Page 200 - Judgment From Afar

30th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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Judgment From Afar
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 30th Oct 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
200 pages? And I only outsourced 27 of them?!

Either the comic is that good, or the comments below are that good. My bet's on the latter.

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



Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Yay! A big one!

Newbie, you know that without the crazy we provide, your comics would lose 3/4 of their content.

Also, I totally called it! Twilight's gonna get into a snit over this being a Very Special Session.
Blyndir 30th Oct 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Let's face it, sanity did not carry this comic this far.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Of course it didn't. Madness carries you.

Sanity makes you walk.

What a jerk.
Cain 30th Oct 2012, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Only the insane prosper
ADemonicPresence 30th Oct 2012, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
those are words to live by, raxon.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
Raxon, the moment you linked a very special session, you reminded me why Twilight won't become an aunt any time soon.
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
It looks like at least half of the cast is taking part in the snit, not just Twilight. Arguably justifiably.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes. The DM and the players will all know the normal metaplot for this sort of morality-play, which means the DM will have added a few twists (or even reversed it and made Zecora actually evil). The players know this too, so the more metagamey ones will be trying to figure out how this is actually planned to go down, while the others will be reverting to default behavior (either trying to preach tolerance to the townsfolk or trying to investigate before drawing conclusions or trying to roll initiative).
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Preaching tolerance does nothing. You have to beat the tolerance into them. If they don't accept your message, they are heathens, and must be cleansed by fire and the sword.

Why yes, paladin is one my favorite classes. Why do you ask?
Malroth 30th Oct 2012, 2:11 PM edit delete reply
I prefer Evil Bards myself for this purpose, a few 120+ diplomacy checks and dominate spells later and absolutely everybody in town agrees with you on absolutely everything.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Evil bard? You don't suppose...

CJT 30th Oct 2012, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
Our party wizard has actually been having fun with Charm Person. If you do it discreetly, it's a _great_ way to calm down NPCs who were well on their way into "comic relief nuisance" territory.

Being LG/NG doesn't mean you _have_ to miss out on having fun.
Raxon 31st Oct 2012, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
I actually like the idea of being a LG Paladin in the service of a Lawful Anal deity who encourages his or her paladins to act in the stereotypical "my way or I smite you" way.

It would mean that by lecturing my party members constantly, I am being very light in my lessons. Also, for a paladin of that particular deity, I would be considered something of a rebel.
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
Brainy Smurf as a paladin?
nekollx 31st Oct 2012, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
why would she even i mean orcs are mutated Orcs, no one ever has a Very Special Session when a Orc comes into Rivendell
Malroth 31st Oct 2012, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
But they should
Artsy 31st Oct 2012, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
I just realized; if Zecora were an OC, she would be ridiculed for being A; Exceptionally different, B; Possessing magic without being a unicorn, and C; talking beautifully. She's such a good character that they'd call her a sue.
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
The sudden "record scratch" effect on that last panel rings out and clear to me. Its fun to watch players assume something isn't related to a race/species based on color alone.

Also, Rarity's detailed description of how she looks out the window is my kind of Gamer. :D
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Oh, yeah. Hearing someone call out, "Perception check!" several times a night can really kill my mood for the game. Still, some blame goes to all of those DMs that used to respond to such statemetns with, "You never said you were looking up," or other gotchas.
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
See, I hate the gotcha game too. As a DM the way I encourage my players to throw in some detail on how they "Look" without resoring to shennanigans is by awarding a bonus to their check for giving me specifics.

"I search the room for a hidden door"
Equals a standard check.

"I search the wall by the fireplace for a hidden door"
Equals a check with maybe a +2 or +3 bonus.

Granted if the secret door isn't by the fireplace, then the bonus is moot. Then again if the PC rolls really high and didn't find anything, that might help guide them to look somewhere else, right?
Well, in theory...
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
I admit to springing surprises on people who assume too much of a skill, but it cuts both ways. The success of a Bluff check might hang on the result of a Streetwise or History check sometimes, for example. The same check is also provided to let a character avoid a player's Bluff-spoiling assumption.

