters door saying that her sisters has been kidnapped by a vampire because apparently she had attacked a vampire and stolen from him

Ofcourse this is the point all of us who played the last game starts to snigger but still the point stands that our DM felt that he could make the woman my friend knocked out a few days ealier know another of her characters
Valron 28th Oct 2012, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
The family situation isn't a big issue in my current game. Ya see, we're playing Legend of the 5 Rings, which has a very detailed history to the world, so we make characters by talking with the GM about what kind of character we want to make, their personality, and where they're from. The GM then plans out the general backstory, family, and other fun little details within this very complex setting, based on what was discussed. This can result in some fun surprises during the game. For example, I knew I had a decently high class family and that we lived and raised horses near/within the leader of my clan's castle. Turns out, the leader of my entire clan is my UNCLE, and that my side of the family had simply decided to stay out of politics to raise valuable warhorses. I learned this through a random letter one day!
Akouma 28th Oct 2012, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
I've said it here before, but that's one of the real standout traits of the smallville RPG. Every character has a family, friends, local places of importance to them, and established ties to the world around them and to each other.

Even better is the backstabbing can begin as early as this very phase in character creation, because other players get to draw connections to you or anything you've added to the plot web. Great example from the game I played in: I was running a gang task force, and wrote in that they were planning a bust on the largest crime lord in the city. One of the other players then draws a connection back from that crime lord to my task force, saying there's a mole in my group. The last we ever saw of that crime lord was him laughing at us as he left town on a train two steps ahead of us.
Tatsurou 29th Oct 2012, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
I don't know if this fits regarding character backstory, but...
This one DM I had was REALLY obsessed with the roleplay aspect of the game, so we could get away with a lot if we could roleplay it well. The character I made was a gnomish tinkerer (like in the dragonlance novels), and because I was able to roleplay good reasons for it, I got to house rule a few feats.
1. On the Fly - when my character was in a life threatening situation, building a device became a minor action in exchange for a slight penalty to the score, basically letting me build something big super fast. An example of this:
DM: The cliff face beneath you has broken away. You are falling thousands of feet to your doom.
Upyours (my character): I BUILD A HANGGLIDER!
dice roll
DM: ...your hangglider is succesfully built and you are able to ride the windcurrents safely back to the ground with the rest of the party.

2. Inventor's intuition - If I built it, I can use matter what it is. The penalty was I couldn't use it UNLESS I built it. That included such things as healing items, which meant all I could carry was my special Invention Pack, which was a backpack style bag of holding which held my inventions and anything I used to make more.

3. Scrounger - I'm always on the lookout for resources, so if there's anything useful in the area, I automatically acquire it for construction. Unfortunately, this included anything that triggered dangerous traps or environmental hazards.

4. Sketch artist - I could make invention plans based on nearly anything.

Basically, my reaction to nearly anything in the campaign was, "I start making sketches." One role play incident that happened.

Paladin: Well, you really seem to have an invention for anything.
Rogue: Yeah, but at the rate you go, I wouldn't be surprised if you invent a God of Destruction someday.
Me: ...I draw some sketches.
Paladin punches Rogue.
JET73L 29th Oct 2012, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
I've had two Orphan characters, and I've gone entirely separate ways with them. One was a bard (class) and a thief (occupation), a practice character, and her parents were explicitly 100% unimportant in the big picture of the world. It's fortunate that that practice campaign didn't go on long enough for the DM to realize I'd never mentioned a lack of siblings.
The other was a paladin who had been raised as a foundling by the dominant church of his culture, and I'd worked out the frameworks and details of the few people he'd spent much time with, as well as the major incidents of his formative years, including a character who had plenty of reason to show up (because it would have been dramatically appropriate) but not much likelihood of showing up (because they grew up on another continent from the campaign, in an insular culture). The character's parents, on the other hand, were left a complete blank specifically so the DM could go crazy with who they were, /what/ they were, and even whether or not they existed.
Aside from that, I usually build my characters' families to fit what the text says about their species' or race's culture, and if the DM feels like latching onto some detail I gave or omitted, so be it.
AttentionDeficitGuy 29th Oct 2012, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
In the campaign I'm currently playing, it turned out that our Warmage was actually part of a noble family from the warring kingdom. We didn't learn this until just before the battle with the king of said kingdom.

The icing on the cake was that even though he had wrote that into his backstory, not only did none of the other players know it, but he himself had forgotten.
Paragrin 29th Oct 2012, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
My sister is running a campaign for our family, and I came up with a fairly elaborate backstory for my character... Which will probably never come up. Oh well, if it doesn't, I can reuse it.
Nobody@home 9th Nov 2012, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
I don't always come up with a complete backstory right away when I create a character; sometimes I just start with a rough archetype, fill in the stats, and consider that enough to start adventuring...for the time being. If the game actually runs for a while, I'll typically go back and start to fill in the gaps.

That said, it's pretty safe to assume that once that background has been fleshed out it'll include at least a few sketchy NPCs that my character feels attached to and that were still alive at least last time he or she saw them. Could be parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, favorite neighbors, buddies from his or her early class training days...the point is, I doubt I could really believably play somebody who's "conveniently" completely socially isolated just so Mr. McMeaniepants the Sadistic GM can't then use those parts of my background against me. It's just not me. (Besides, it's not exactly as though a suitably fiendish game master couldn't then just as well simply use that utter lack of human-or-otherwise connections against me...)
Carvn 10th Sep 2013, 10:03 PM Except for, wait for it... edit delete reply
The mongols. Er, wait. What I meant to say, there is an exception to the 'no parents' rule. Biracial characters. Half-dragon, half-demon, half elf, and certainly half orc. All of them will have a story for both parents. 50% are the product of rape.
Emi 14th Jul 2015, 4:03 AM edit delete reply
Current campaign so far: We're staying with one characters mother-and we've had to rescue her from a kidnapping while another character's father has tried to kill us.......