Page 318 - Echo Location

1st Aug 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Echo Location
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 1st Aug 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's a new month, which means there's four weeks left for people to submit guest comics for the upcoming sabbatical. It's also exactly two weeks until my birthday as of today, now that I think about it. I'll be turning 21 this month.

So far, I have four guest comics already submitted and finalized, and I've been directly informed that at least two more are in progress. At this point, I have my doubts about reaching the magical 25-page goal (regular updates for all 8.5 weeks), but anywhere between 8 to 16 at the end of August is something I can work with. That would be one to two updates per week. Not full speed ahead for Friendship is Dragons, but hey, it's a sabbatical.

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



Digo 1st Aug 2013, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
I will expidite my progress as best I can. I have a 7-page ambitious project I'm attempting to construct.

Also ~ Those poker faces. Perfect screen cap.
Raxon 1st Aug 2013, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
The cavalry is a-comin'!
Tell a story about dogs, or any animals, playing a key role in your campaign.
Digo 1st Aug 2013, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
There was one combat where I was curb-stomping the party with an elder Treant. The sorcerer was down to 3 hit points.
He handed an Empowered Shocking Grasp spell (modified to deal Fire energy) to his cat familiar (the only time he ever used that cat) and sent it to deliver the spell in a "Hail Mary" sort of play.

The cat managed to crit the touch attack PLUS rolled two points shy of maximum possible damage. Then adding the 50% bonus damage from being an Empowered spell, THEN taking into account the Treant's vulnerability to fire...

...It was like a christmas tree douced in kerosene.
Raxon 1st Aug 2013, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
So, it was like an ordinary eucalyptus tree, except less flammable?
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
There was the one time a character's weasel familiar performed a coup de grace against the adventure's BBEG, despite doing only 1 hp of damage. Ferret face was impossible to live with for the next few weeks, taking any excuse to boast about her hunting prowess.

I felt kind of bad about that, not because it wasn't a great scene. It was just that all the hard work to whittle the enemy down had been done by party members who were unconcious at the time. The courageous paladin and hulking fighter didn't deserve to be shown up by the wizard's familiar.
Digo 1st Aug 2013, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
Dang, I'd totally be upset if I were one of the warriors. I hope the mage didn't gloat on that.
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
She was preoccupied with trying to keep her familiar's swelled head from developing into a terminal condition.
Malroth 3rd Aug 2013, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
Correction, Courageous Paladins and Hulking Fighters ALWAYS deserve to be shown up by the familiar/animal companion/summoned monkey/Dominated former villian now sidekick.
Kynrasian 1st Aug 2013, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Well, a friend of mine once told me the story of how the party tamed a mimic who wound up saving their lives in the final battle and making victory possible.
Dee 1st Aug 2013, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
They weren't EXACTLY key to the campaign, but there were a few animals that contributed to some character development... In our previous campaign, we had this girl (who had never played before) as our druid. When she first entered the campaign, she had a wolf as her companion, and she sent it ahead to investigate the hallway ahead of us. Needless to say, there was a trap and it died right then and there. She was kind of upset, so our DM lets her make a roll to get a new companion a few months later. This time she got a weasel, and he was seriously annoying. She didn't want to deal with having to talk to him, so she lets him live in her backpack. A few months go by with very little interaction between the two, but then we're in this tough fight and she gets, well, blown up. We had an item that would cast true resurrection on us when we needed it, so we all knew she was fine, but her pack was blown to smithereens. It was about three weeks later that she finally asked about her weasel, to which our DM replied "Well, he exploded with you, remember?" So now she's down her SECOND companion. From then on, every animal that she saw would run away screaming "The Shadow!" and she had no idea why. She was finally able to stop a little mouse and ask, and it replied that she was now infamous in the animal kingdom for getting her companions killed, and her new nickname among the animals was "The Shadow that Precedes Death," After a while she was given a polar bear by her god because it might redeem her if she took good care of it, and it would be a lot tougher to kill.
Darkside 1st Aug 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
My brother-in-law told me the story of a wizard whose enchanted fluffy kitten familiar was basically his primary non-spell weapon.

