Page 259 - Eradication Order

16th Mar 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Eradication Order
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 16th Mar 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
When I first started DMing, the most derailed session I'd ever had started with a simple question: "Why shouldn't we just kill these guys?"

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



darkwulf23 16th Mar 2013, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Hell ya Twilight, population control.
Digo 16th Mar 2013, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Hey, it sounds legit to me! Plus, EXP per kill, right?
darkwulf23 16th Mar 2013, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
Yep, the herd has to be thinned somehow. If not then you have overpopulation, the spread of diseases, a devastating effect on the local flora and fauna, and eventual mass starvation. It's for the good of everyone if you keep the parasprites down to a more reasonable level.
Scribejay 17th Mar 2013, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
So as I see it Twilight can make an extermination gas to kill the parasprites. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy can deploy it crop duster style and the parasprites can be better gotten rid of than the Light Brown Apple Moth.
Digo 17th Mar 2013, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Level ups for every pony!
Jristz 18th Mar 2013, 10:26 PM nah edit delete reply
Probably are 1 point per Parasprite or worst 1 per group ofr X number
darkgloomie 19th Mar 2013, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
which just mean they need to let them spawn-n-kill until they reach the desired XP numbers?
Digo 19th Mar 2013, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
Given how fast they spawn, this shouldn't take too long. :D
I'm patient.
Midnight Blaze 26th Aug 2013, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Or they could just farm them for XP. It's what I would do. And if you run low on food for them, you could grind them up and introduce the Parasprites to cannibalism. :D
Raxon 16th Mar 2013, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Herein, Flutters realizes her mistake and apologizes profusely. she does her utmost to rectify the situation, rounding up all of them and banishing them it-Hahahahaha, no.

I like where this is headed, I really do. Kill it with fire and pragmatic answers at its finest.

I would love it if Fluttershy offers to simply neuter them, but the DM says they puke up their babies to force a different route.
Destrustor 16th Mar 2013, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Don't forget the "failing miserably at doing anything useful about the creatures" part.
That's where the fun really begins.
masterofgames 16th Mar 2013, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
What do you want to bet that they know "Charm Pony" as a natural ability?
TheCanadianKing 16th Mar 2013, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
I had a similar issue with a fellow player, his question was "how far can I take the term human resources" two femur daggers a skull & spinal column mace and a new thing of leather armor later......
Akouma 16th Mar 2013, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Well that's more than a little horrifying. A little funny, too, but horrifying.
Aerion Snowpaw 16th Mar 2013, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
Anyone who has played 'Mortal Online' knows the value of human-skin robes.
They're so smooth and comfortable!
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
There was an NPC magus in one of the Ars Magica campaigns I was in who pretty much did this (talisman was a staff made from a human spine). Suffice it to say that he was not a nice guy.

It's not illegal per se among magi (as long as you're discreet about it), but a) harvesting corpses tends to be seen as eccentric at best and ghoulish at worst, and b) making your own corpses to harvest tends to result in other magi politely taking a few steps away from you and mentally making plans to bring the hammer down when you eventually cross the line.

It might still be fun to play one as a PC, though. You can do interesting things by binding ghosts, and human remains have magical properties that are helpful for several things.

("Crossing the line", in this context, means doing anything that brings down the wrath of the Church or of the mundane governments. Dealing with demons is Right Out, as well, and anyone with personal habits that are too diabolical will be suspected of cutting deals with things that are _literally_ diabolical.)
Akouma 16th Mar 2013, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Now, I'm not saying that you can't cross the moral event horizon in a tabletop game. Just make sure the DM can sleep without nightmares that night. I've seen DM's legitimately, not-joking-at-all-here, lose some sleep over some of the craziness the players inflict. (Most notable among them the time we had to interrogate a prisoner to find out who we works for.) Be evil, but try not to be in poor taste unless it's actually necessary.
ANW 16th Mar 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
If any one wants to do a poll time for me this, I'll be okay.
Story time:
Name a time when you got off the rails before the DM could stop you.
I don't play, so no story here.
At least not yet.
P.S. What is a good online site for begginers like me.
darkwulf23 16th Mar 2013, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
If you want to do a play by post,
Green 16th Mar 2013, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Oh, our party decided to explore the locked and very clean corridor, regardless of the warning signs.

We just couldn't figure out why the DM kept pointing out that it was very clean. No dust whatsoever anywhere, I think we even joked about something sweeping through and cleaning like a giant maid. Now, guess what nearly melted the bard and minotaur?

That's right, a freaking gelatinous cube. It has since then become a running gag to ask how clean a room is or if there's any tracks with no dust.
Night Writer 16th Mar 2013, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
In the Hackmaster RPG, the bestiary claimed that was in fact the reason behind the creation of the Gelatinous Cubes.

(In original D&D, however, Gary admitted he just wanted a creature that could basically seal off a corridor without trying so the player characters would have to fight their way through.)
Cube! 16th Mar 2013, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Don't forget to also listen for their distinctive call:
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
The closest we came recently was when the party wizard sat down and abused the spell-point rules to take 20 on dispelling a Wizard Lock. Several days later, we had access to a vault that we really weren't supposed to have gotten into for several more levels.

That was when I ended up having to roll up a new character, as my fighter took his meat-shield duties seriously. And in addition to treasure, the vault contained a mining golem ordered to stop people from messing with the valuables (which we did manage to loot).

I still should draw up a cartoon of that session one of these days (I'd been in the habit of drawing pictures early in the campaign, but got lazy afterwards). The picture's version of the mining golem would look like a 10-foot-tall Wario, wielding a giant pick in the same manner as SSBM's giant hammer, and chasing after my character, music and all.

