Page 250 - Apology Accepted

23rd Feb 2013, 5:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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Apology Accepted
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 23rd Feb 2013, 5:00 AM edit delete
250! The big quarter-of-a-thousand. Gotta say, I really like ending an arc on a milestone.

So that's the end of Bridle Gossip. It's been quite a ride. Unlike other arcs, there won't be a guest comic break between this and the next story - it'll be coming next week, pronto. After this, though... yeah, I'm probably going to need a break of some kind after this next arc. But that's a ways off yet.

In any case, get ready for Swarm of the Century!

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



Guest 23rd Feb 2013, 5:07 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie voices all of us who were hoping to learn the GM's identity. Or at least their gender.
darkwulf23 23rd Feb 2013, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
I think we had this conversation before. I believe it ended with the DM was left without any characteristics so that every one can imagine what the DM sounds and looks like. Myself, I imagine a 40 year old man with smoker's lungs. If nothing else, imagine a 40 year old smoker doing cute pony voices.
Digo 23rd Feb 2013, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
I'm imagining Patrick Stewart behind the screen.
Azureink 23rd Feb 2013, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
He can't be Patrick Stewart. Patrick Stewart would be too savvy to have so many problems.
kriss1989 23rd Feb 2013, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
I am also in the Patric Stuart camp, if only for the irony with Discord. Also, we know after his Family Guy appearance that he can say the silliest things with total sincerity.

"Look at me! I'm a pony!"
Alfalfa Door 23rd Feb 2013, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
I imagine the voice being similar to my group's regular DM... though for the past year or so we've been all giving it a shot round-robin style.
Gaston 23rd Feb 2013, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
I was pretty sure the DM was Robin Williams
Aerion Snowpaw 23rd Feb 2013, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
I don't see where you're coming from on that one...
He doesn't particularly remind me of Robin Williams.
Too calm and mildly frustrated at his players.
I could see Patrick Stewart, since a lot of his scenes as captain had him give me the same feeling of calm frustration.
Raxon 23rd Feb 2013, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
"I was pretty sure the DM was Robin Williams"

Me: Die, monster! You don't belong in this film!

Patch Adams: Huh huh, It's not by my hand I've got roles again! I was resurrected by people who wanted to pay tribute to my humor.

Me: Tribute? You steal men's souls and make terrible movies!

Patch: Perhaps the same could be said of all celebrity cameos.

Me: Your words are as empty as your characters. Mankind ill needs a movie such as yours!

Patch: What is a role? A miserable pile of dialogue. But enough talk... I'm funny! Laugh, damn you!
GrayGriffon 23rd Feb 2013, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
Knowing NewbieSpud... he'd probably give the DM a gender neutral name like Jordan or somthing
Random 23rd Feb 2013, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
In my mind, the DM shall forever be John de Lancie.
aylatrigger 23rd Feb 2013, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
An androgynous name could be chosen... Though in all fairness it is most likely male, as most D&D players are male. Although, there are strange groups like mine who pretty much always have me to be the GM (I write the best stories and can keep up with Loonies), probability-wise men are more likely. If this were to be in-universe based off mlp, then it would be even more likely as most Bronies are males as well. For instance, my ponyfinder game that I run has 5 players who are all guys. I was almost able to recruit a girl once, but she did not have enough time and wasn't a brony yet.

So statistically speaking, it is more likely to have a guy. As well, if a girl were running it and the players were not desensitized to ponies by mlp, I imagine they would make fun of her more.
Derpmind 23rd Feb 2013, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
All the characterization heavily indicates that all the players are female. So 'statistically' doesn't even apply here. The DM could just as well be male or female.

Hell, why choose? Go re-read the DM in the first person's voice to pop in your head!
Raxon 23rd Feb 2013, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
I hate you forever, Derpmind.

You made me imagine Justin Beiber as the DM.
masterofgames 23rd Feb 2013, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
DM is Lauren Faust. I thought we had gone over this.
Dusk Raven 23rd Feb 2013, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
For me, the DM shall be Lauren Faust. With the voice of Celestia.

Alternatively, I recall someone suggesting Sean Connery a while back, which I'd do if I'd seen any of his films lately.
Walabio 23rd Feb 2013, 10:02 PM I always figured that the DM is a teenaged girl. edit delete reply
I always figured that this is a bunch of teenaged girls who all go to the same Junior High School. I figure that the DM is a teenaged girl too.
Dusk Raven 23rd Feb 2013, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
Eh, the players of Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy have stated a preference for particular kinds of alcohol, so I think they're young adults, around college age, but that's just me.
Mycroft 6th Mar 2013, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
> I always figured that this is a bunch of teenaged girls who all go to the same Junior High School. I figure that the DM is a teenaged girl too.

