Page 304 - Today I Learned

29th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Today I Learned
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Jun 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
How does that old poster saying go? "Everything I need to know, I learned from Dungeons and Dragons"?

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



TanktheTortoise 29th Jun 2013, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
I love the irony in this scene. You can feel the GM's frustration as he tries to get everyone on the same page, but rather he is the only one on a different one.
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
AOO will teach you all about the meaning of friendship and failing your attack rolls.
ptmc 29th Jun 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
TanktheTortoise 29th Jun 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Attacks of opportunity
Digo 29th Jun 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I've seen more PCs die because their "Friend" didn't want to chance an AoO then I've seen PCs die from an epic-level dragon...
Jason Shadow 29th Jun 2013, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Jason Shadow
Well, at least it's not a death caused directly by an allied Area of Effect attack, right?
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 8:03 AM edit delete reply

I've run with some very unreliable 'allies'.
pony of change 29th Jun 2013, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
in my experience allies are enemies just waiting to happen.
Malroth 29th Jun 2013, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Or for A Dnd 3.5 Half elf Bard2/Warlock1/Binder1/Marshal 1/Mindbender 1 Enemies are just Allies waiting to happen as you throw around 60+ diplomacy checks as standard actions.
ShadowDragon8685 29th Jun 2013, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Maxim 20: If you're not willing to Fireball your own position, you're not willing to win.
Masterofgames 29th Jun 2013, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
And I quote. "The first thing any sensible wizard does is start making themselves fireproof. Cloth armor, spellbook pages, component pouches, and particularly those large beards they seem to love so much, make a wizard a walking fire hazard, even before they cast so much as a single spell, and the destruction of them would more than likely leave said wizard helpless.

"Wizards should also remember that they are squishy. They make unbelievably tempting targets for any and all enemies that may have proficiency in any melee weapon at all. The most common tactic is typically to surround them, and answer any attempt at casting with a reflexive attack. The SECOND thing any sensible wizard does, it train themselves to never hesitate in the defensive casting of Fireball, centered on themselves, and with as much metamagic as they can manage.

"Understandably, the first thing helps a great deal with the second."
aerion111 29th Jun 2013, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
If the discworld wizards didn't have the even more sensible position of 'Yaknow what? Let's not go adventuring. People die when they go adventuring. In fact, let's not cast any spells at all, people occasionally die when spells are cast. Some say hard work can kill someone, so let's not do that either' they would likely adopt that.

Similarly, if the witches had fireballs, they'd adopt that stance too.

Though, obviously, if you're a spontaneous caster you might not want any metamagic without Quickened in there; If it's a full-round action, at least in Pathfinder (not sure about DnD since I see people do it 'wrong' even in Pathfinder), you don't blow up until the start of your next turn. That's a good 6 seconds for people to get the heck out of the way of the ball.
Masterofgames 29th Jun 2013, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
Quickened Maximized Silent Empowered Explosive Fireball centered on myself. Oh the stories I could tell...

I didn't use it QUITE as often as quickened extended time stop, quickened maximized Issac's greater missile storm, maximized Issac's greater missile storm, you can see where this is going, etc, etc, repeat by casting through my familiar, etc, etc, fabricate object - chair, create food and drink - tea, sit back and enjoy the look on your target's face as he stares down just under a thousand max damage magic missiles.

But it was only because I started getting a bit of a reputation.

Honestly, they act like nobody else has ever used spells with knockback to push armies off cliffs. Or used stoneshape to create the cliff in the first place.

FYI, I also pulled that time stop stunt with fabricate object - easel, end explosive runes. It was my dream to someday use the castle of the main villain of an adventure as a giant pinball machine, and the villain as the ball. Never managed to bounce one through his entire lair though, always wound up short in one way or another.

Fat lot of good all those ranks in Knowledge - Geometry and Knowledge - Physics did me...

Why would I do any of these three things? Because what good is killing everyone who attacks you, if you can't do it with some style?