About ten character levels later, we opened the vault up again to field-test my new character's construct-bane sword. The sword was very effective.
Akouma 16th Mar 2013, 8:54 PM edit delete reply
In the game I play on Tuesdays, one of our players spent the first like, four sessions needling a bunch of anti-mutant protesters outside of the school we worked at. Then one of the other PCs thought it would be a good idea to use an AoE mind control effect on some of them to basically tell the rest to go home and calm the hell down. Now, mind controlling a bunch of protesters rarely goes over with the other protesters, sooooo he wound up in jail.

I was later guilty of it myself. Kicked one in the crotch because I just couldn't take those irritants anymore. (That was in character. Not my actual thoughts.) Wound up derailing pretty much the entire session. Totally my fault; dunno' why I thought intentionally talking with NPC Douchey McDumbperson when I was in a bad mood would turn out well.
celestdaer 18th Mar 2013, 7:49 AM That one time... edit delete reply
Still in the Air Gear campaign, one of the other players sent a message to the skater internet letting everyone know the town police had locked up an innocent skater... the DM looked at her, went, 'Really?' and had the rest of the skate community riot, basically.
Stairc 18th Mar 2013, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
Stairc ;)
Froborr 18th Mar 2013, 6:43 PM The Tale of Honest John edit delete reply
I may have mentioned Honest John before. I hope I at least haven't told how that campaign ended...

If I haven't mentioned him, he was a character a friend played in a game I ran. Honest John was a bard, minmaxed out the wazoo. Glass jaw, glass everything else, and hit like a wet noodle, but he could convince ANYONE of ANYTHING.

It got to the point where the entire party KNEW he was scamming them out of their fair share, in AND out of character, but his shenanigans were so profitable that even their unfair share was more than they could have gotten without him. They ended up MASSIVELY overequipped for their level, and just blew through everything I put in front of them.

So I decided to have the merchants' guild put out a hit on Honest John. The party, to my despair, rallied around him instead of turning him in for the MASSIVE reward, because in the long run he was STILL worth more. They instead decided to pool all their money, buy a ship, and sail off the edge of the world map I'd provided them.

At that point I declared the campaign over.
Other Guest 16th Mar 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
And here I thought Rainbow Dash would be making that suggestion.
Kayeka 16th Mar 2013, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Twilight is a wizard. Though wizards in 4e are quite awesome in general, they really get to shine when faced with hordes of tiny minions.

I still have to meet a roleplayer who would pass up on being awesome for a moment.
Raxon 16th Mar 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Behold, thy roleplayer doth slouch before thee, and he doth munch on the seeds of sunflower!

I shalt gladly surrender mine offer of glory most awesome, if only for a joke!
Spitz 16th Mar 2013, 7:25 AM edit delete reply
I'm with ya there, Rax.

And yay, caught up again! My Home Internet had went as cuckoo as Raxxon here. Luckily... Spring Break, Other person's House-Internet! Hope the house's works by the time I get back. >_>
Guest 16th Mar 2013, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Oh, what would we do without you, Raxon? Sing? Smile? Grow old? Haha!
Belze 16th Mar 2013, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
Nice of you to admit that you jokes are indeed not awesome :P
But I tend to think of anytime I give up being cool to do something silly is when I'm being the most awesome!
Kayeka 19th Mar 2013, 2:58 AM edit delete reply
I probably should have worded that better. "I have yet to meet a roleplayer who would pass up on a chance to hog the spotlight."

And honestly, you can't convince me that you'd make such a sacrifice for any reason.
WhatWasMyNameAgain 16th Mar 2013, 6:54 AM Burn it edit delete reply
Twilight is right: Kill it with fire!

Because a swarm of ‼parasprites‼ will be fun.
Digo 16th Mar 2013, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
A swarm of burning parasprites is even better!
DanielLC 16th Mar 2013, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
That's what he said. Surrounding words with double exclamation points is how Dwarf Fortress says that things are on fire.
Lyntermas 16th Mar 2013, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
And then the burning parasprites fly through the town, burning everything to the ground. Roll credits!
Digo 17th Mar 2013, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
I've never played Dwarf Fortress before. Now I know!
Philadelphus 16th Mar 2013, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Now that I think about it, Parasprites would probably fit right in among the weird and wild creatures of Dwarf Fortress. I've even played an MLP mod for it that included them.
Malroth 16th Mar 2013, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
The !!Parasprite!! bites the !!Pony!! in the !!Mane!! tearing the skin and bruising the tendon
The !!Pony!! winces from Pain
Zarhon 17th Mar 2013, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
The obvious solution is to make the parasprites tameable, mass-breed them, then release them onto invaders as a distraction. Or with a bit of modding, alter their files to make them trainable as hunting/war animals/mounts, and laugh as you release 300 of the little buggers onto an invading force. Combine with fire to also burninate the countryside.

Alternately, employ them for a high-yield meat industry via mass butchering.
Blyndir 18th Mar 2013, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
Tried that last bit, they taste like drywall wrapped bricks.

