Page 298 - Total Ruse Reversal

15th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Total Ruse Reversal
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 15th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
And there we go. The "punchline" for A Bird in the Hoof, as it were. We'll be back to A Dog and Pony Show next week.

Oh crap, is it almost 300 pages?!

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



shineyorkboy 15th Jun 2013, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Better safe than sorry when dealing with immortal god-queens.
Destrustor 15th Jun 2013, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
I don't want to scare anyone, but I dreamed about Raxon tonight.
He was an undercover detective for some reason, and he took off his deadpool mask under which he sported an amazingly full and impressive moustache.

Do you realize what I'm saying? HE HAS LEARNED TO INVADE OUR DREAMS! No one is safe! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!
Derpmind 15th Jun 2013, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
No no no, that's not it at all. You've simply internalized your own Raxon. Part of him will be inside your mind forever now.
_R_ 15th Jun 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
...Or, he just could have used the Vulcan Mind Meld.
....nowait, you're right. Nowait, maybe he's a scheming Vulcan dream invader! *screech*
DracoS 15th Jun 2013, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
OUR dreams?

Just 'cause you forgot your tinfoil nightcap...
Rokas 15th Jun 2013, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Hah! That's not Raxon getting into your dreams, that's just the mind virus version of him infesting your subconscious. Be glad that seems to be the worst of the extent, for some of us have it worse. I mean, in my head alone there the giant minotaur lady wielding explosives, the pint-sized gunslinger wolf with a penchant for beam weapons, and of course the most infectious mind virus of all: the Wallbreaker, She Who Laughs Last, the Pink One, the Muse of Muses, Laughter Incarnate, P'gth'ka P'rre R'lyeh (The Pink Demon of R'yleh), the Living Quantum Waveform, Pinkie Pie.

You think your dreams being invaded are bad? Try having to deal with a mind virus version of the Pink One that's infested your waking thoughts. THEN you can panic.
Raxon 15th Jun 2013, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
You think that's bad? When I woke up this morning, my phone had Chrome open to 9gag. I... I didn't even know I had an account there.

What horrible things have I been doing in my sleep? How could I cheat on my beloved menage a trois with reddit and tv tropes?

So... This is shame.

Also, Pinkie has nothing on He Who Must Not be Named, He Who Carries Much Rope, He Who is Voiced By Jeff Bennet, Terror of Camp Wenamigunnagohome, He Who is Narrated by notPaul Harvey(please don't sue), He Who Loves Pie. He who Captured Freakazoid.
definitelynotRaxon 15th Jun 2013, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
Oh, you mean Candle Jack? Hey, I love tha
Raxon 15th Jun 2013, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Durnit! Not again!
Digo 15th Jun 2013, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Someone call Freakazoid...
Rokas 15th Jun 2013, 3:38 PM edit delete reply
I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation.

Pinkie Pie is a Great Old One.

She is an eldritch being whose body was hewn from the living bones of the First World as it was torn asunder in the creation of our present universe. As such she existed before time itself began, and our petty mortal concepts of Time, Space, Conservation of Energy, Entropy, "too much cake", she laughs at these thin veils that shroud our minds from the Madness of Existence, for they crumble at her touch and reveal that which should not be known by those whose minds rely on the faux clockwork of the universe to explain the Questions. The Wallbreaker looks down on our works and both laughs and sighs at the impermanence of our feeble constructs, and mourns even now the times when darkness filled the light, when the worlds were barren and devoid of humor, devoid of life.

Laughter Incarnate, she seeks to revel in the pleasures of amusement, to laugh and laugh with and laugh at and be laughed at, for in that sound, in that merriment is the song that fills her unfathomable soul. Muse of Muses, she inspires and is inspired, creation building upon creation so as to conceive of ideas that even the Great Old Ones cannot define. The Wallbreaker, she tears down the boundaries between individuals and realities, bringing greater understanding and the loss of fears and hatreds. The Pink Demon of R'yleh, she has made even C'thulu crawl back into his slumber and hit the cosmic snooze button, for she irritates him so, the boring lout.

SHE FEARS NOT THE JACK OF CANDLES. For he is but a passing phantom, a mere cultural meme that only has a lifespan measured in years, while she stretches beyond the very fabricc of reality itself. She is the Opener of Ways and Means, and she laughs at Candlejack no matter—

*Cough* Stupid ropes. Thank you, Pinkie, for the rescue.
Pinkie Pie: "No problemo! Man that guy with the candle was really weird but really funny but he was also mean the way he kept taking people who said his name."