Thank you for mentioning the circumstantial bonus. I'll have to recommend that to my current DM, both as a way to make up for the party's low Perception ratings and to encourage one player to stop calling out "[skill] check!" as though it was some special attack from manga. I could stand to factor it in more often myself.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
How about an idiot who thinks he's a sorcerer, and says things like "No worries, my friends! I'll just cast Master Search!" and then proceeds to take 20 searching the room?

I would love playing a character like that.
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
I'm the type of DM that takes into account the absurd amount of time needed to "Take 20". This generally means all those buff spells start running out by the time the next combat encounter happens.

This was especially harrowing when I ran my players on "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft" becuase they very well know Strahd is watching and can strike at any time. Thus hanging around in one room longer than necessary was a "bad idea". Mwahaha! :D
Derpmind 30th Oct 2012, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
I see exactly where this is going: This is the lead-in for a post-apocalypse campaign where zebras and ponies engaged in epic war and destroyed everything. And it'll totally be a fallout crossover. Why must you be so typical?
The Hittite 30th Oct 2012, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
TS: Rarity, why do you keep pasing notes to the DM?
R: Er, no reason, darling, never you mind.
TS: Does this have anything to do with that cursed book of forbidden magic we never found?
R: Um...
TS: Or that indestructible suit of possessed armor we had to fight?
R: Ah...
TS: Or the fact that Angel can suddenly kill zebras with a single kick?
R: Okay, THAT one I had nothing to do with.


AJ: Ah hope y'all don't mind Ah invited my, uh, friend to join in the game.
AS: Nice to meet you all.
RD: Alright let's see what sort of character you roll-WHOAH! Look at the stats on that armor! I have GOT to get me a set.
DM: Earth pony paladins ONLY.
R: Don't worry, dear, I'm sure I can come up with something...


RD: Okay, so WHY didn't you ever use this "mega healing spell" it till now?!
FS: It has some drawbacks...
RD: What sort of drawbacks could there possibly be on a spell that revives everypony on the whole battlefi-why is the DM grinning?
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 8:54 PM edit delete reply
Who is AS? Apple Sauce? Anonymous Source?
Tin 31st Oct 2012, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
Applesnack, aka Elder Steelehooves
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
And all I can picture after "Why is the DM grinning?" is the "Thriller dance".
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
I'm lost. Isn't the only reason there are 200 pages because you put together 173 of them and recruited others to contribute the rest? You're not claiming the comments carried this series, are you?

If so, I still maintain we're getting the better part of the deal. Thank you.
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
I know I'm getting a great deal every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday :D
Ranubis 30th Oct 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Zecora: "I wonder why these ponies keep to their homes.
What frighten's them so, to keep them like stone?"
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Alternate version:

Why must these ponies have such a cow?
They're bad as the elves when it comes to the drow.

Or for those of a different leaning toward a different pronunciation:

They shun me and fear me where'er I go,
For all the assumptions, may as well play a drow.

At least Zecorah's Nightmare Night costume was a nod toward the master of stories, rather than the dark elves.
Lyntermas 30th Oct 2012, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
TS: That's it. I'm going out there to at least talk to Zecora.
PP: But Twilight, you can't! What if she is-
TS: Look, I don't know what the DM told you, but I'm not going to play the fearful racist who thinks "the zebras gonna take my babies". I'm going out there and there's nothing you can do to stop me.
PP: Um, uh, I cast Song of Fear on everyone in the room.
AJ:...You're attacking your allies?
PP: Not attacking them, just...manipulating them a bit. If they don't understand that Zecora is dangerous, then I'll make them understand.
DM: Well, make a roll. And don't forget you actually have to sing...
PP: She's an evil enchantress, who does evil dances, And when you look deep in her eyes, she'll put you in trances, and what will she do, she'll mix up an evil brew, and she'll gobble you up in a big tasty stew, so WATCH OUT!
TS:...I don't know how she does that. I mean it rhymed and everything.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie Pie is best at barding. (Yes, that was intended.)
Dr. Klaus 30th Oct 2012, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
OHOHOHOHOHOHO twas a marvelous pun!
ThousandYearSunrise 30th Oct 2012, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Look at Apple Bloom's face in the last panel! She's so cute!
CharginChuck 30th Oct 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
Apple Bloom being cute is somehow news to you?
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 2:23 PM edit delete reply
Applebloom's so cute! I know you say I have to wait for the next strip, but...