Said kitten was enchanted to always be an adorable ball of fluff and it also had +4 Vorpal claws. And it went spastic if it wasn't with the wizard.

So the wizard would chuck the kitten at enemies and watch it saw their heads off.
TheOrchestralBrony 1st Aug 2013, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
Oh god, Blood the Rabbit.

Ok, first off, she didn't really play a key role, per-say, but she did help us make it through many parts of our campaign.

See, our story begins with my favorite character, Kaizen/Nebris/Lux.

If you don't know the story, they are a multiple personality changeling. Lux is a cowerdly cleric, Nebris is a kleptomaniac rogue, and Kaizen is an insane bloodthirsty barbarian. Now you know.

Anyways, as we were travelling one day, I had Nebris out. for some reason he shifted into Kaizen, who immediately wanted to kill something. Leo, our ranger, quickly pointed Kaizen towards a group of rabbits, determined to keep the uneccissary murder to a minimum.

Kaizen killed the rabbit hunter that was nearby.

He then picked up a random bunny and proclaimed that her name was Blood.

Leo pointed out that there was not a drop of blood on her.

Kaizen then calmly and slowly cut open Leo's hand, and rubbed Leo's blood over the bunny's head.

And from that point on, My changeling had a pet bunny, who constantly had blood on her. Oh, wait. You want a story where she DOES something.

Well, how about the time she continually rolled better survival checks than us while we were lost in the woods? She kept going out, and a few minutes later, bringing back wolves and bears for us to eat.

Or how about the times where she single handedly killed a Dire Wolf? Yes, I did say times. As in plural.

Or perhaps the time where she helped Kaizen and the party mutilate an entire town? I posted that one a few pages back, you're welcome to go find it!

Or how about the time where she became...

whoops, almost forgot! The rest of the party doesn't know about that one! Sorry, no spoilers here!

Well, at any rate, I think you get the gist of it. Blood is the most badass bunny on the planet, second ONLY to Angel.

And ONLY slightly less awesome than Angel.
Tatsurou 1st Aug 2013, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Animal antics...oh, I have so many of those stories.

I remember one time, my character was a little girl with a penchant for getting into serious trouble. Seriously, her major flaw was "Trouble Magnet". Anyway, most of the points of that flaw went into her pet/familiar, an R.O.U.S. that was granted the ability to control lightning. Because she loved it so much and liked bright colors, she dyed its fur yellow.

That's right. I came up with an in game explanation for having a pet Pikachu in a high fantasy campaign. His name was Fluffywhiskers.

And of course, this was the High Seas campaign, where nearly everything we encountered had some amount of water affinity. You can imagine how useful Fluffywhiskers was.
Norgarth 1st Aug 2013, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
This one game, the party was fighting a virtually endless horde of monsters pouring out of a magical gateway. the button to close the gateway is on the wall next to the gate. So the party has to fight through the monsters to close the gate, or that's what the GM expects. After a few rounds of combat (the monster drop easy enough there's just so _many_ of them), the Druid get an idea. He sends his companion (an owl) flying over the horde and tags the button. GM proceeds to facepalm.
HenshinFanatic 1st Aug 2013, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
Not from a campaign, but otherwise fits the criteria. In one season of D&D Encounters I was playing a Kobold rogue who happened to have a female displacer beast as a pet (called her Nala). The first actual session we end up fighting off some brigands at an inn. Well after some poor rolls on our part and good rolls on the DM's side our entire team was dying or dead except for Nala who had 1 HP left and like 8 of the bandits that we had been fighting none of which had gotten bloodied yet. For the rest of that battle I played Nala and soloed those 8 bandits without Nala being hit or my main character dying. I think the DM fudged some of the NPC's HP just to expedite the battle so it wouldn't drag on. The rest of that season my party had to deal with my Kobold rogue (who was a LG follower of Bahamut for reasons) going on about how my pet displacer beast Nala had saved our collective asses.
Chejop Kejak 1st Aug 2013, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
Back in my day when all Exalted games were deadly duels involving powers most of you younger gamers could barely comprehend I had a moment when a simple ferret familiar some young pup had managed to get the party out of what I had thought was a sure kill situation.