Great, now I'm imagining Teenage Girl Squad. The DM has the voice of StrongBad, as do all of the PC's. Ugh, time to wash my brain out.
Karilyn 24th Feb 2013, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Having spoken with Newbiespud extensively, I still say the DM's voice sounds exactly like him. All his mannerisms. All his ways of speaking.

Of course, the players occasionally sound like him too. Like Twilight Sparkle on page 242. But the DM always sounds like him.
Private Eye Pony 25th Feb 2013, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
I'm fond of thinking the DM sounds Kevin Conroy's Batman.
Ponikon 25th Feb 2013, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
GM? Celestia.
Digo 23rd Feb 2013, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
The 9th panel would make a great meme.
"Who are you and what does this have to do with friendship?"

It's funny when the players end up getting their DM to talk to another NPC.
Aerion Snowpaw 23rd Feb 2013, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
I agree, I can see the image-macros that would be made for it.
Would probably be used in the brony-offshoots on various image-boards, when someone's gone off on a rant.
"...and so to sum up, this artist is worse than lickerish ice-cream."
"Who are you and what does this have to do with friendship?"
Dusk Raven 23rd Feb 2013, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
I'll do my best to make that into a meme, heh. It's sure make for a great one.
Newbiespud 23rd Feb 2013, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
Artsy 23rd Feb 2013, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
It's actually kind of cool that Swarm of the Century will actually be starting NEXT WEEK. Seems more canon.
zenaku 23rd Feb 2013, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
Sooo... more outside knowledge for Pinkie? Or just complete randomness with lots of 20's rolled?
Flutters hi 23rd Feb 2013, 7:03 AM Flutters hi edit delete reply
Where did you get those photos of Princess Cellestia in the library? Were they from Lesson Zero?
Philadelphus 23rd Feb 2013, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
That's what they look like.
Some Smartass 23rd Feb 2013, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
Really, DMing has plenty to do with friendship. You would have to explain a bunch of stuff to Celestia before she'd understand that, though.
ANW 23rd Feb 2013, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
I'm back.
I'm been out doing some things, and well, up-grading my vocab, and my spelling.
I spel gud. But in all sersiousness, it's good to back.
ANW 23rd Feb 2013, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Ok double poll time:
1.Who here missed me doing my polls?
You can be completly truthful with me.
2.What episodes from season 2, besides Discord and the Changelings, would be a good choice for Newbie to do?
Poll ends on Lunaday(Monday in other words.)
Azureink 23rd Feb 2013, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
1. I don't care for polls all that much myself.
2. I can think of three:
Ep. 11 - Heart's Warming Eve
Ep. 21 - A Dragon Quest
Ep. 24 - MMMystery On The Friendship Express
wite_c83 23rd Feb 2013, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
1. "Who are you and what does this have to do with friendship?" ;p
2. Only ones I can think of that might work (besides Azureink's list) would be Luna Eclipsed, Secret of My Excess and The Last Roundup.
Tatsurou 23rd Feb 2013, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
1. I enjoyed the polls.
a) I think Sweet and Elite might be interesting. Say, it starts out as a solo campaign for Rarity since she's the only one who's there...but then the others show up late in the campaign and want to join in to have fun, and the DM writes them in, and then Rarity's player attempts to juggle the campaign goal and playing with her friends...and eventually decides that just going nuts with her friends is more enjoyable, and the DM rewrites the campaign end to have Fancypants be appreciative of that.
Tatsurou 23rd Feb 2013, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Closed comment too soon.
b)The Super Easy Cider Squeezy 6000. It starts out as just a scene where AJ's character is introducing her entire family to the other players - you know, a sort of Sandbox campaign where they go nuts without a specific goal in mind - but when AJ starts selling cider and rolls too low to provide for the whole town, the DM adds in the FlimFlam brothers and their machine.
c) Read it and Weep...not as "Rainbow enjoys reading", but as a part of the campaign where Rainbow's player learns just how much fun it is to roleplay...possibly combining it with Hurricane FLuttershy in the process.
d) Ponyville Confidential might be interesting to see as well...but only if the CMC became PCs instead of NPCs.
And that's everything I can think of that nopony's mentioned yet.
CJT 23rd Feb 2013, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
1) Honestly? Not me. They started off interesting, but after the triple-re-post of "who's your favourite pony" I got fed up with them.