CJT 30th Oct 2012, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
I see your Apple Bloom and raise you one Nightmare Woon:

(The story has barely started, but it's still adorable.)
JiiKoo 30th Oct 2012, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
Well, I usually don't bother that much with the comments. I might read them when I check the new page and while there are a lot of great stories and other stuff going on there, the comic is what keeps bringing me back for more.
ANW 30th Oct 2012, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Alright it is Poll Time.
If Zercoa was one of the elments of harmony, What would see be. You have to pick one of the canon elments. (Magic, honest, kinddess, gernous, loyal, or laughter). Poll goes on till tommorow at 9:00 p.m.
P.S. Next time it will be Quiz Time.
LoganAura 30th Oct 2012, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Why is she each:
Magic- her potions.
Honesty- ?
Kindness- she made the potion even though the Mane 6 destroyed her home.
Generosity- Made the potion twice, using her own ingredients without asking for things in return
Laughter- Nightmare night.
Loyalty- ?

I personally say Kindness.
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
My instinct is to label Zecora as Honesty.
deeman45 30th Oct 2012, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
My vote is either for Magic, or Kindness.
Dr. Klaus 30th Oct 2012, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
She's quite clearly the Element of Swagger.
ANW 30th Oct 2012, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Not an Element. This a warring. Joking. But for real, that vote will not count.
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I'd guess kindness or generosity, for pretty much the reasons stated above. Her house has been trashed at least twice, she's had ingredients stolen, every time the CMCs show up there's trouble... and she still goes out of her way to help, often helping the people who themselves caused the problems.

If all of that's been happening in-campaign, the PCs must have dumped a pile of points on buying her as a follower/contact/whatever to maintain loyalty. That, or they've been paying her off off-screen. Or both.
Tatsurou 30th Oct 2012, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
Or she's got some sort of epic level difficulty sidequest she's waiting to spring on them.

TS: SO wait, you want us to WHAT?
R: How are we supposed to do that?
AJ: Are you out of your mind?
FS: *whimper*
RD: You're insane!
PP: Why exactly should we be trying this suicidal venture?
Z: Remember all that I have done for you? Know you that debt has surely come due.

TS: was this suicidal super quest with minimal reward you say needs doing again?
ANW 30th Oct 2012, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
We have alot for kindess. keep this up.
P.S. The reward is a pony.
Valron 30th Oct 2012, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
It's a tough choice between Kindness and Generosity, but I'd have to go with Kindness. She's really nice to everyone, despite how rude they were/are to her.
CharginChuck 30th Oct 2012, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
I'd say honesty because, well, can you recall her ever lying or deceiving about anything. She was misinterpreted at first, but that's not her fault.
ThousandYearSunrise 30th Oct 2012, 8:09 PM edit delete reply
Gonna go with Loyalty. Most people deserve that more than Rainbow Dash does.
kriss1989 30th Oct 2012, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
Generosity is theElement that gets my vote. Her willingness to always help floats my boat.
shineyorkboy 30th Oct 2012, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
I'm torn between Kindness and Generosity. Generosity for the reasons stated above and Kindness because she's the only character who lives closer to the Everfree Forest than Fluttershy so she must share her ability to coexist with other creatures.

In the end I'm going to have to go with Generosity because I can explain away the dangers of the Everfree as being tame compared to those of her homeland.
ANW 31st Oct 2012, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Results time: I have to amit, this was close between Kindness and Generosity. However there can only be one. The winner one vote......... I'm great at stalling aren't I......... KINDNESS. Reward Posting tommorow morning, with a New poll.
P.S. Next poll will be... Not telling.
Zuche 1st Nov 2012, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
Kindness won out in the end?

JohnBobMead 30th Oct 2012, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
I'll admit to reading the comments, but I'm really here for the comic. Both are fun.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
Wait... wait. Zecora is identified as a zebra based on mention of a black and white mane?

It's not like either of those colours is unheard of on a pony even in Equestria. Even if Nightmare Moon (not Luna) is the only example of black, a mix of black and white doesn't seem that unlikely.