Yes, I had a level of bard, how could you tell?
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
There was a player in the party once that quite enjoyed use of the Non-lethal metamagic so that the party can take prisoners. Thus was born the joke of the "Room Temperature Fireball".
Dusk 30th Jun 2013, 6:58 AM edit delete reply

I'm pretty sure in DnD (3.5 at least) spontaneous casters aren't allowed to make use of Quicken Spell, as it would defeat the point of making spontaneous metamagic a full-round action as opposed to a standard one.
Draxynnic 2nd Jul 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Actually, a full-round action just means it takes both your standard and move action, just like a full attack. It's spells with a one-round casting time (such as Sleep) that don't complete until the start of your next turn. This is explicitly stated under Casting a Metamagic Spell: "Note that this isn't the same as a spell with a 1-round casting time. Spells that take a full-round action to cast take effect in the same round that you begin casting, and you are NOT required to continue the invocations, gestures and concentration until your next turn."

3.5 had a similar line, but I don't have the book on hand to find it. The main difference is that Pathfinder allows spontaneous casters to use Quicken without additional feats.
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Hilarious is that in my party, I'm the wizard and everyone has developed this unhealthy obsession to try and get me equipped to fight in melee combat. XD

Volteccer 30th Jun 2013, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
In my current campaign, one of my allies to lightning-resistant armor exactly because he's a fighter, and another ally (a druid I believe) has a tendency of making him the center of burst attacks.
Disloyal Subject 16th Nov 2013, 11:39 PM Aid edit delete reply
Huh. In their defense, how many PCs even meet epic dragons?
Granted, if they were more concerned with keeping their companions alive, more probably would get that far... One of my favorite characters I've played was in a 3.5 campaign where racial stat modifiers were waived for PCs, & was best described as an orcish hippie. He made a great combat medic - party member's downed & bleeding out? CHARGE! NAT 20! INTIMIDATE CHECK! CURE MODERATE WOUNDS! Nothing like intimidating kobolds into staring, dumbfounded, while you heal your wizard & swagger out of their fortress with thair buddy's brains splattered all over your face, mace, chest, etc.
That was a weird party. We were all Good-aligned, but all expressed it differently, & could've almost been Neutral - the Fighter hated slavers, my Orc Favored Soul was a treehugger & the only one willing to actively seek a nonviolent solution (besides 'run away,' that is), the Ranger hated undead, and the Ranger AND the (Chaotic Neutral - Chaotic Stupid sometimes; ie waving hi at gnoll raiders) were willing to waste healing potions on a stable patient recovered from a prison he might've deserved being in when we could've waited a few hours for me to rest for another day's spells... Oh, and the Fighter & Paladin tried to talk me OUT of giving a decent burial to some women we found raped and murdered by bandits. There's something very wrong when a paladin's talking an orc out of giving the innocent an honorable rest, bigoted guards of an anti-adventurer isolationist nation possibly tracking us be damned.
Pathfidner 29th Jun 2013, 6:09 AM Honestly edit delete reply
Tabletop games are great toll for learning anything - social skills, storytelling, strategy even ethics. And they even trick us into learning when we didn't want to do so in the first place.

BTW: Is your email down? I tried to write you today, but my mail keeps bouncing back. Do you have some new address?
Artsy 29th Jun 2013, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Very wrong clip! I have a hard time believing no one has ever tivo-ed that song, it's got to be in better quality somewhere on youtube.
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Problem solved.
CharginChuck 29th Jun 2013, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Here's the song itself in high quality without the video
Indalecio 29th Jun 2013, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
Thought you were looking for this.
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
That'll work, too.

I was looking for a clip of Billy saying 'same as it ever was' over and over.
Moodyman90 29th Jun 2013, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Now to complete this bit of irony all they need to do is use diplomacy rather then violence.... oh wait.
Dave 29th Jun 2013, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Who cares about diplomacy anymore? Those players can pull off an actual "K.O. by roleplaying". If they keep it up they're probably going to defeat an enemy through guilt-tripping at some point.
Hawk 29th Jun 2013, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
You mean like in Dragonshy?
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Don't ever underestimate your players, or you'll end up with a blind little girl with tremor sense who is totally unstoppable.
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
She was one of the most awesome characters of that series. I even made an NPC for Shadowrun based on her. Not quite as butt-kicking, but was loved by the party for her commentary.
Raxon 1st Jul 2013, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
She is my favorite character.
Zuche 1st Jul 2013, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
I never thought of you and Digo as the Toph love types.
MumaKirby 30th Jun 2013, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
I had a wizard do that once.... Defeat by Guilt-Tripping, I mean.