Parasprites of Mass Destruction, on the other hand...
Tatsurou 18th Mar 2013, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
My solution would be to keep one in a cage and - as soon as a new one is produced - magically alter its brain chemistry to remove the reproductive imperative. Since reproduction immediately follows consumption, logic dictates one triggers the other. If the parasprite has no urge to reproduce, it has no urge to eat.
LastExpellian 16th Mar 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
As with the stories I've shared already, My friends are masters at completely derailing my planned out path, forcing me to fly by the seat of my pants to get them back on track.
I once ran a simple thrown-together 2 player scenario with a pair of friends that were getting antsy about our slipping play schedule. Eventually they reached a point where they needed to hire a driver to escort them.
I used this opportunity to get them to expand on their characters and practice a little improv between them and the driver character. After a few minutes of simple conversation they decided (out of character) to kill the driver when they reached their destination and claim the horse and cart as their own. It took some terrible dice rolls on their part to spare the NPC, who would have been important later on if we'd had the chance to continue.

Also I absolutely LOVE Dash's expression in the third panel.
Giggle Tail 16th Mar 2013, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
Somehow we've yet to have a derailed campaign, though mostly because we've yet to have a DM who doesn't railroad like crazy.
Kynrasian 16th Mar 2013, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
As much as I complain about it, I'd be careful with that term. To what extent? Do you mean the DM will blatantly shut off options just because they don't fit in with their plan?

If that is the case, tell him from me that if something was worth doing enough that the players did it, it can be made to fit the plan.
Giggle Tail 16th Mar 2013, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
We're pretty much always forced to go along with the story he has planned. Sometimes he'll even go into "cut scene mode" just to ensure we don't change the story.

Admittedly, it's usually not so annoying, though last time was pretty bad when we were forced into a fight we were desperately trying to avoid. Plus, all of our strategies to end it quickly failed, no matter how unreasonable it was for them to not work.
Kynrasian 16th Mar 2013, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
Well that's not fair at all. Unless there's a very good reason why a fight can't be avoided, the call goes to the party.

If I want our party to do something I use my character to try and get it to happen. If it doesn't happen I just let it be.
Giggle Tail 17th Mar 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
Yeah, he got a lot of flack from us for that one. He felt like we were being too critical, but to be honest, he was asking for it.
Kynrasian 17th Mar 2013, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
It's a rather poor quality in a DM.

A fairly good way of doing feedback would be for it to be given at the start of the next session. If your players are still genuinely annoyed at you for something come next session, you probably shouldn't have done it.
Giggle Tail 17th Mar 2013, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
True, though I wouldn't be surprised if he's already realized his mistake by then. Which, knowing him, will be followed by more apologies than are really necessary.
Digo 16th Mar 2013, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
As a player I don't think we've really derailed anything because there's never something resembling rails... or a road... really as a player we tend to just be stuck in the jungle of random plot., not the pony kind either. :/

As the DM, my players have made small rail jumps before which are harmless, but they did once derail the Orient Express.

The PCs were following the trail of an evil wizard who was collecting parts to build a telescope that can summon demons. The PCs got the location of his original base of operations from 35 years ago (since abandoned) and the location of where he will strike next for new lenses.
They were supposed to go stop him from getting the lenses as it was nearby and a chance to confront him directly.

Instead they go visit the old abandoned HQ. This was a bit of a derail because it was 2000 miles away, they didn't have the keys to break into it, and the tower was hinted at being defended by a series of increasingly difficult guardians (starting with a nasty black dragon and going up from there).
Oh, and the party was 5 levels under the minimum to survive this.

But no, they went for it.

It costed them most of their fortunes for the teleport scroll past the barrier, they were nearly killed by the tower guardians, and the only thing they found were the remains of the first telescope that was destroyed 35 years ago.

On the plus side, I had to now come up with a completely different final encounter dungeon for them... :p
Anarion 16th Mar 2013, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
My players derailed my first World of Darkness campaign practically instantly. I had this great political intrigue thing set up that was going to start with them overhearing a conversation. Instead they jumped off a nearby balcony, using some magic to fall a couple stories without damage, then ran off into the city.

Since then I've never once been derailed. After all, how can you get derailed if you never had a plan in the first place?
CelineSSauve 16th Mar 2013, 8:38 AM Mild type edit delete reply
Love the series, though I generally like lurking...

Since no one else has pointed it out, though, the DM "misspoke".

"and they're known their voracious appetite"
should probably be...
"and they're known for their voracious appetite"
Newbiespud 16th Mar 2013, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
Got it, thanks.
Ranubis 16th Mar 2013, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
"We should eliminate them here and now!"

Digo 16th Mar 2013, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
I dunno, the timing seems about right if this was my group XD
Malroth 16th Mar 2013, 11:10 PM edit delete reply
They'd be welcome to do this in my group but i'd make them cross "good" right off their character sheets and loose attunement to those friendship artifacts they've been holding on to. Celestia would refuse to take their letters and the Ponyville townsfolk would shun them as monsters.
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
For culling _nonsapient_ pests that are about to cause a major disaster and famine?

Executing a pony or other sapient is one thing. Killing Australian rabbits is another.
Guest 17th Mar 2013, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Uh what do you mean "nonsapient"? Parasprites easily showed at least a moderate level of intelligence (as do most creatures in equestria honestly, from Angel Bunny to the Cows and so on). Heck they were helping Rarity with her clothing work before she got grossed out by them. Just because they ate everything in their path and didn't speak english doesn't mean they are "nonsapient".
CJT 17th Mar 2013, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
Mammals and birds in-show are portrayed as sapient. Reptiles and amphibians are unknown (snakes showed up a single time (Winter Wrap-Up) and amphibians likewise (Feeling Pinkie Keen)). Pets - like Tank, Winona, and Angel - have always been a special case. Everything else, pretty much no, with a handful of exceptions that are best viewed as continuity errors (like the wasp and butterfly in the pet episode).