Isn't this like assuming a nurse will be female? (Speaking of which, is anyone else disappointed at how often a show that seeks to challenge gender assumptions instead reinforces them?)
aqua 30th Oct 2012, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
as far as i can remember all ponies have solid color manes. and solid color bodies.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
The DM didn't describe body colour here, just mane. As for multi-coloured manes, Bon Bon and Rainbow Dash are the clearest examples even if you discount Celestia.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 2:28 PM edit delete reply
Don't forget Twilight herself, and Colgate.
reynard61 30th Oct 2012, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
And Shining Armor. (Blue/Light Blue)
CharginChuck 30th Oct 2012, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
Cadance, Lyra, Vinyl, Cheerilee, Sweetie Belle, Flim and Flam....there are plenty of ponies with multicolored manes.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
And let us not forget that crystal pony from the new episodes that are coming up.
Crimson Doom 30th Oct 2012, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
How exactly does it do this? I honestly haven't seen such an assumption. (Except maybe the "men are stupid and mean" role due to Snips, Snails, and Blueblood, but on the other hoof, we still have Pip, Big Mac, and Shining Armor as smart guys and stupid mean girls, like Gilda or Diamond Tiara. From what I see, there are a bunch of different personalities scattered across both genders; I have yet to see any reinforced gender assumptions.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
Every nurse to date has been female. Every guard has been male. The divide on doctors is a bit better, 50:50 if you don't include the single vet, and a single example of a schoolteacher is not a trend. (I'll assume we see a second, male teacher in season three, rather than a reinforcement of a female schoolteacher/male professor pattern.)

The nurses could just be a personal sore point.
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
The gender demographics of Equestria in general are very strange (by human standards). Most of the population of Ponyville seems to be female. You could argue that that's just the way the species birth demographics work (which has interesting social consequences), but then you have guards who are almost all male.

Fanfics and comic-tumblrs tend to either change this (showing an even gender ratio, most notably including female guards), or ignore this. I'm pretty sure a few of the more dystopian will have taken another approach, though: In species with sexual dimorphism (including humans and ponies), soldiers will tend to be whoever's bigger (males, in this case). A really nasty war a few years before the series would explain where all of the males who weren't Celestia's personal guard went.

(Yes, I know this changes as soon as brute strength matters less than firearms training, but Equestria hasn't reached that point yet.)
Brute strength only stops mattering - for infantry, at least - once you hit powered armor(maybe - we obviously don't know for sure yet). Modern soldiers in the field get to carry more than many(most?) women _weigh_. The brass just keep coming up with new "critical" items to add to the load.
Suburbanbanshee 30th Oct 2012, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Since male nurses don't wear funny nurse hats but do wear scrubs, you don't know if you've seen a male nurse in Equestria or not.

Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
Most of the ones you see aren't nurses unless specifically called nurses. See, there's this thing called a nurse's aide. Basically, it's a lightly trained staff whose job is to be the bulk of unskilled medical labor. Bedpans, sheets, sponge baths, restraining uncooperative patients...
Crimson Doom 31st Oct 2012, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
I think you're reading too much into it. The target audience doesn't pay as much attention to the background characters as we do.
tuxgeo 31st Oct 2012, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
The nurses have salves and ointments they can use to ad-dress personal sore points, and they'll bandage sore points well; but the amount of time it takes for the patient to get better depends on his or her inner will to get over it.
The Batman 30th Oct 2012, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Fact: More Zebra and Zebroids are striped than most other equestrian animal.
Suburbanbanshee 30th Oct 2012, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
Any gray horse that isn't some kind of weird palomino mix, like Derpy, will have a black and white mane, with the proportion of white to black increasing with age throughout the horse's lifetime. Whether or not the characters can distinguish black from white hairs at that distance.

But yeah, absent a mention of stripes, the characters might well assume a black and white pinto, an Appaloosa, a dapple gray, a really old bay horse, etc, etc....
Digo 30th Oct 2012, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
I assumed the players were using either some metagaming or fantasy racism to come to the zebra conclusion. Either is not unheard of in my own group despite how much we try to avoid stereotyping races. :)
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
I prefer reverse racial stereotyping. Sticking racial stereotypes on characters who don't fit the bill.

A dwarf who wears buckskin, and calls humans "smooth face."
A beret wearing half-ogre barbarian with a french accent who loves cheese and wine, and surrenders quickly.
A redneck drow who hates the 'lightdweller folks' and engages in lynching.
An eladrin with a spanish accent who is fond of dancing, works for cheap, and has lots of kids.

