Page 240 - The Rest is Alchemy

31st Jan 2013, 5:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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The Rest is Alchemy
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st Jan 2013, 5:00 AM edit delete
We're officially in the home stretch of Bridle Gossip!

Out of all the bonus-length comics I've done so far, this one probably took the longest in total time to write and arrange.

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



Gaston 31st Jan 2013, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
Imagine all the chaos upon their return
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
But is it panick due to Zecora or the Mane6? :D
Sometimes the PCs get interesting reputations...
Grey Pen 31st Jan 2013, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
CJT 31st Jan 2013, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
The "Duel Nature" fanfic lampshaded the "hero reputation" effect.

Lyra and Bon-Bon are on vacation trying to escape the ponyville craziness. The first thing they see when reaching their resort is Luna, Twilight, and a guard captain running around on-mission.

They immediately turn around and get back on the train. This turns out to have been a very wise move.

Gaming-wise, my character's reputation in the Pathfinder campaign has actually grown to the point where it's hampering his ability to do certain things. He's having to delegate the "give medals to all the people who served in my strike force" task to a trusted lieutenant, as nobles would see it as a snub if he did that in person rather than talk to _them_. The rumour mill has also been busy: Corin has been pouring money into the propaganda machine to spread tales of how everyone involved did grand deeds in the war, but the public seems to find it a better story to claim he did everything (which will bite him in the tail both politically and on the battlefield if people believe it).

Our characters have survived for about twice as long as players or the DM expected, and the DM is having fun exploring the consequences.
Dragonflight 1st Feb 2013, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
The game I just finished running a few weeks ago had a reputation system I shoehorned in. It was a bonus stat in 3.5 D&D that I added to their characters. It defaulted to Charisma, so an attractive appearance could boost it.

They didn't put points into it though. As the game went on, I awarded a few points to people based on their contributions *as other people saw them.* Which is why the paladin had the highest Reputation stat, while the adorable-but-emo klepto elven thief had a lower stat. She was much more photogenic, but people saw the paladin save the day often, and rarely saw much of her.

To get even with the paladin, the thief started to refer to him by all his titles he'd acquired over the game, including a bunch she made up to make his latest deed sound even more epic. By the time the game ended, he was "God-King-Emperor Mehir, Master of the Elder Dragons, Smiter of the Undead Horde, General of the Imperial Armies, Bearer of the Legendary Armor of Chaos, Hero of the Elven Realms, and Lord of the Southern Desert." And I think that was just the short version.

Needless to say, the paladin was often irritated with the thief character. But it also meant the party had zero stealth ability the moment the thief drew attention to the party. most of their reputation stats were so high near the end that random passerby's were getting +20 on their chance to recognize a party member for who they were. :)
Akouma 31st Jan 2013, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
I actually wish more tabletop games had mechanics for reputation. The only one where your reputation does ANYTHING that I can think of is Legend of the Five Rings, where your Fame (or was it Glory?) is a stat, and actually one of the hardest to increase. At any given time, anyone can roll a check, with a DC that gets lower the higher your Fame is, to have heard of you. My character the one time I ever got to play was a mega duelist (at character creation, it was already mechanically impossible for his opponent to roll and keep more dice than him on his opening strike) who by starting-character standards had an absurd Fame stat, and even he only had a 3 out of 10.

Funny thing I found out later? The easiest way to raise your Fame is by dueling people, since you get a bump in Fame equal to half your opponent's Fame if it was higher than yours, plus if memory serves you also get half a point if it was lower. Had that campaign continued, my character stood to gain a LOT of Fame, because he was the dueliest duelist to ever duel. The group as a whole decided that most of his duels look like a scene from an anime where katanas are prominent, with the fade to black, bloodspray, then my opponent just falling over dead without my character having visibly moved. When you're rolling 10 dice and keeping ALL of them on your initial strike, when your average opponent will be luck to roll 7 and keep 3, that's basically what it feels like.
Crisis 1st Feb 2013, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
You know, it might be interesting to pair off an 'infamy' mechanic with such a system. Where, depending on the setting, circumstances, and/or random chance, the normal reaction your character's fame garners is essentially inverted.
CJT 1st Feb 2013, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Ars Magica's reputation system does both, pretty much.

The idea is that if you do something noteworthy, you get a "Reputation: Foo" stat. This starts at 1, and increases when you draw attention to yourself. You don't have to be doing the same type of thing that got you the reputation - you're just reminding people that you exist, which in turn reminds them of the epic act of heroism or epic screwup that got you the reputation in the first place.

One person who used to game with us was notorious for ending up with this sort of thing. The first reputation I heard about was "Reputation: Bizzare", for the character who invented a virgin-detecting spell (when Bad Things happen if your subject is a non-virgin, it can look attractive to blow a season inventing a spell like that). That went up another point when he picked a random servant and said "watch this gold to see if it disappears" (faerie gold is fun that way).