2) Luna Eclipsed is a no-brainer. It's a perfect "we want more roleplay and NPC interaction" opportunity, it gives the players an antagonist they really _would_ have trouble getting a reading on (has she really reformed, or was it just "get ready to shoot her again if she says no"?), it gives the players a chance to do world-building (they get to invent what they're doing to help out with Nightmare Night), and it gives them free rein to invent their own solutions to the adventure's problems.

I'm not sure what a good second would be. It would have to be one that involved most or all of the Mane 6, and involved a team effort towards solving a problem, which rules out a lot of the character-centric episodes.
DoubleCross 23rd Feb 2013, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
I feel like they'e still covering up an elephant.
CrowMagnon 23rd Feb 2013, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
If you ever do the Royal Wedding story, have you considered doing it as another crossover with Grand Line 3.5? Because I can so completely picture DM from that strip joining in and making a 'pretty pink pony princess' character to fit the setting... and the looks of horror on your crew's faces when they find out what kind of player she REALLY is.
Lyntermas 23rd Feb 2013, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
Well, it's a bit tricky. The main problem is that DM is a power-gamer who doesn't particularly interested in "roleplaying". Some key quotes:

"Yeesh, I can't believe you had to go through that much trouble just to order around a bunch of NPCs."
"What if I roleplay it out by reminding Kaya of all the times we shared and all that crap?"

In short, DM might not really fit in with the FiD crew because she'd be interested in creating a character with game-breaking combat abilities, not in playing out a princess who can't knock out the changeling queen in three rounds or less.
Tatsurou 23rd Feb 2013, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
So, in essence, it wouldn't work because she'd be playing like Rainbow Dash?
Lyntermas 23rd Feb 2013, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
She'd be playing like Rainbow Dash squared.

I view RD as a "rough and tumble" player, like Luke. She's as likely to do something because it looks cool as opposed to necessarily being effective. RD likes combat, but she still is at least willing to roleplay at times.

DM, on the other hand, is a "control the numbers" type of player. Found another relevant quote.
"No backstory could ever justify the abominations she came up with."
DM doesn't "play a character" so much as control a collection of numbers and triggers. She doesn't just like combat in D&D, she believes that combat IS D&D (everything else is just fluff). Defeating Chrysalis through "love" wouldn't, couldn't even enter her mind.
CrowMagnon 24th Feb 2013, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Actually, I think there was a miscommunication. My idea wasn't that she play Cadance, but rather "Cadance". As in, getting into the game as a favor to Rika or something, who's trying to get her to roleplay a different kind of character. So DM plays along, creating the archetypal pink princess character and very, very awkwardly playing the part, just so she can spring the trap when she reveals to the other players that she's ACTUALLY been playing Chrysalis all along, and is doing her old 'go to the dark side and kill the rest of my team' trick.
Raxon 23rd Feb 2013, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Swarm of the Century is a good choice. It could have the DM trying the "Give different players different amounts of information" thing again, but doing better.
Lyntermas 23rd Feb 2013, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
Swarm of the Century, huh?

Alt-script time!
TS: Fluttershy, what are these cute little creatures?
FS: I don't know. I made a Nature roll, but it didn't come up with anything useful.
PP: What if I try a Streetwise check? *roll* 29.
DM: Here you go. *hands Pinkie a note*
TS: Wait, a Streetwise roll gets information that a Nature roll doesn't
PP: *opens note*...Uh oh. Girls, apparently these things are called parasprites. They're like locusts that are known to wipe out the food supplies of entire towns.
RD: ...Seriously? These critters look like the chibi version of flies and you telling me that they're pests? DM, I thought we went over this whole "misinformation" thing.
PP: Well, it says that they are receptive to music. I know, we'll get a few instruments, start a band, and lead them out of the city Pied-Piper style? Or should I say Pinkie-Pied-Piper style? I leave the boutique and start looking for instruments.
TS: ...Yeah, I'm not buying it. I mean, cute locusts is one thing, but gathering instruments? The DM's probably trying to pull a twist again, like "but the parasprite's predator lives in the Everfree Forest. Taking them back will be signing their death warrant." I think what we're supposed to do is prove that the townspeople can keep them as pets, allowing them a safe environment. I'll take one home with me.
That Guy 24th Feb 2013, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Never thought of it that way.

I always assumed it Swarm of the Century would be each player throwing their own versions of solutions at a wall and seeing what stuck. Then after witnessing either horrendous rolls or terrible plans, the DM cops out to the musical solution just to end it, since the rest of the party is too headstrong to change their tactics.