And finally...

An Illithid that can only be described as Shaft, but with tentacles instead of skin color.

Because EVERYONE uses the boring, tired cliches. Dwarves are drunken scots. Elves are hippies. Orcs are dumb savages. A boring character is as irritating to me as one that's personally offensive to me.
Zuche 30th Oct 2012, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Monsieur Mallah as a half-ogre barbarian? Works for me.

Also, the advantage to the boring fantasy stereotypes is how quickly you can put them behind you when the game gets moving. Some folks get a bit too hung up on hipster designs.
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
The most interesting spin on orcs that I've seen recently: "Grunts!", by Mary Gentle. They're still sociopathically violent, but they're not stupid. And then they find the horde of a dragon who collected 20th century military weapons (with an interesting curse on them). Fun ensues.

Not classic literature, but the book equivalent of a fun popcorn flick.
Anvildude 31st Oct 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
I'm reading that book right now! Dang, small world.

And I can't help but think 40K, especially when they're doing their 'inventing'.
Suburbanbanshee 31st Oct 2012, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Mary Gentle's from the UK, so any 40K echoes are probably deliberate.
Greyman 31st Oct 2012, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
No orc gets left behind!
They're emergency rations.
Digo 31st Oct 2012, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
You might like my Dracadia campaign.
In the current campaign alone:

1. The elves are warmongering soldiers exploiting nature's resources to fuel their magical army.
2. The catfolk are a race of scientifically minded people who don't put a lot of stock into magic or gods.
3. Halflings are in two groups-- there are the mercantile halfling caravans that travel and spread commerce, and the barbarian cannibal tribes.
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Dark Sun halflings always make me happy. People who attempt to play them... not so much. At least you can see why this PC got tossed out of their society, but it's hard to justify keeping some of their players at the table.

Don't get me wrong. I've met a lot of people who'd play them well. I just find that most of the people who want to play them (or drow) just want an excuse to act out against the rest of the table. You know, the folks you duct tape to a chair and leave out on the patio in sub-zero temperatures for an hour.
Digo 31st Oct 2012, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
In my first gaming group it was "Kender" that was notorious for being played badly. I was the only player the GM then would trust with one. And even then it only happened once... :)
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, the number of guys I knew who wanted to play only "evil kender", though it went against the nature of the design, was annoying. Something about halflings makes a surprising number of guys want to play Hit Girl.
CharginChuck 30th Oct 2012, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
I'd just like to point out that Nightmare Moon isn't actually the only black pony we've seen. There's also Thunderlane.
redwings1340 30th Oct 2012, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Well, I look forward to this comic as much as I look forward to anything else these days, and the comment section is the best comment section ever created in anything.
Congrats on 200 pages!
Crimson Doom 30th Oct 2012, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Newbiespud, it's both. Your comic is put together well and is also hilarious, and it draws people who make intelligent and entertaining comments.

Also, I can't fault Applebloom's logic here. Why the heck WOULD she take on an evil enchantress along? That's Rainbow's job. XD
Philadelphus 30th Oct 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
Love the sixth panel where everyone's looking out the window. It made me laugh.

Also, is it just me, or does that curtain in the last panel seem really bright? It looks much more muted in the other panels.
Guest 30th Oct 2012, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
The comments are fun, but I do come for the comic!

"Rarity observes cautiously." :D
Bronymous 30th Oct 2012, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
Uh oh, Pony Tales forum just went down.
Dr Blight 30th Oct 2012, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
Dr Blight
Well, I think this is as good a time as any to panic then!
LoganAura 30th Oct 2012, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Oh hey, it's been back for hours.
Cain 30th Oct 2012, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
private arkey 31st Oct 2012, 9:53 PM error edit delete reply
Kosh 30th Oct 2012, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
Kinda interested what direction this conversation takes given the last panel. Not sure if its going to go in the direction of dealing with anthropormorphic animals and issues of race, or not.
Laurence 30th Oct 2012, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
I come three days a week for the wonderful comic, and then return one day later three days a week for the comments.