The second character of his that got a reputation like that pushed through a defensive "unimaginable pain" ward the hard way. They got "Reputation: Masochist" as a result, due to doing this in front of witnesses and making poorly-thought-out comments (*Zap!* "AAaugh!... ...See, it's not so bad.").

The catch to almost all systems like this is that they're almost completely run through DM discretion. Even if there's a rule mechanic backing it, it's still mostly ad-hoc, so trying to make it a more automatic system usually either fails or gives you pathological situations that don't make much sense.

Still a fun tool to have, though, and it definitely helps with story immersion.

The scheme we're using in the Pathfinder campaign gives you one point of reputation per 3 or so levels, with boons that let you either have more (Famous) or less (Low-Profile). Certain mechanical effects apply, per previous anecdote.

The L5R pickup game I played in a while back had a more interesting system, keyed to Honour rather than Reputation. There was a chart of specific actions that influenced Honour, and after each session the DM went down the checklist and added or deducted Honour points appropriately. Something similar could probably be kitbashed together for Reputation if you're using a finer scale (or an XP pyramid type of system like the one in Ars Magica, or what-have-you).
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 5:49 AM edit delete reply
And now the party must convince the townsfolk to sell herbs to Zecora so they can get a cure. Cue for the bard and social rogue? :D
sunbeam 31st Jan 2013, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
One of whom looks more like "it" from the Adam's family than themselves and one momentarily being slobber central? That would be worth seeing.
kriss1989 31st Jan 2013, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
*pauses Tivo* Oh my God this will be hilarious. And record...
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
I'll get the popcorn!
Guest 31st Jan 2013, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
couldn't they just hand Apple Bloom some money to pick up the necessary ingredients. She has been rather dependable the whole adventure.
Raxon 31st Jan 2013, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
That's a rational and eminently sensible thing to do.

You must be new here.
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Meta-wise that would lead to the GM giving Bloom the Exp the party would have gotten for going into town themselves and handling it.
kriss1989 31st Jan 2013, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
Or never encountered PCs.
Guest 31st Jan 2013, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
Not so much new as having decided to be the one person crazy enough to suggest a simple solution to their problem.
494alex 1st Feb 2013, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
And the Emmy goes to:
Raxon 31st Jan 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Gee, look at that! The DM managed to turn the situation disadvantageous to the party again! Dontcha just love that?

Hey, has anyone here ever dealt with funny cursed items like the poison joke?

I've got one for you. A cursed penny. If you drop it, it will roll out of sight, and then begin reciting a dirty limerick. If you fail to pick it up before the limerick is done, it teleports to a random spot out of sight, but within earshot, and starts another dirty limerick. This continues until you manage to find and pick it up.
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
Whoa, that reminds me...

In a bizzard modern conspiracy campaign, the party had found a cursed doll. It was similar to Raggedy Ann in deisgn, but it was called "Potty mouth Penny".
It was harmless until someone said something vulgar within earshot of the doll. It would then draw a large kitchen knife from under it's dress and stab the offensive person in the leg (unless it can climb up on something for a better shot).

Not strong enough to be deadly, but still. You're getting stabbed.

Once successful it sheathes the knife and returns to it's normal state. The party could never find where that knife was (They assumed magical voodoo hammerspace) and ended up destroying the doll after one to many sabbings. Took a pretty hot fire to burn though.
Zuche 31st Jan 2013, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
"Gee, look at that! The DM managed to turn the situation disadvantageous to the party again! Dontcha just love that?"

Kinda, yeah. It gets pretty boring otherwise.

My favourite cursed item in 3E was the healing mace, which cast cure light wounds on everyone struck by an attack with it (limit of once per round). The attack had to hit, and it had to do damage, making it fairly tedious to use either as a combat tool or a healing device.

Then someone realized how useful this made it against undead and other creatures that took damage from cure light wounds. It also worked fairly well against some creatures that were immune to positive energy or healing spells. Meanwhile, the curative property was a bit less tedious when used on creatures with the right sort of damage reduction.

Well, that was the case with the mace of healing, at least. The scythe of healing had this embarrassing tendency to score critical hits at the wrong time, causing four times the base 2d4 damage when you were trying to heal someone.

It was a little bit less frustrating than the sword of blinking, though. It worked like the ring of the same name, but it would also cause anyone you struck with it to blink, giving the bearer a hefty miss chance on every attack. Sure, there were ways to minimize or reduce the problem, but people seldom found it worth the bother.
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
There's a spell in d20 Modern that allows you to enchant bullets with certain types of spells. Strangely, healing spells fell within the list and we joked about having a sniper rifle deal 5d10 damage to the target's head and then heal 1d8. :D

My favorite "Cursed item" wasn't a cursed item at all. In a very old D&D campaign, the party defeated a witch and her undead skeletal army (They were building weapons for the BBEG, but weren't minions of the BBEG).
The highest level skeleton in that fight was an intelligent warrior named Paco. He was taken out by a critical hit from a horse's rear kick. The attack shattered his bony body and sent his head flying off into the forest.