Twilight Sparkle: Must use magic to permanently alter their nature (too high DC on rolls, results in their consuming nonliving matter)
Fluttershy: Must learn to live with them (believes forcing out creatures is non-druish or some nonsense)
Applejack: Force out of town using herding for higher bonus to own rolls (Only need to miss one to not succeed so it obviously fails)
Rainbow: Weather control to remove from the town (fails for the same reason as Applejack's)

...Did Rarity try to do anything in that episode? I can't remember.
ChickenPaddy 23rd Feb 2013, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
Long time lurker, first time commenter.

I'm afraid I don't understand the GM's issue here. I can see why some players would have a problem with an NPC (Apple Bloom) getting too involved, but I don't see why they're so mad about the misinformation given to Pinkie, or why she'd be so upset about it. He merely told her the common knowledge about Zecora. It was up to her how to interpret it. Sometimes it's the DM's job to mislead the characters, only to have them discover the real truth in the end. Sorry, but I seem to be missing a key point in the moral of the story.
Gerkuman 23rd Feb 2013, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
I think it implied that he was telling her it was 100% accurate. Most of the time when people are given rumours the DM tells them that they're rumours.

And it wasn't subtle.
Crunchbang 26th Feb 2013, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
I agree with this. Giving a player information will obviously always be information from their characters' perspective and not universal truth. Where does this expectation even come from? A Bard's Knowledge skill or something? In that case I might understand it, but unless I missed it that wasn't mentioned. It's most certainly not a player's prerogative to be able to make perfectly informed decisions about everything all the time.

Anyways I feel like the players are giving the DM a hard time. In my experience, DMing a game is hugely more stressful and time consuming than playing. He creates a world of wonder for these players here, and they are complaining about minor stuff like he owes them better. Boo players :P
CharginChuck 23rd Feb 2013, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
Called it!
ShadowDragon8685 23rd Feb 2013, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
As was said, it does make a good image macro:
Newbiespud 23rd Feb 2013, 11:50 PM edit delete reply
Neo 23rd Feb 2013, 10:38 PM edit delete reply
Clearly the DM has the voice of Logan Cunningham.

"Dear Princess Celestia..."
Prisca 24th Feb 2013, 2:33 AM edit delete reply
Hey, newsbiepud? Where do you get your screenshots? Mine's are all fuzzy when I try to enlarge them.
Newbiespud 24th Feb 2013, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
I play the episodes on my computer in Windows Media Player Classic, which lets you save a full-size screencap with a hotkey. It's pretty essential to the whole process.

However, Comic Life is also pretty handy on that front. It auto-sharpens as necessary whenever you resize an image. There are upper limits, but that's what taking HD screencaps is for. (Though sometimes certain panels come out blurry regardless when you export the comic, which is mildly annoying but just calls for a quick resize and re-export.)
Ryuutakeshi 24th Feb 2013, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
Clearly the DM is Christopher Lee... or maybe Jeremy Irons.
Rokas 25th Feb 2013, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
The DM is none other than Kai Hansen, of Helloween/Iron Savior/Gamma Ray fame. \m/
Kynrasian 25th Feb 2013, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
I've actually got a bit of a story involving the issue in this page:

So we've just gotten back to town, having narrowly escaped confronting a dragon, when a man in black robes sitting on a horse beckons us over, saying nothing. We determine he wants to give us something and so we go over and he hands us a scroll. Wondering what was going on, I open it and get told to make a Wisdom saving throw. Apparently, it cast a charm spell on me that allowed the DM to tell me where I want to go.

Would you call that railroading? If so, what should I do? Bear in mind that this guy is my friend, so refusing to game with him from now on isn't really an option. I have to get him to understand what's wrong with what he did.
LoganAura 25th Feb 2013, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
That's deliberate railroading. I'd say, bring it up to the DM privately and say that the way he did it was a little bit too blatant.

Give him advice though, not just 'Don't do this'. Hm... I read somewhere that a good way to lead your party where you want is to steal something from them. (That worked with the AoH2.0 team recently- stealing their family).
Kynrasian 25th Feb 2013, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Turns out he completely misruled the "charmed" condition, so I might just leave it and, seeing as I also know who cast it (in and out of character), just roleplay having willingly allowed the spell to lead me right to him.

That aside, I am currently sitting on a few good alternatives he could have used. Frankly, he could've had us see a vision of the place he wanted us to go: our curiosity alone would've led us there.

What do you think? Pull him up privately before next session or roleplay having used the spell to help me find the caster?

I can always pull him up for it afterwards.
Stairc 25th Feb 2013, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Would it be railroading if the scroll had exploded and dealt obscene damage?