The fact that there is nothing to bring me here on Monday only reinforces my opinion of it being the most evil day of the week.
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Hey, check back on Monday nights. Some of my best comments show up by then.
Tatsurou 30th Oct 2012, 7:35 PM A Question for the author edit delete reply
Newbiespud, I was wondering...
THere's been discussion of the comments and the comic, but...
Have the comments ever had an effect on the plotline? Like, has anyone ever said something in the comments section that has given inspiration for a later comic?
Raxon 30th Oct 2012, 8:38 PM edit delete reply
Of course they have! It is a poor DM that cannot incorporate player ideas into the game.

Newbie is a good DM. He is excellent at using player ideas. My lack of contractions signifies the telling of a thousand truths. Also, that I am not giving birth.
Tatsurou 30th Oct 2012, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
So the things we say here have had an effect on the comic plotline?
Ramsus 30th Oct 2012, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
The things we say here have an effect on Raxon at least. And he's almost like a plotline all in himself.
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Full point, Ramsus. Well played as a mix of praise and a shot.
Ramsus 31st Oct 2012, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Tatsuro, the only thing Newbiespud has attributed to a forum comment was a strip title because he couldn't think of a better pun at the time. Plotting seems to come mainly from his own gaming experiences, so he doesn't need much help there.

I'm happy for that because it means I get to read both his and Lyntermas' alternate interpretations of how MLP plots could have come about in a D&D game, rather than reading one's take and another's interpretation of that.

At best, we entertain the writer. That's a pretty worthy aim of itself. Anything more than that should probably involve writing your own series, much as Darths and Droids was a response to DM of the Rings.
shineyorkboy 30th Oct 2012, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
Yes! And soon we shall discover a way to harness the destructive potential of his twisted mind. Then he will be unleashed upon the world in a vast wave of scarred mutilation and savage fury.

Newbiespud 31st Oct 2012, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
To answer your question directly...

No, the comments generally don't have much effect on the story. At the same time, though, I usually don't have the whole story strictly planned out in my head before I write the actual dialogue in my script buffer. If something comes up at the time that makes sense and makes for a better joke, I usually go with it. Sometimes, that's subtly affected by the comments.

The biggest example I can give you for this is Page 165. Before that page went up, Lyntermas wrote up an alt-script in the comments depicting the scene right after Rainbow Dash hits the dragon, and the dragon (being the sardonic brit character I was writing him as) responds with a calm Hannibal-style lecture before retaliating. I had actually written a somewhat similar reaction in my script buffer. So when I went to put Page 165 together, I took inspiration from that... and then immediately subverted it with what made sense for RD's character.

That's kind of the biggest, most blatant example I can give you. Any other direction given by the comments, if any, has been subtle at best. People have definitely guessed some of my jokes before, but I don't change the jokes outright because of that. If I do anything in response, I try adding some other detail so that even those people are entertained.

It's not like I don't pay attention, see. I read every single comment. I just don't let them direct me.
Tatsurou 31st Oct 2012, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for your answer, I had been wondering.
I happen to write myself - fanfics mostly, since I can't draw and don't know how to use most of the other programs - and sometimes my reviews have given me really great ideas for the story to include. While they haven't ever altered the flow of the story, it's sometimes led me to add things I'd never thought of.
I've seen discussions of whether or not fans of a media production should be able to influence its productions, but for anything internet related, I'd say we're already there.
Lyntermas 31st Oct 2012, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
I...I influenced Newbiespud? I mean, I noticed that the dragon was starting to use similar language to my alt-script before RD's subversion, but...well, that's something I'm happy to hear. Also, the fact that I was expecting it made the subversion that much funnier.

Personally, though, one of the things that I thought might have influenced Newbiespud was my alt-script on comic 128. I'll never forget his response:

I don't know if I had actually stolen a punchline, or if he had just wished he thought of it first.