Yup. So what happens to him now, Pinkie?

PP: "Oh, I put him in a jar. He's on a time-out until he learns that the mortals of this realm are MY playthings."

Yeah... No matter what, I'll fear the Pink One more. =P
Borg 16th Jun 2013, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Don't fear the Pink One. Where she stakes her claim, no other Great Old One can, and as you said, most of them are boring louts, if not downright rude.
Classic Steve 15th Jun 2013, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
Apparently he comes from the same school of thought as Dr. McNinja's dad. Maybe they're the same guy!
Destrustor 15th Jun 2013, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, now that you mention it, the best way I could describe his face is an even mix of Dan McNinja and that Armstrong guy from Full Metal Alchemist.
Loads of manly charisma.
Raxon 16th Jun 2013, 1:48 AM edit delete reply
As I do not own a camera with which I will be taking selfies to show you(that's what cell phones are for), here is a very close approximation of my appearance.

The only differences are the gold tooth, the jaundice eyes, the white t-shirt, bagpipes, the large muscles, the gloriously enviable ponytail, the manly body hair, the shade of the hair, the exact style of the facial hair, and the fact that he has a machine gun in his peg leg.

Other than that, a pretty faithful recreation.
GrayGriffon 16th Jun 2013, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Raxon, You are officially my favorite. For a while it was defiantly not Raxon. But he has yet to make a samurai Jack reference.
Raxon 16th Jun 2013, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
Funny thing, I actually do look similar. I even have a saimilar massive claymore, though it's really more of a flamberge.

I have others, but they're not here with me, and the closest one is a custom job, and totally combat awesome and weighs like eight pounds.
494alex 15th Jun 2013, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
"Hey there, I'm Deadpool. I'm a dick. A private dick. A detective! Anyway..."
killerhellhound 16th Jun 2013, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
Hi I'm back
and I have fully turned bronie and I dont have anything infesting my dreams not even the pink one but that may be because I on good terms with some other things from beyond the vale and a Great Wyrm Gold dragon
Raxon 17th Jun 2013, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket... Wait a tic. Didn't I already make this reference? I think I did. Cursives! Boiled again! Well, I fried my best.
_R_ 15th Jun 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
It would be funny if Celestia finds out that Rarity's a tief at the end of the webcomic(not that I would want that to happen anytime soon) and reveals that the Guild is actually an agency for the government and steals only from worse criminals. Then the players eventually proceed to beat up the DM.
Also, I just noticed the guards are carrying a cage made out of solid gold. With their mouths.
Bacch 15th Jun 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, it might just be gilt.
The Captain 15th Jun 2013, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
The Captain
Royal Guard training in Equestria has a program specifically designed to strengthen jaw muscles!
_R_ 15th Jun 2013, 3:08 PM edit delete reply does that work? You chew on Jawbreakers?
Anyways, everyone knows that isn't the specialty of the guards. What the guards are known for is...wife-throwing.
JadeCriminal 16th Jun 2013, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
This is relevant to your interests:

Zuche 17th Jun 2013, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
That tale was a magnificent jest.
DoubleCross 15th Jun 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Bloody hell. Three-hundred pages, and I'll be at home to see it. Excellent.

I'll break out the grape juice.
Rokas 15th Jun 2013, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
Panel 4: Philomena has one of those "That moment when you realize..." moments.

Smiling Dash sub-panel is best sub-panel. Seriously, could she get more adorable while still remaining awesome? Possibly!

...Look, I have nothing to say about the comic itself other than the usual: it's extremely well-written, the screencaps are exquisitely chosen, and it's overall a fun experience. But if I just keep saying that by rote it'll lose meaning, so I gotta mix it up. =P

Good work as always, Newbiespud. Please accept my pre-congratulation one 300 comics; do not open until the actual 300th comic, as the booby trap is already set and C-4 can really mess up a computer when it's detonated nearby.
PikalaxALT 15th Jun 2013, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Oh snap, you'll have to do a quadruple-length page on Thursday!