Neutral Evil, he was quite fond of tormenting his opponents before killing them in violent and creative ways. He had funneled most of his insight (and searched for a power or three that helped) into figuring out what the enemy was afraid of to use it against them.

A local warlord the group had been hired to capture/kill was hiding out in his family castle. Drae took a sadistic pleasure in exploring every inch of the castle, even though the group knew the warlord had barricaded himself in the keep. He was less of an experience gatherer and more didn't want anything getting out of the building alive. A number of perception checks revealed that there were pictures of every member of the Warlord's family going back generations, all taken very good care of (until the rogue started ripping them out of their frames), except one, hidden in the dungeon, a portrait of a rather angry looking woman.

Halfway through the combat with the Warlord, it's going somewhat badly, mostly because Drae's not really doing his job and is entertaining himself killing the soldiers with his knife rather than his magic. Suddenly, Drae looks at the warlord, and I make a... some kind of knowledge check, I forget which. History? I unno. To see if the woman in the portrait was who he thought it was. It was in fact his mother. One illusion spell, and a couple of spectacularly low rolls by the DM, later, Drae is baring down on the Warlord in the form of his mother while he's curled up in a ball crying and apologizing for everything he'd done before Drae slit his throat.

Drae was then detained by his allies, and returned to prison where he waited to be "needed" again.
Digo 29th Jun 2013, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Geez, that combat is going terrible for the players. Can't hit nothing, can't dodge nothing, and I bet the bag of snacks is stale.
Vulpixel 29th Jun 2013, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Reminds me of when we started our campaign. The DM was new to 4E from pathfinder. He gave us no starting items other than clothing and basic sword/dagger, and he wondered why we never dodged anything, and why we always missed. Of course, the (relatively) high lvl enemies didn't help.

It took me 5 months to get an implement on my wizard!
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:35 AM edit delete reply
Yikes! Yeah equipment is really important early on when you lack big bonuses for high levels. :)

AmberAlice 29th Jun 2013, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
This sort of thing used to happen a lot in the second part of the first campaign I was in. We would stay up fairly late playing and end up talking about random things mid-combat due to sleep deprevation or one party member not having anything to do (usually me, the cleric whose turn was always last, or whomever was stuck in the ooze) so said person would derp and rope everyone else into it. Though our DM would also get roped into the convo and we'd lose track of what had happened in combat, though never too badly.
redwings1340 29th Jun 2013, 2:23 PM edit delete reply
Here's a nice way of thinking about the issue at hand:

When people haven't experienced something, it's an opportunity, not something to judge them on. :)
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
That is so true :)
NeutralDemon 29th Jun 2013, 2:49 PM edit delete reply
Well at least Twilight has a lesson for the Princess.
"Don't assume everyone knows what you know and that's okay"
gloomie 29th Jun 2013, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
"... though in the hypotetical case one of your best friends is in the Thieves Guild, not knowing what she knows may not be okay and will very often lead to paranoia and getting owned by low level mobs.
Masterofgames 29th Jun 2013, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
Another quote. This time, in song.

"Don't you know?
You NEVER split the party!
Clerics in the back
to keep the fighters hale and hardy.

The wizard in the middle,
where he can shed some light.

I can link to the song if anyone wants it.
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
Beaten to the punch.

Nobody outlinks me in these comments.

Mink of Snow 29th Jun 2013, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Rax this is not a race.
Raxon 29th Jun 2013, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
Do you have a problem with my race? Do you need another mandatory seminar? You know, the kind that sucks so bad and nobody cares, and all it accomplishes is making you hate the people who demand these things when normally you wouldn't actually have anything against them?