A party of 5 Essence 3 Exalted were strong armed on board a wealthy married couples boat to provide entertainment as they journeyed down river, problem was that their host was the Essence 10 Solar Exalt Desus, who for those not in the know is a party wiping mind raping 100% pure asshole who instead of actually being the hero his reputation paint him as, he is a jaded thrill seeker who gets his jollies off mentally abusing anyone around him, especially his wife.

and our party started its escape because the ferret was on the ball enough to keep and eye on everyone from a distance and when the inevitable attack came we were free quick enough to take advantage of his unprepared state and explode him out the side of his own boat...and into the mouth of a mountain sized fish we had beaten earlier and tamed.
Arthur 1st Aug 2013, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
In my first campaign as a DM, I played fairly loose with a few of the rules. We had a druid and a ranger, and animal empathy got used far more often a successfully that should be probable.

The druid seemed to constantly roll well on her checks, and it became a running joke that she always rolled nigh-perfectly if she offered the creature squid, which she always had in her backpack.

After rolling a natural 20 while attempting to calm a raging owlbear, she decided to take it along as a travelling companion called Squiddy. (Yes, I do now know that owlbears are magical beasts, I was a very lax DM ><) She also rolled twenties when she met two separate displacer beasts, who then also became travelling companions, called Dave and Ammy.

In the penultimate dungeon, the displacer beasts' tentacles were used in place of ropes in an impromptu grapple on a wizard who needed interrogating. In the penultimate encounter of the game, against a blue dragon, displacer beasts attacks were what finished off the beast.

Squiddy, Dave and Ammy have certainly got an influence outside the game too, a particularly tight hug is colloquially known amongst our group as a Squiddy hug, from his particularly high grapple mod.
Wyvern 1st Aug 2013, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
One PC was complaining about her boyfriend not appreciating her, so the talking cat asked, "If you want him to know you're mad at him, why don't you just poop on his bed?" She had no answer to that...
JohnBobMead 1st Aug 2013, 6:17 AM Turning 21 edit delete reply
I remember turning 21. Mind, that was 31.5 years ago; I'm a December baby. 21 was an interesting year.
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
I remember interesting years. They're so much better in retrospect.
DoubleCross 1st Aug 2013, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
Hey, but before you reach 21 I'll be joining you at 20 for a whole two days!

And then we'll be in the same decade again!
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
But isn't it still 2013 for both of you?
DoubleCross 1st Aug 2013, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Not that kind of decade...
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
You mean the kind that doesn't go up to ten?

Seriously, though, you'll both be in the same decade once you turn 20, as you'll both be starting your third decade. The count is measured from commencement, not completion.
DoubleCross 1st Aug 2013, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, that's what I mean. We'll have ages with matching tens digits again. I'll be joining him at 20 for two days because he turns 21 two days after I turn 20.
Raxon 1st Aug 2013, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Umicross is only 19? Shame on you, Spud! You should know better than to pick a lady from the vine before she's matured and ripe! This is a properly matured woman!

This is also quite acceptable.

But not this one, clearly she hasn't matured enough yet.
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
I'm impressed that there will be any updates at all on the time you'll be taking off. This technology is so far beyond me that I have to check tutorials for the tutorials people send me for doing things like this, only to discover that I'd need help with the tutorials necessary to understand those tutorials to the tutorials.
Digo 1st Aug 2013, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
Well my brain BSOD'd trying to parse that.
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
And this is just one more reason I don't write comedy.
Ace the Eagle 1st Aug 2013, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
Story Time!
Tell about a time a player sued you about a tabletop RPG.
1st time: Was because we were playing Pathfinder not 4e. Judge laughed then fainted was taken to hospital
2nd time: Person said I was stealing Pathfinder by not doing a Society games. Paizo directly explained it to her
3rd time: Guy sued me cause his character died and I quote "Didn't immediately resurrect him" I mean really.
At least I never payed any of these freaks money
Anno1066 1st Aug 2013, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
The poker faces remind me of one.