I can just imagine the DM trying to stifle his laughter, then SQUAWKing and causing the whole party to burst into an uncontrollable laughing fit. Has your DM ever done something so ridiculous, the entire party couldn't stop laughing?
Digo 15th Jun 2013, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
Or we should like, do some fanart and flood Spud's inbox? :3
Astartus 15th Jun 2013, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Well, it reminds me a bit of how our gamemaster does animal voices. Or rather, tries to. His deer went "Moooo", then his raven went "Ba-goook", and finally his owl went "Tchilp"... I think he's really really bad at that.
Wyvern 15th Jun 2013, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
Animal problems as bad as hummingbirds that hum and a buzzard that buzzes?
Digo 16th Jun 2013, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
I think I would have died laughing if I were there. Heh, deer that moos...
Raxon 15th Jun 2013, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
SO! Storytime today is about players or characters already knowing a big secret that others thought was kept from them! I get to start!

In securing his home, Raxon went to visit the Olympians to tell Zeus that he'd kick their collective plots if Zeus(or anyone else) came anywhere near his girls, because he's a bard and a historical scholar, and he knows how those things end. There were some minor miscommunications, and also the fact that the Olympians consider themselves gods, while Raxon doesn't even recognize them as aspect deities.(It's a whole thing, I don't wanna go into it for fear of starting a flame war.)

Raxon ends up grievously wounding Ares, collecting a cupful of ichor, and then healing Ares up. By stealing his wounds. And then healing himself. He had a reason for this. "Well, I've heard this stuff is lethal. Bottoms up." He picks up the cup and drinks it. He's asked about some 'divine ones' he mentioned, and he explains, though his words are slurred. He excuses himself, and staggers out of the temple. Dionysus goes out and brings him back in a few minutes later, looking much, much better.

"To what do I owe this honor?" Athena smiled and said, "You have proven yourself powerful and cunning. I wish to accompany you for a while." Raxon smiled at this. "My lady Athena, are you actually asking my permission?" Athena shook her head. "I do not need your permission, mortal."

Athena joins his family to spy on him and see if he's a threat that the Olympians need to take him out. Raxon asks her to disguise herself, since he has certain family members that would not react well to her presence. He thinks the secret is well kept. Practically everyone in the house knows except him.
Rokas 15th Jun 2013, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
When the drunken, inbred hillbillies of Olympus get involved, you know it's gonna be interesting.
Raxon 16th Jun 2013, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Damnit! I just realized I could have tossed in a great joke where Raxon offers to exchange the sanctity of his family in exchange for delivering sacrificial pubescent boy toys to Mount Olympus once a month.

And Raxon would have meant it!
Zuche 17th Jun 2013, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
Hillbillies? I don't think I've seen the Olympians better summarized in one word, Rokas. I suspect they'd hate the comparison too.
Digo 16th Jun 2013, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm... don't think I have one of these. Unless NPCs count? I had an NPC that knew she was the BBEG's illegitimate daughter. Didn't tell anyone because... well it was embarrassing.

When the PCs found out, they didn't tell her in case she'd snap or something bad. They figure she would be better off ignorant.
Well, when the BBEG got confronted, she cut off her dad's monologue for one of her own and that stunned the PCs.
The Captain 15th Jun 2013, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
The Captain
300 pages of greatness and counting. When I originally read this comic I read it all from start to finish in like two days, so I don't think I really understood the sheer magnitude of content it holds. Seeing that it's almost at 300 is really awesome and really surprising.
Tatsurou 15th Jun 2013, 2:52 PM edit delete reply
I was trying to think of how page 300 could be made especially extra epic, and somehow my mind wandered to how Discord could be translated into a campaign...and I remembered all the stories about solo challenges.

When Discord separates the group, each of them faces a solo challenge...and winds up failing the will save to prevent the effect. As a penalty, they are required to act a certain way in character until the effect is reversed, and they get into it because they don't want to break the campaign with meta-gaming and OOC talk. In addition to their special challenge, their alignment is temporarily shifted. If they act in such a way that shifts their altered alignment, it gets in the way of changing them back.

Applejack's challenge is that everything she says must be a lie. Her alignment becomes Chaotic Evil.
Rarity is supposed to act like a selfish b****. Her alignment is shifted to Evil.
Pinkie Pie is not allowed to laugh. She ends up getting mean from bottling up her laughter (this is why she's laughing uproariously when she's changed back, finally being allowed to let it out.) Her alignment is left as is.
Fluttershy has to act deliberately cruel. Her alignment is shifted to evil.
DM's first clue is when Rainbow fails her check. Rather than accept a challenge, she declares that Discord is an unfair villain and actually Ragequits the game, leaving the party for a time.