Birds eat insects. Frogs _exclusively_ eat insects. Quite a lot of the mammals in the show are omnivores or carnivores. _Gryphons_ are pure carnivores.

If you assume everything's sapient, you get a world that's hellishly at odds with the saccharine facade (even more so than having cows, pigs, and sheep living in fields and barns while ponies get houses).

Parasprites demonstrated no ability to communicate or respond meaningfully to communication attempts from ponies (including from Fluttershy). They're as nonsapient as things get on that show.
Digo 17th Mar 2013, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
I'm now imagining Twi using the orange spell to turn all the parasprites into winged citrus.

Twi: "There, oranges aren't sapient, right?"

GM: "...well no, but these things were-"

Twi: "Fireball time!!"
Guest 17th Mar 2013, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
So... Because the show disagrees with what you want to argue, you want to disregard facts directly from it as continuity errors? Like it or not, Butterflys are Sapient in Equestria as are most animals. As an aside, how do you know Gryphons in Equestria are pure carnivores? We hardly saw Gilda eat much but we did see her steal and eat an apple and she likely would have eaten cake... So I would say you're wrong in this respect.
Also why is it hellish for frogs to eat insects? Is the way you excuse eating meat to yourself that the animals you're eating aren't sapient so it's ok and if they were it would be evil?
Sjosten 17th Mar 2013, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
It's hellish for frogs to eat insects because, as you pointed out, they are sapient. And yes, if the cow that was in my hamburger was sapient, I would think it was evil to eat it. If you have a differing opinion, perhaps it is time we clarified what we mean by the word 'sapient.'
Guest 18th Mar 2013, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
I could go pull up a dictionary definition of the word but to me the word means very little. A cow does have feelings and does have thoughts, perhaps not as sophisticated as ours (though as I am not a cow I couldn't be entirely sure) but even so it's a complex being. If a person were to punch a cow I would have just as much anger in my heart over the act as if they punched a human (probably more since I've never had a negative experience with a cow unlike humans). That said I would still eat the cow because that is life. Much like I don't feel anger at a lion killing a zebra and eating it I don't feel anger at a human killing a cow.

Same with equestria. Yes the butterfly is sapient but the frog eating it is not an evil act. It's a part of life, just as the snake eating the frog, the eagle eating the snake, and so on.
Guest 18th Mar 2013, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
Thinking of another example, is the Lion King hellish? We know the animals in the Lion King as fully intelligent (bowing before Simba as he was raised in the sun) and most/all of the main ones being able to speak. Yet at the same time we know Simba most certainly has eaten meat and Nala would have eaten Pumba if Simba hadn't stopped her. Is this evil?
Sjosten 18th Mar 2013, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Lion King is totally messed up. I mean, there's a fine line between eating something that is sapient, and eating something that can carry a conversation with you.
Guest 18th Mar 2013, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
I guess I just don't see it that way. I don't see the argument as to why a creature being unable to speak makes it ok to kill it but being able to speak make it not ok. I've been around enough animals to know that even though they can't talk to me in english they still think and feel in a completely recognizable way. They can be happy, sad, frightened, depressed. I just don't see the line you're drawing.
CJT 18th Mar 2013, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
"Sapient" literally means "wise". It's shorthand for "posessing humanlike intelligence".

The old word, "sentient", literally means "having emotions". As animals do have emotions, the word "sapient" is now preferred for intellicence-discussions.
Malroth 17th Mar 2013, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
yes i would make them loose the moral high ground for killing non sapient creatures that weren't directly threatening ponies. Its fine for an assasian to deal death as a routine solution. Someone who is supposed to be the living embodiment of friendship and harmony is held to a higher standard and if you want to keep the bonus powers associated with being the element of laughter, magic, honesty, generosity etc then you find a way to stop the parasprites alive while stopping them.
CJT 18th Mar 2013, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
These _were_ a direct threat to ponies. _Lots_ of ponies.

When there's a famine, people _die_.

Starvation would have started _immediately_, as they were well on their way to eating all of the food in ponyville in-show by the time Twilight cast her spell. Any new food brought in would have been eaten in seconds, before any ponies could get to it.
Zuche 18th Mar 2013, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
You'd be welcome to do this to your group, Malroth, but only if you don't really want one. That's not quite in the ballpark of the DMs who used to design, "Guess what obscure detail you need to observe in order to keep your paladin from falling permanently?" traps for their players, pride evident in their tone, but it's still excessive.
Sus 17th Mar 2013, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
Uh, yeah.
Some groups I've played with... almost ANY situation will turn into
"Let's kill these guys and take their stuff!"
"Uh, why?"
"Because we CAN!" *rolls initiative*
Tatsurou 18th Mar 2013, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
The way I read Equestria and related countries, all dominant species - the ones in charge - have evolved to at least some level of omnivorous (explain to me how you can make a pie crust without eggs and milk), and as such, any remaining predator/prey behavior is more cultural than ingrained.
Ponies are naturally herd based, and the herd is more likely to flee from threats than kill them. As such, pony culture would dictate that killing should be the last resort and only after all other options are exhausted. A pony who immediately leaps to 'this is a threat, kill it' would be seen as dangerous and possibly mentally unstable (which could, conceivably, explain Sombra).
In this case, if I were DM, I would explain this to them and tell them that, yes, you can kill the parasprites. However, there will be consequences as far as how the NPC witnesses will see them, and what it will do to their reputation.
Of course, if they still want to kill the parasprites without loss of reputation, they can always move them to somewhere without witnesses - like the Everfree - and THEN kill them.
Zuche 18th Mar 2013, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
If you think about it, that's what Pinkie did on the show. She moved the infestation to a location filled with their natural predators, creating an instant buffet table.
Lyntermas 16th Mar 2013, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Well, I'm not sure any campaigns I've been in have been utterly "derailed." We might have had a few "bumps" in the Zilean's Revenge campaign.