In general, this sounds more like a realistic lesson. Don't take random magical artifacts from mysterious strangers. There's a difference between, "railroading" and, "the DM not allowed to do anything players don't like".

However, unless it makes complete sense that you couldn't possibly resist such a charm artifact (such as a god-like artifact of ancient power) it's a good idea to give the player a strong chance to resist - so they don't feel helpless. It won't be railroading either way, but the chance to resist does make for a better experience overall - even if it's just a small chance.

Players tend to be too quick to complain about these things. A good DM does let players make bad decisions. Trying to make sure that the only decisions the players can make are good ones actually *is* railroading.
Kynrasian 25th Feb 2013, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
Well, could you tell him about that difference then, because when I'M DMing, I can hardly do anything without his permission.
That Guy 25th Feb 2013, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
I'd have personally killed or baleful'd the player dumb enough to take AND read scrolls from strangers in dark attire without taking proper safety measures, then make the quest "figure out who done did this." But I digress. I work with careful non-confrontational adventurers so I gotta try to kill them as often as possible by any means necessary.

Before questioning the DM in this scenario, I recommend making sure this act doesn't seem like exactly what that NPC would do to get your attention. His execution was poorly worded if I am to assume you've written verbatim what the DM did, but it could have been just as easily summed up as a geas of "go to NPC" upon opening.

If it seems entirely out of character for the NPC, then yes, it was railroading worthy of pulling him aside. He wanted you to meet with that NPC, but rather than thinking of a decent way, he broke an NPC to get what he wanted immediately.
Kynrasian 26th Feb 2013, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Yes, he did simply say, "you've been charmed and now want to go to the wizard's tower".

Thanks to an intelligence check (while charmed. I know, right) I now know the NPC in question is one who I dealt the killing blow to. It's certainly something he'd do to *someone*, but considering how our only previous combat encounter with him went, he really should know better than to bring us to him.

Also, I wouldn't call playing a character who isn't basically Commander Hurricane in the body of a different intelligent species "dumb". I don't assume that everything that doesn't offer me obedience is a threat. We got picked up on metagamed paranoia from day one when we split up and swept the immediate vicinity of the road we were travelling on simply because being ambushed was *possible* and I'm not about to slip back into it. It cheapens the game when every character is so paranoid that they sleep in the dark so that their shadow can't kill them while they sleep.

My main annoyance is that he took all element of choice away from me when I'm almost certain there'd have been an argument there and then over it had I done the same to him.
That Guy 27th Feb 2013, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like you've already made up your mind on whether to confront this DM or not. From what I've read thus far, I suspect he didn't fully think through how he was going to enact the transition, and backpedaled when he realized how blatant his railroading was (performing checks while charmed was to lessen how horrendously he had messed up).

I recommend you focus on what was wrong with the implementation, not the concept. If possible, mention that crippling curses, a geas, or a tantalizing reward for obeying all would've worked just as well, without having the DM assume direct control of a PC. In other words, the PC is still in control, but they're being constantly crippled until they obey. Not to mention the NPC could send follow-ups to further "convince" the PCs to obey.

The point is, your DM used an acceptable story hook to get the party to the next section (stranger with a letter). He just used the wrong effects to get it to happen as a guarantee.
Malbutorius 25th Feb 2013, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
Well, obviously the guy who gave you the scroll is Evil, since only someone Evil would screw with peoples minds like that, So I would kill the Messanger, and Im sure he dident hit the Whole party, and with a Detect magic they would be able to tell if you were charmed (Does that work? I would have to look that up). Oh, and also you could ask him what the Challange DC was for the roll, if it was 99 then you can ask him why the guy who made the scroll isent helping since he is obviously Epic Level.
Guest 26th Feb 2013, 4:15 AM edit delete reply
Interesting how Rainbow Dash kept quiet through this whole wrapup except for her snarky comment that the others were all just waiting to give their criticism. It's like she knows there was something wrong as well as anyone, but would feel ridiculous actually pointing out serious flaws in the campaign's plot when she's such a halfhearted roleplayer herself. (Complaining about how fluffy the setting is or about the gameplay encounters is totally in-bounds of course).
Fillosof 13th Jul 2013, 1:04 AM edit delete reply
In my oh so humble opinion, DM was mostly in the right here. He gave Pinkie's player the exact sort of information she should have as a character (all of them except Twilight should have had it) so only his railroading habits were an issue here, and he was definitely getting better.

When I'm in those kinds of situations I try to follow this rule "be harsh but fair". I give those scoundrels only info available in-character, but every last bit of it that can be justified. If you have planned well, this will still live plenty of room for wild-guessing and good old manipulation.