I was running a Spycraft campaign in which the party found themselves in Japan and having to do business with the Yakuza. For the life of me, I can’t remember how they came up with this plan, but their strategy was to impersonate the Russian Mafia while they did this.

I asked how they planned to pull this off. The faceman says, “I speak Japanese with a Russian accent.”

It earned him an action die.

So, they go to a Yakuza bar to meet with some lower-level guys and, predictably, the plan falls apart. A botched roll led to an insult and the two guys they’re talking to stand up and reach for weapons. Everyone in the bar’s been watching and they all do the same.

Roll initiative.

No one but the players gets higher than 10.

Our wheelman goes first. He quickdraws his tazer (he had quickdraw specifically because he thought quickdrawing a tazer was the funniest thing ever. Still does.) and hits the first guy.

Natural 20. He spends an action die to activate it and the guy goes down.

Our soldier goes next. Quickdraws his 10-gauge shotgun (because the wheelman convinced him this would be almost as funny. Thank the faceman for how he managed to get the thing into the bar) and fires at the second guy.

Natural 20. An action die later, and that guy goes down in a rain of chunky salsa.

Without missing a beat, our faceman’s player stands up from the table, cracks his knuckles and makes a show of looking around. He grins and, still in his Russian accent, he says, “who is for me?”

I tried, but I just couldn’t justify continuing the fight after that. Everyone in the bar quietly peed themselves and sat back down.
Zuche 1st Aug 2013, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Great line. Yeah, a comment like that is just too cinematically perfect to let the fight continue after it's said.

Still chuckling. Well done.
Digo 1st Aug 2013, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Hahaha, that is brilliant!
Grrys 1st Aug 2013, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Dear Celestia, Newbie, I'm 2 weeks older than you!
Destrustor 1st Aug 2013, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday!
CharginChuck 1st Aug 2013, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
Holy crap, those Diamond Dog faces! One thing I love about this comic is that the screencaps you use always show me things I never noticed, even on repeated viewings.
EricStarstorm 1st Aug 2013, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
I do have a story, but it's not that great.

This was during the first session of a new campaign that me and some internet friends of mine are doing. I play a human sorcerer, there were two Dragonborns, and an Elven ranger to boot (the rest, I don't remember too well).

We were fighting a giant spider as sort of a tutorial battle, because most of us had never played DnD before and needed to be introduced to the combat scenario. I myself had a bit of experience, but not in version 4. Anyway, keep in mind our party was, like, six people.

Other than myself and the ranger, EVERYTHING missed. The Dragonborn both used their Dragon Breaths and missed, the swordmage and fighter were flailing around aimlessly, and the rogue barely even attacked. (Yeah, we're still new.)

Even the ranger didn't do nearly as much as I did. Using Chaos Bolt, I managed to pretty much single-handedly kill the spider. I also dodged an acid spit attack it used. I did this all while standing on a countertop, too.

I'm not experienced enough for any super-huge friggin' badass glory achievements or anything, but hey, I have this.
PikalaxALT 1st Aug 2013, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
It is my belief that roleplaying is twice as fun with a drink.
musicalgamer12 1st Aug 2013, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
still loving this comic, but on a COMPLETELY different note, anyone know any good 2nd edition D&D books? me and a ew different friends are starting a game and its the edition we're using.
Guest 2nd Aug 2013, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
Try searching for "AD&D" books, or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books, since that's what 2nd edition is.
Emmerlaus 1st Aug 2013, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Im surprised they heard teh thud sound... but didn't hear Spike screaming !!! O_O

Oh well, its probably gonna be inn next chapter...
KaijinZero 2nd Aug 2013, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Finally caught up! thank the D&D gods...
Thar 2nd Aug 2013, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
I've been thinking about getting into the tabletop gaming scene for a while, but just need to know one thing.

Is there a place to do this online, or am I better off waiting for summer to end to do it with friends from school?
Hawkflight 3rd Aug 2013, 12:57 AM edit delete reply
Both, really. It can be done online, but it's several orders of magnitude more fun IRL with friends.