-We had encountered a bunch of "blood skeletons" that were surrounding a traveling wagon with some of our friends still inside. Instead of fighting them directly, our rogue teleported inside, told the people inside what was happening, helped them get out, then rigged the wagon to blow.
-A snake that we were supposed to fight was befriended by said rogue. When the snake ran off into a small tunnel, the rogue followed it, splitting the party (even more).
-We were fighting a giant undead bone serpent thing. Our ranger gets a flask of sanctified wine and jams his arm up into the serpent's torso. It was only due to some assistance and good dice rolling that his arm was not torn off.

Fortunately, our DM is rather flexible, but is very good at setting up the idea that "actions have consequences".
Calibos 16th Mar 2013, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
Man, Lyntermas, that was some ill-thought and quite crazy make-up in your party. Why, that rouge must have been everywhere! All cosmetics must cry in anguish being so terribly represented! :3
Lyntermas 16th Mar 2013, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
What are you talking about? I clearly used the word "rogue". And that's what it's always been.

The Writer of Fate 16th Mar 2013, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Your icon could not be more fitting for that post.
Zarhon 17th Mar 2013, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
And even with an edit, you still missed a rouge. :p

Bronymous 17th Mar 2013, 2:50 AM edit delete reply
*Was not torn off. Was not. Pretty sure.

So many examples left out. Lizzie and the mimic come to mind.
Sidnoea 16th Mar 2013, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
Small typo: "and they're known their voracious appetite". There should be a "for" in there.
Newbiespud 16th Mar 2013, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for the catch. Fixed.
Jason Shadow 16th Mar 2013, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
But Twilight, how are you going to herd all of the parasprites into a proper fire pit?
The Guest 17th Mar 2013, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
Just train the fire to be free-range.

Points for whoever gets the reference.
The MunchKING 18th Mar 2013, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
She's not macho enough.
Anvildude 18th Mar 2013, 7:49 AM edit delete reply

Guest 16th Mar 2013, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
They're known *FOR* their voracious appetite.
Newbiespud 16th Mar 2013, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
Raxon 16th Mar 2013, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Sorry to nitpick, but Twilight is empty hooved when she should clearly be holding some manner of BFG.
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
There's an RPG Motivator for that:

"Specialist Evoker: I *am* the boomstick."
Malroth 16th Mar 2013, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
They should make one for Enchanters.
"There are two types of people those i make my friends and those I MAKE my friends"
Destrustor 17th Mar 2013, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
Digo 17th Mar 2013, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
Specialist Transmuter:
"When life gives you lemons, make orange juice."
Malroth 17th Mar 2013, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
Specialist Necromancer: You only live once for each 50gp onyx.
Sjosten 17th Mar 2013, 11:08 PM edit delete reply

"What would Jekyll do?"
CJT 18th Mar 2013, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Ok, I hope someone is saving these, because these do have to become actual RPG-motivator posters.
Rin 16th Mar 2013, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
It's times like these when I'm sad for the Players vs. DM mood of a usual DnD group. It's much more fun to force everyone to act like they don't know what's going on when you're the only one who makes a knowledge roll and you don't expllain anything to them :D
CrowMagnon 16th Mar 2013, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Twilight: Now, Fluttershy, nopony enjoys killing Parasprites, but if you HAVE to kill Parasprites, you might as well enjoy it!
Arkady 16th Mar 2013, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Derailing seems to happen all the time within my group, so I've seen it from both sides of the GM curtain. The most amusing which I got to participate in as a player was from a game of Exalted, where we were, in the words of our GM, "The worst Solar Exalted ever."

It started with a discussion about whether the insane power hungry maniac leading the army of undead to destroy all life was really such a bad guy, and went downhill from there. By the end of the first session we had managed to slaughter dozens of unarmed noncombatants, team up with Infernal Exalts, defeated the local gods, and assisted in the destruction of the only military force in the region capable of protecting humanity from the undead. All while continuously justifying our actions as being for the greater good.

That was the last time we ever played Exalted.
Malchior 16th Mar 2013, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
Ah, Exalted. So many memories, so much destruction. I swear, no matter what kind of Exalted we played - Solar, Lunar, Sidereal, Abyssal, or Infernal - we always managed to annihilate at least one city. Usually Gem. And normally on accident. We weren't very good at - or just didn't care about - damage control.
Lunar Caste 16th Mar 2013, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
There were evil Solar Exalted as well. And delusional Solar Exalted too. Oh, and let's not forget about Limit Breaks, curses, and other twists of mind and body that can happen in a high power/high magic campaign. I mean, come on. When even the PEASANTS can have limited access to magic, you'll find morality to be at an all time low.
Guest 16th Mar 2013, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
... ooooh, I know what's gonna happen. they need a nat 20 to identify because of a high dc.
Alex Warlorn 16th Mar 2013, 11:25 AM why edit delete reply
What it comes to in the show is that Ponies find the idea of killing itself to be near incomprehensible, even in self defense actually delivering a killing blow is hard for them.
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
This is another reason why I've had trouble coming up with plans for a pony-themed campaign of my own. Ponies in-show, with very few exceptions, are far nicer than humans. Their entire society is structured around cooperation and being nice to each other.