Two hours later en route to their next quest, the party found Paco's head in a tree. Paco was still concious and talkative, constantly cursing the party that once he figures out how to get a new body, he was going to hurt them.
The party stuck him in a bag of holding and kept him as a trophy, occasionally chatting and annoying him wen they got bored.

Cue the curse part-- A few days later at the quest site, the party went into a cave to stop a goblin cult. The party druid took out Paco's skull and used it to slaughter the goblin's unaligned livestock. He passed Paco off to the Ranger who bashed two goblin kids to death after they begged for mercy, and then passed the Paco off to the elf warrior who defaces a Correllon shrine by burning the non-combatant goblin elder on it after the elder surrendered. The sorcerer halfling gets the Paco skull and puts it on his familair's head, weilding his familiar like a flail at some goblin cultists who were trying to flee.

After slaughtering the entire goblin group, the party stopped, looked at each other, and all had a Heroic BSOD on the horrors they just unleashed upon some goblins who were easily 8 levels below them and were willing to surrender.

I choked so hard with my "Evil Paco Laugh" that I had to call a 15 minute break. Since then, Paco was declared a cursed skull of opposing alignment artifact.
Consumer Unit 5012 2nd Feb 2013, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
An undead warrior named Paco?

Was the witch named Pilli, by any chance?
Darkside 31st Jan 2013, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I actually designed a similar weapon based on the Swords from the Book of Swords: Faithmender, the Sword of Healing.

Basically, instead of doing damage, the sword healed that much instead. Had someone try attacking with it a few times before discovering how it wasn't helping.

Then they ran around the rest of the dungeon with the Sword stuck in their chest, twisting it to "deal" damage every round.
Digo 31st Jan 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Um... oww?
Raxon 31st Jan 2013, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
You have given me the most horrible idea for a magical weapon! A healing dagger that causes blood to pour from whatever it stabs, and anything it cuts off, a replacement immediately grows in its place. It leaves no permanent wounds. My ranger would use it to engage in badassery contests in bars for free drinks.

He picks the biggest guy in the bar and challenges him to a contest of manliness. The loser has to pay for the winner's drinks for the rest of the night. My ranger would then use the knife to remove a tattoo from his arm. After that, he would castrate himself with the knife. He could hold up the severed bits, and then offer the other guy the knife. He wins every time.

And that is how my dwarf manages to consume ten kilos of everclear every night...

And the reason he needs tlo consume ten kilos of everclear every night. The dagger does not keep stop the wound from hurting. I'm just one of those players who likes coming up with the most insane uses for the most idiotic items.
Ranubis 31st Jan 2013, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Cue "The Horror, the Horror!"
Kitchen 31st Jan 2013, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
In panel 14, Rainbow Dashie's wings are on the right way around! They're supposed to be upside-down...
Jadelynn 31st Jan 2013, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
Considering that the clip it's taken from is clearly still from when she's supposed to be Pox'd, that's an error on the original animators' part.

Yet another animation error for the count! At least it wasn't as noticeable as the infamous Duck scene
DoubleCross 1st Feb 2013, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
Define 'duck scene'.

If you mean Swanlestia, I asked to fix the panel beforehand.
Jadelynn 1st Feb 2013, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
No, there's a scene in May The Best Pet Win where Dash charges in front of a line of animals. Due to faulty layering, the duck is on the wrong side of Dash.
Harmless Toast 31st Jan 2013, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
Darths & Droids made a mention of things coming full circle in today's comic too... weird.
Lyntermas 31st Jan 2013, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
It's a conspiracy, I tell you!
The Guest 31st Jan 2013, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Is the sound of everything coming full circle anything like the sound of one hand clapping?

(It makes a cl sound, by the way. The other hand is what makes the ap sound.)
Raxon 31st Jan 2013, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
Ancient wise men who know the sound of one hand clopping need to get out more.
kriss1989 31st Jan 2013, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
What about a young wise guy?
Flutters hi 31st Jan 2013, 4:07 PM Flutters hi edit delete reply
um... check panel 6 and my poison joke.
Moonrush 31st Jan 2013, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
I hate it when GMs do that; gee, the evil guy who is in fact evil but helping you for their own gain is here! Now you have to feel sorry you didn't trust them and also suffer being treated evil too even though you're not the ones that blew up the orphanage. Not how karma works at all.
Vincent 1st Feb 2013, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
Is the line "Nightmares? Truly? What did you see?" meant to rhyme? The text box has rounded edges (Zecora's dialog I'm guessing with squared edges being DM).
Guest 1st Feb 2013, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
True-lee, see.
Vincent 2nd Feb 2013, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
meh close enough