The problem is, when the four trying to stay in character keep doing so, it winds up breaking Twilight, and she leaves the table, because she can't understand why her friends are acting the way they are. At this point, we get the screencaps of Spike belching up the Friendship Reports...but with the DM explaining to Twilight what's going on, realizing that he's gone too far here. As Twilight realizes that this has all been part of the first she gets pissed, but then she gets determined.

After most of the players have been 'broken free' of enchantment, they have to go after Rainbow - wherever her player has gone - and convince her to come back to the game and give it another chance.

The Harmony Cannon turned against Discord is then done based on dice rolls - Discord crit fails his evasion - taking a sequence of rolls from each player adding up to hit Discord's hit point total to turn him to stone, thus making even the use of the Dues ex Machina feel like an earned victory.

Then Pinkie makes the DM write another letter to Celestia.
Guest 15th Jun 2013, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
This is glorious. GLORIOUS.
ShadowDragon8685 15th Jun 2013, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
I want to +1 the glory of Tatsurou's post, and also want to see the DM write to Celestia again. :)
Tatsurou 16th Jun 2013, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
And here is what the DMs plan was originally.

The players face the challenges. As long as one of them fails, if they try to use the Elements against Discord, the Elements don't work because they aren't in Harmony, and are scattered across the world. If none of them fails the challenge (including Twilight when she faces hers, which got cancelled when Rainbow ragequit), then Discord scatters them himself. As a result, the DM FINALLY gets to use the world-exploration notes he made way back in the Nightmare Moon story arc, as the players explore the world to track down the Elements, while at the same time dealing with both a chaotically recreated world AND whatever players are Discorded.

And of course, taking this into account leads to the following Alt-Script:

DM: Having called you to the plain, Celestia comes in on her royal carriage.
Rainbow: Looks like we get this campaign straight from the horse's mouth.
Pinkie: *giggle*
Celestia: My little ponies, it is so good to see you again. I have a small task for you, if you are willing.
Twilight: We'll do what we can-
DM: Other guards arrive, towing another carriage that holds the petrified Discord.
Twilight: ...I'm prepping my dailies.
Rainbow: I'm readying my maneuvers.
Rarity: This better be good.
AJ: Hope you can run fast, DM.
DM: Umm...
Celestia: My little ponies, I was hoping that you all might attempt to rehabilitate Discord, so that he-
Twilight: No.
Rainbow: Buck no.
Rarity: Out of the question.
DM: Now don't you think-
Pinkie: I'm loading an actual cannonball into my party cannon.
Fluttershy: I'll hand her the match.
DM: Wait, you're going to smash him when he's helpless?
Twilight: After what he did to us in campaign - and what he NEARLY did to us for real - can you blame us?
DM: But...think how useful a reformed Discord would be if you got in a real jam-
AJ: Sugar cube, if we need to call on Discord for any campaign, then it's poorly planned from the beginning.
DM: ...okay...I guess you're right...*tosses notes aside*
Twilight: I take it we broke the session again?
DM: Yep.
Twilight: Oddly enough, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty this time. *glares at DM* I wonder why?
DM: all are never going to forgive me for what happened with Discord, huh?
Rainbow: Forgive? Maybe someday. Let you forget it? Never.
Rarity: Well, you've had practice making up sessions from scratch, so...we'll give you some time to do that.
DM: Okay,'re all going back to the Crystal Empire.
Twilight: Really? Sounds cool. Why?
DM: I don't know...the Olympics!
AJ: Wait, what?
DM: *blinks twice*
Celestia: The Crystal Empire is one of the cities that might possibly host the Equestrian Games. Princess Cadance had requested your help in convincing the Games Inspector, Miss Harshwhinney-
Rainbow: *roflmao* HARSHWHINNEY?
Celestia: -to host the games in the Crystal Empire. Now, I had thought you would be busy with reforming Discord, but since you don't want to attempt that...
Zuche 17th Jun 2013, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou, your alt scripts are delightful. I'm not going to compare them to the main comic or the Lyntermas interpretations for fear of slighting any five of you and being poorer thereby.

Hah. How did I not notice that all three of you have three-syllable names before this? We just need two more of you and one four syllable candidate to assemble the Elements of Storytelling.