PCs in an ordinary campaign tend to range from "dark hero" to "antihero" (jumping off the cliff with both feet to "psychotic" if you're playing a non-good campaign). And that's compared to _humans_.

Even relatively good-but-pragmatic PCs would _horrify_ ponies. Which means you either have to integrate "evil-by-pony-standards" PCs into the campaign world, or encourage players to RP "saints-by-human-standards" PCs.

Or you can just make Equestria much grittier, and assume the show was viewed through rose-coloured glasses, but that removes half the point of playing ponies for people like me.

It's an interesting problem.
Malbutorius 16th Mar 2013, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
Well, Someone has to keep Equestria clean, I have an Idea for normal PC Charries in a pony campain without having to change canon, An Elite task force run created by Celestia shortly after Nightmare Moons return, the Elements are to valuble to be sent after every undone monster, since if even a single one of the Elements die there screwed if something big comes (Like Discord), most Ponies can hardly stomach the Idea of death let alone killing, thats were this Elite force comes into play, Old Criminels from a time when ponies werent so nice (Pre-Equestrian founding/During the time when Discord ruled) are De-Petrified to help deal with these threats, They work for Celestia because if they dont they will get stuck back in stone, and maybe, just maybe, they will be set free.
Jannard 16th Mar 2013, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
Couldn't agree more CJT. It is a problem, yes, but it's as much a problem for the DM to solve as much as it is for the players to tackle.

For some reason, it seems "playing saints" is "too standard", when in actuality, being an extreme, it's far from standard, and requires a strong mindset, imagination and cleverness to pull off effectively.

It's a very nice challenge, when done (and accepted) properly.
TheStratovarian 17th Mar 2013, 7:58 PM Savage worlds edit delete reply
I would recommend looking at "The Savage Worlds of My Little Pony" then. They have one of the biggest examples of keeping things clean, even fighting, with never once drawing blood. It takes the biggest fear a party has, and creatively offers ways to fight without fighting.

Fights occur, and you have one of five attack types, Intimidation, or the "How Dare You!" of flutteryshy's glare. Taunt, or Rarities bit with the diamond dogs to get her to hush, and the gems that fell on them. Diplomacy, or twilight getting and defusing tensions in the winter wrap up. Grace, or Rainbow dashes manuevers with the manticore in s1e2. And even fighting itself, though lesser used, for many things like the changelings pinning and tackling.

The reason you don't go for blood for all that, is "The vow against violence" which nullifies the xp gained at the end of a session for the group. Given that your non-combat skills work for combat, and your defenses are based on stats, it makes for a unique setting.

TheStratovarian 17th Mar 2013, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
I meant persuasion instead of diplomacy, whups, sorry there.
CJT 18th Mar 2013, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to have to remember the "vow against violence" bit, as the mechanics that work best are ones that directly reward players for actions you want (in this case, they get XP for nonviolent solutions).
TheStratovarian 18th Mar 2013, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
Part of why it works so well is that you can fight non-violently, but that combat characters, are not set aside in favor of skills. But look up the fellow giftkrieg on deviantart, you can find the ruling of how that works on the savage world template, alot of the pdf was modded for being compliant with the current askances of Savage World's effective eula on settings. For example, persuasion can be used to at higher skill levels with an equivalent feat to talk to animals as fluttershy did. You can also even recreate the stare, or the voice. There are vocations even by choice. And with how the system works, players upgrade on their paths linearly. The biggest issue is power scaling to unicorns, but one big factor in part, is that earth and pegasi have specials plus usually better skills and attributes (which are raised pc side) a unicorn to learn magic has to spend the skills for that, and that takes feats, instead of learning new skills/upgrading stats.
Sin'dorei 16th Mar 2013, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Derailing the plot is easy. Following the plot to the letter so closely it makes the DM ragequit from exasperation? THAT is an art.
Sjosten 17th Mar 2013, 11:14 PM edit delete reply
How do you do that? Follow orders when the GM/DM expects you to do something else?
Pinkius 18th Mar 2013, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
Na, it's when you go through the encounters and dialogues so closely to what the dungeon master guide estimates, that the DM gets bored out of his/her mind
DanielLC 16th Mar 2013, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
I can only assume the mane 6 are in denial of what happens in the everfree forest, and they don't realize that killing them vs. sending them back is just the same option repeated twice.
ANW 16th Mar 2013, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Bye bye town?
Laurence 16th Mar 2013, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
I loved how moving the word of emphasis from one word to another completely changed the meaning of Pinkie's outburst. I also loved how both versions were spot on.
Guest 16th Mar 2013, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
TheGreat&PowerfulMaxwell 16th Mar 2013, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
The Great and Powerful Maxwell inquires if there is any site what lets one play D&D online. Not the MMPRG though, a nomal table-based one. Ponies are optional.
Guest 16th Mar 2013, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
I don't have any particular DnD links, however we have a great forums over on Pony Tales:
It works very well in Play-by-Post format and over skype since it doesn't require a board. Though I'm certain there are DnD ones out there too.
Metool 17th Mar 2013, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
For D&D, and most other battle-grid based RPGs, there are sites like, and for Pathfinder, there's forums. If you play without battlegrids, you could get a bot in an IRC channel, probably.
tuxgeo 18th Mar 2013, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
One site I have seen recommended for playing D&D online is:
AABaker 19th Mar 2013, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
If you're looking to play D&D online the place to go is It lets you download a free program that simulates a desktop and has a forum where you can hook up with groups who play online using it.
Tatsurou 16th Mar 2013, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Idea for next comic.