There's a very funny joke here somewhere about Jeff Gordon being one of the foremost experts in race relations, and peace talks with Sonic the hedgehog, but I'm not sure I'm qualified to tell it. I think by law I'm required to have twenty degrees in political science, physics, and mechanical engineering, and when was the last time you say a political science/mechanical engineering expert doing standup?

... I think I may need to cut back on my zero punctuation intake.
Ace the Eagle 30th Jun 2013, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
Do I have a problem with your race?
Depends, human or elf or what?
Raxon 30th Jun 2013, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
I think that's rather obvious! I'm a dorf.
Olon Ironblood 30th Jun 2013, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
[url][text]So, you diggy diggy hole?[/url]
Cain 30th Jun 2013, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
one of my gaming maxims, alongside "DON'T TEMPT FATE BY GIVING THE DM IDEAS"
Joe England 29th Jun 2013, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
I keep thinking of that image of Dash done up like Bowie they threw on the comic series somewhere.
Masterweaver 29th Jun 2013, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
What I find hilarious is that in the final panel, everyone is staring at AJ... except RD, who's got this cocky "Haha pulled one on the GM" grin going on.
MrAskAPirate 29th Jun 2013, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
"The one time I wanted you to focus on fighting..."

Haha, this may actually be my favorite page yet, ^^
aylatrigger 29th Jun 2013, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
While I have learned much from outside of D&D, I attribute my friendships to D&D and God (God as I prayed to have friends, many of them individually and quite specifically...Treat all your friends as gifts from God or the equivalent).

D&D is a valuable tool to breaking the ice as well as being a cooler activity than talking about how your day has gone, what work you are bored with, and what not. For someone who was originally practically friendless and is now at a Pinkie Pie level of gaining and keeping friends, I can attest to it working. Also, it brings people together who already played as well. Example: First day of class, one of the other students drops his butterfly-pen. He says, 'Looks like my Dexterity is too low...' '...So you play D&D?' *insta-friends*. As friends may bring other friends to join games impromptu, it is also a great way to introduce friends together. Some of my friends in college have become friends with my friends from highschool due to skype games. You join a game and you make friends with everyone there, even if you just joined an open group. And it is also a great way to keep friends: you see them at a regular time or maybe you say, 'he/she's a good player, I'll ask him/her to join my next game'. Or if you have fallen out of touch, just ask the person politely if they will like to join a game. Being asked to join a game is like being told your presence is enjoyable and you would be an asset, so while they may be mad with you if you were the one to fall out of touch, at least they know you like them enough to think of them.

So D&D is my friendmaker. Almost all my friends play, and the ones who don't say they may if they have time (most of them have expressed interest in one or two systems I have told them about).
Digo 30th Jun 2013, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
When I started college, I searched for a RPG club and found the campus had one. That was a great way I made friends. So yeah, D&D totally is a friendmaker!
KingArthur5 30th Jun 2013, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
Holy potatoes! I'm all caught up!!! Wow! Newbiespud, thank you so much for making this! I've learned do much about DnDfromyour little tips and some from the commentors! I'm a new player myself, only playing three campaigns that all get cut short (three or four sessions each) because our party keeps getting to mixed and matched. Though I want to play much more than my friends end up getting together to do, it's still a fun esperience! Now I have a lot of help from your tips to be a better player (haven't tried DM yet). Thank you!
Xuncu 30th Jun 2013, 12:34 PM edit delete reply
How 'bout this one?
Tatsurou 30th Jun 2013, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
Rainbow's first line in the next comic:
Rainbow: Wait, we were in combat? Why didn't you say something?
The Captain 30th Jun 2013, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
The Captain
Ah, the beauty of getting sidetracked...Just like the scent of fresh lemon, you see.
Digo 1st Jul 2013, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
Makes sense. I always get sidetracked when I mop the floors with Pine Sol.
Stillz 17th Jul 2013, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
So they're learning a lesson about friendship in a panel in which Spike is inexplicably absent...

I would have found it funny, but nothing kills a laugh like randomly neglecting Spike.
eyespy 23rd May 2017, 9:31 PM YES HE IS! edit delete reply
One of those lines that kinda hurts in retrospect... :(