But at the end of the day, I like the "possibly influenced, but never directed" approach. My alt-scripts might make a nice diversion, but Newbie's storytelling, joke writing, and arcane mastery of Comic Life make him the main attraction. I look forward to seeing his approach to the different episodes, and I hope he and the rest of you enjoy mine.
sunbeam 30th Oct 2012, 8:53 PM edit delete reply
I apologize for having to ask this a third time, but I'm looking for something specific now...
Can anyone link me to Karilyn's session 3.5 writeup for Stairc's beta campaign? If I include the up to speed comment from page 182, and the session 16 write up nearby, I should be up to speed on all my campaign stalking. Thank you for linking me to these multiple times.
kriss1989 30th Oct 2012, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
Judging by the reaction of RD (hold the phone sounds like she wants to actively discuss this now) and Twilight (her response is boldened for emphesis) I'm guessing one of the two is black IRL. And sine like 70% of her humanized fan art depicts that as Twilight...
CJT 30th Oct 2012, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
I mostly stick with art rather than fanfic of humanized ponies, but most of the depictions I've seen have her as Asian (the "studious Asian schoolgirl" stereotype). Admittedly there are exceptions (ExplosiveGent's picture of humanized Twilight and Spike had both of them as black).
Stephani 31st Oct 2012, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
I don't really understand why so many artists see Twi as black. I always imagine Dashie as black, in the first ep I heard her voice and thought 'black girl', or some artists go with her being very tanned from excercizing outside so much. Just my 2 cents.
Digo 31st Oct 2012, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
I chalk it up to artistic license. Like how many artists depict a human Fluttershy as small, but well-endowed while I depict her as tall and skinny.
I don't find any of the depictions to be really wrong. Just different. :)
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
I've seen humanized Fluttershy depicted as Middle Eastern more than a few times, along with a few Indian Twilights. My own take is that if artists are going to humanize ponies, they should maintain a constant image only within a particular piece. The Greek roots of the pegasi don't preclude depictions of Rainbow Dash as Inuit or Masai, for example.

There are thousands of ways to accurately reflect these personalities in an alternate form. It's one reason I also like pony cosplay. There's a lot more to these characters than anatomy and colouration. It's interesting to see what little things people will bring to that.
tuxgeo 31st Oct 2012, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
Twice now, deviant-artist Jovey4 has submitted guest episodes showing Rarity as black, Fluttershy as willowy blonde, and Applejack as freckled and deeply tanned -- so that's another take on the subject.

And speaking of Rarity, did we all notice that Rarity has already turned away from the window by the time she says "Zebra?" Maybe her player is looking at the mini that the DM placed on the play-mat, and is metagaming.
Digo 31st Oct 2012, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Tsk-tsk, the DM should hide his minis behind a screen or in a box. You know how it is, you can't get away with it when you got those meddlesome PCs and their little familiars too. ;)
Stephani 31st Oct 2012, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
I follow for the comic, but ALWAYS check the comments.

I think I remember in-episode, Rarity asked why anypony would dye their mane such colours... Unless Newbie is simply skipping that part...
Malbutorius 31st Oct 2012, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
You know, now that I think of it, Most D&D Humans are white, I mean, How many Black guy's are there in D&D that arent 'Aways chaotic evil' are there?
Suburbanbanshee 31st Oct 2012, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Traditionally, the authors generally have a fair mix of colors in fantasy. Conan fought beside, fought with, and slept with pretty much everybody, and most other fantasy writers felt similarly.

The cover artists are usually pressured to reduce racial diversity (at least in the last twenty years), fearing being called bigoted if the depictions are determined to be racist, and also fearing that bigoted readers would refuse to buy.

So yes, there are plenty of fantasy heroes who are really "persons of color," but end up pictured as blonde and Norse. Just ask Ursula K. LeGuin, or Robert Heinlein, or Andre Norton, or any of the rest.
Zuche 31st Oct 2012, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Too true, Suburbanbanshee.
kriss1989 31st Oct 2012, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
The worst example was in 3.5s psionics. One of the races was essentially a black human. Their neat feature was running fast and being honorable warrior men. Ouch
Lyntermas 31st Oct 2012, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
Well, I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet, but here goes. *ahem*

Nightmare Night! What a fright! Give us something good to bite!
CJT 31st Oct 2012, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
I'm *wishing* I could have finished my Halloween decorations this year (got sick, instead). I gave it even money for someone recognizing it and giving exactly that line (well, "sweet to bite" if it was show-accurate, but still).

The decoration was a Nightmare Moon statue (styrofoam, about 2/3 scale). Tools: Check. Plans: check. Materials: check. Pattern templates: mostly check.

...Statue: Not so check.

And by next year, fewer people will recognize it, darn it.