DM: Unfortunately for your plan, the parasprites do have one natural innate ability which is the only thing that keeps them alive in the wild.
RD: Oh yeah? And what's that?
DM: 'Charm Threat.' As soon as any creature develops threatening intentions towards a parasprite, the ability kicks in. In the case of all of you, you now have to make a will save throw.
FS: Well, that's not so bad...
DM: And since all of you found my parasprite miniature so adorable, I think it's fair to give you a -5 penalty for the roll.
Twilight, Rarity, and AJ: WHAT?
DM: Well, the 'Charm Threat' skill builds on whatever natural aesthetic appeal the parasprite has for the target. Since you found it adorable, you take a penalty.
RD: But... if we fail our Will Save, then we won't be able to hurt the parasprites!
FS: Well, I suppose then we could always go back to relocation...
DM: Actually, if it succesfully charms you, you will be overcome with the desire to keep it as a pet.
AJ: That's a doozy you made there.
PP: What about me? I nat 20'd my History check!
DM: Doesn't matter. If you're a threat to the Parasprite's, you're still succeptible to charm.
PP: ... what if I'm not a threat?
DM: You're planning extermination.
PP: What if I come up with a plan to get them out of town safely without causing any harm?
DM: ...tell you what. If you can come up with an idea that gets the parasprites out of town without causing harm to them or ever being even slightly threatening to them, all without any help from any of the others who get charmed... I'll roll with it.
PP: *biggestgrinever.gif* Where in Ponyville can I get a trombone?
Tatsurou 16th Mar 2013, 5:44 PM edit delete reply
Actually, the funny thing is...
Given that Pinkie Pie's the Bard, couldn't she actually perform a 'Pied Piper' style performance to lead all the Parasprite's out of town as part of her class skills? And using all the instruments at once adding to how impressive the show is, amplifying the charm effect of the performance as long as she rolls high enough to pull it off?
Akouma 16th Mar 2013, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
Yes, she's capable of attempting that in theory (and with a mildly lenient DM), but there's definitely a penalty associated with attempting to play every instrument ever simultaneously. Plus encumbrance since instruments are heavy. Plus the standard "I'm the DM and I dislike when my players go THIS far off the rails" penalty. (Which is nonexistent, I was kidding of course.)

Now, given Pinkie's Diplomacy minus penalties, Pinkie should probably successfully charm the parasprites on any roll in which the DM will subsequently scream "Aw come on!" Being Pinkie and thus being best pony, she will of course succeed easily.
CJT 16th Mar 2013, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
We haven't actually been shown what her instrument-of-choice is; for all we know, "one-man band getup" is it. Collecting all of the pieces becomes her side-quest for the adventure.

For bonus points, she can use the "fast-talk GM" skill to argue that a parade counts as a type of party, and apply her cutie-mark bonus.

Pinkie does seem to have both a good grasp of the rules and a knack for lateral thinking in how to apply them.
Akouma 17th Mar 2013, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
Were I Pinkie's DM, I would totally accept "a parade is a form of party" as a valid way to get the bonus. But she's not really forming a parade. It just happens to look like one if you don't realize what she's doing.
Metool 17th Mar 2013, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about 4E, but I'm fairly sure that Pathfinder has a bard spell that does exactly that, Tatsurou. As for instrument-of-choice, I hear there are such categories as Perform (sing), Perform (oratory), and Perform (dance), in 3.5 edition at least.
*Sigh* 16th Mar 2013, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
Hey Newbie, looking back on this page I have to wonder, is there any specific reason why you used the "Rainbow Dash and Rarity making an outfit" scene for that panel? It looks just a bit odd looking at it again.

I mean, I know you have limited options by choosing the show as an art medium, but still, it's just a bit odd if it's never brought up.
ShadowDragon8685 17th Mar 2013, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
@ *Sigh*: Presumably Rarity needed a model for a dress for the parade, and Rainbow Dash got tagged "it." Possibly she's planning another slew of dresses, and the Parasprite Swarm through Ponyville hits Carousel Boutique and annihilates the dresses.

@Newbiespud: Come on, you can't just leave us hanging like that.

What's the story behind "Why shouldn't we just kill these guys?" and how badly did it derail the game, on the Henderson Scale?
Jesin 17th Mar 2013, 7:29 PM edit delete reply
I just looked up "Henderson scale". That was entertaining.
Mooncalf 17th Mar 2013, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
As a GM, I've always stuck to two rules:
1: Allow the players to do what they want to.
2: Let them face the consequences of their actions.

None of that "we're the only real people in a world of faceless NPCs without lives, only we matter" mentality some players develop from computer games. My world is as real as I can make it, NPCs have lives and are just as good at deviating from the script as the players.

One player I had decided to attack a city guard without provocation, on the assumption that he was level 1. Why? because "no one stats out the guards properly, because the players aren't supposed to attack them". He essentially thought he could exploit the equivalent of a programming bug. Boy was he pissed when the unexpectedly high-level guard trounced him and threw him in jail.

In another case, the party's fighter was charmed by a beholder they had attacked (it reasoned that fighters have weak minds). When the druid attacked the beholder, the fighter retaliated by attacking the druid full out, and killed him. After the fight, she whined loudly about how the beholder "had made her kill her friend"... whereupon I pointed out that at no point had the charm actually compelled her to do anything specific, and she chose to kill her friend. Of course she still refused to take the blame.

Oh, and regarding those parasprites, it's obvious that they have evasion and an absurdly high dexterity. Twilight can *try* to take 'em out, but Ponyville will suffer more than the sprites.
... 18th Mar 2013, 4:21 AM edit delete reply
Rule 3: Never derail yourself with it ;)

There is nothing worse than a world in peril and an outlined storyline when all characters are in court pointing fingers and shouting "OBJECTION" for four sessions because at some point the DM forgot the trial was supposed to be a punishment and reminder to stay "normal". It was fun and all but after that the background and the world were nothing but a blur and we had to continue as a "adventure of the week"/political adventure for most sessions as we just didn't know how to go on (and the world should be destroyed at least thrice during the trial...)
Stairc 17th Mar 2013, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud, you'll have to forgive me, but which session was that where the fateful words were uttered, "why shouldn't we just kill these guys"? I remember the question, but I can't remember anything else about it.
Newbiespud 18th Mar 2013, 1:53 AM edit delete reply
It was the "return to the Tomb of Madness" session, I think. There was that group from House Tarkanan to greet you when you landed on the continent, and I wanted you guys to kind of play along with them as you worked to end the curse of madness. What you actually did was convince them to tell you their plans and end-goals, look solemnly at each other and agree that they needed to die, and proceed to kill the entire group.

To be fair, the more memorable part of that session was the part where you lured the returning goliath boss Hoaka away from his trap (that I wanted you to go through) into a trap of your own.

That was the first session in that campaign where it felt like everything I'd wanted had been derailed because I hadn't thought everything through. I felt terrible after that one.
Stairc 18th Mar 2013, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Oh, right!

If it makes a difference (I hope it does), that adventure felt very natural. Since it allowed for player agency to thwart NPC plans and manipulate them in a favorable manner - but one that still maintained the overall struggles - it was a fun adventure and a memorable one (I use the example of how fun it was to set up Hoaka the Goliath's doom as the basis for player-controlled environments in encounters). The only reason I didn't remember it here was because it doesn't register as something that was horribly derailed, just as a fun and interesting example of a scenario that allowed players to make meaningful decisions and get creative.
lyric 17th Mar 2013, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
I was hoping that this story arc would let the DM make it up to Pinkie for using her in the last session. This time, she could be the hero! But I was hoping he'd give her secret information again, like last time, but have it be actually useful. Still, I'm interested to see where this is going, instead.
Zarhon 17th Mar 2013, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Calling it now - Fluttershy engages RP mode and comes in defense of the critters. The DM agrees, and offers RP rewards in exchange.

Alternately, the parasprites have bardic charm / pacifism-inducing spells as a form of natural defense against predators.
BlahBlahTheBlah 17th Mar 2013, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
I'd think 'no'. 'They don't know what they are' only pinkie does, so unless she sticks around to tell them they have no idea if these creature's are dangerous. This is De-railing outside of what the characters know and into what the players know.
Guest 17th Mar 2013, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
You (as a pony character) could pretty much deduce everything he said between "there are suddenly 3 of the little buggers" and "they're destorying the bakery", though. Since they seem to be skipping to the part where they ravish anything that fits in their mouths.
BlahBlahTheBlah 17th Mar 2013, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
even under those circumstances the only ponies there are Twilight, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. the other there have no way of knowing whats going on without lowering their numbers and potentially letting them loose into town.
Moonrush 17th Mar 2013, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
Once upon a time, we did a campaign based on a now-extinct MMO that had its own figures (one of those "plug in the cheap plastic toy to actually be able to play stuff!" sales) that happened to have a species that were basically tanks with mind control eyes. The GM's sister's character had decided to max her animal-anything stats for the sake of a bunny army. The BBEG was a snap after we got our new mounts, as you'd expect.
Jason Flare 17th Mar 2013, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
"Why shouldn't we just kill them?"

Justification for everything my party does. Ever.
Sjosten 17th Mar 2013, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
Funny, whenever my players find reason to ask the "why not kill them" question, they immediately start metagaming, trying to think of a reason this one guy is important to the campaign. I think the healer has saved evildoers more than he's saved the heroes.
CJT 18th Mar 2013, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
For us, we were reluctant to break the fantasy equivalent of the Geneva convention by killing the bad guys' parley group (which included one of the most dangerous people in the enemy army).

They still died, during the more conventional battle.

Butchering a parley group would have lost us a fair bit of support among the nobles who'd temporarily banded together to defend against the evil invading force (and we had enough internal political problems already).
Joe England 18th Mar 2013, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Hah! Emphasis humor. Well played.
Cerulean 18th Mar 2013, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
I like the idea that this could end perfectly well, letting you save the final shot of Ponyville in ruins for the total failure of a completely different campaign, and we won't know which one it's going to be.
Metool 18th Mar 2013, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
This may be pedantic of me, but did you mean arc? Because campaign in this context generally means series of adventures, whereas an arc is the time from when something starts being your biggest problem to when it stops being your biggest problem (and I probably have this so wrong).
Sky Song 18th Mar 2013, 5:34 PM edit delete reply
For a campaign I once created, the goal was to get to a castle and stop a war from destroying the kingdom. I only had one person for the campaign, and he wasn't very... into... it. He rarely asked for descriptions, he was more like "bash everything's head's in and think later."

Long story short, there were 10 orcs on the way to the castle and he rushed at them. The only reason he didn't die is because I'm kind. It took 2 days off the journey and his horse became considerably harder to ride.
steeevee 25th Jan 2018, 7:57 PM edit delete reply
to quote a certain Halfling Ranger:
Run my little XP chunks, RUN!