Page 322 - Downright Defiance

10th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Downright Defiance
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
A bit of an update on the guest comic front: We're up to a whopping 18 fully submitted pages between 7 different authors, I've confirmed at least two additional authors that still haven't yet delivered, and there are still three weeks left until the deadline.

When this whole thing started, I had reasonable doubts about 25 pages (regular updates for all 8.5 weeks) being possible. Now, it looks like it could actually happen. All in all, this is going to be pretty darn awesome.

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



Kiranis 10th Aug 2013, 6:22 AM Welcome to the Rodeo edit delete reply
Eh needed a oneliner.

never been in a situation where the group i'm with just blindly ignore combat and precious EXPS! anyone care to explain?
Giggle Tail 10th Aug 2013, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
We've had a similar scenario at least once:

After venturing through a dungeon that felt like the Water Temple from Legend of Zelda, we finally had reached the final room...which had a basilisk in it for us to fight.

Of course, by this point all of us were sick, tired, and just plain fed up with this session. That's why the party cleric just charged straight in and beat the tar out of the basilisk in a blind rage. The DM was apparently feeling merciful (or, more likely, thought this was hilarious), because he let us get away with that rather than make us actually fight the thing.
ShiftingMane 10th Aug 2013, 7:00 AM edit delete reply

And who says they aren't going to attack? Just buck 'em off to get them from behind you, -then- charge them. AJ's got the right idea!
It's not a question of XP. It's the downright outrage of most gamers that their characters could be surprised by ANYTHING. They will spend literal hours justifying why your carefully planned ambush could never occur to THEM, but gasp in surprise if you poke holes in their "clever" ambush plan.

Players are a superstitious, contentious lot. I'm sure I'll turn back into one once I get out from behind the GM screen
Midnight 10th Aug 2013, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
I'm doing both right now, so I know both of those feels.
thubby 12th Aug 2013, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
in this case the DM is trying to nullify a character's ability for "flavor" reasons.
any player with some experience knows this is always scrutiny reserved for martial characters and AJ is justified in being annoyed.
or as my group once put it
"so wait, (wizard) can FLY but (fighter) can't disarm someone because they're 5 feet taller than him?"
SilentBelle 10th Aug 2013, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
My players will often find ways to avoid combat whenever possible (which I find far more entertaining than the actual combats would have been). Often trying to outrun opponents or get around them.

So long as they can reach their objective, is there a reason why they shouldn't get experience for completing what they set out to do?

Whether you subdue a monster, trick it, avoid it, or beat it into a bloody pulp and harvest its organs for potions, you should be granted the same amount of EXP for the encounter. (At least in my opinion)Forcing the players to fight is the wrong way to go about it, but presenting monsters as an obstacle to be overcome is definitely what you should aim for as a DM.
Midnight 10th Aug 2013, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
Not really, you shouldn't receive full EXP for not actually killing the monster. Some, yes, but not full, otherwise, they could just "encounter" mobs, do nothing, and profit. Dat's a no go.
GrayGriffon 10th Aug 2013, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
The only problem with that is... It's not that they're gaining EXP for nothing. They're gaining EXP for completing their task in a creative way.
I mean the very point of table top games is that you can do whatever you can think of to overcome an obstacle. So to not give them EXP for overcoming a problem the way they want is basically punishing them for playing a tabletop game instead of a videogame.
Midnight 10th Aug 2013, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
Running around a mob to complete the objective is not the same as tricking them, or something like that. You shouldn't punish your players, no, but you also shouldn't pamper them. Giving them full exp for running around mobs to an artifact or something, then running away is not deserving of full exp for killing a mob. It's worth something, certainly, but not full.
SilentBelle 10th Aug 2013, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
If you can get around the mob of monsters grab the artifact and get away with it, then I think that's perfectly worthy of getting full XP. I know that's what I would choose to do as a DM. Generally I just have an amount of XP based on achieving that plot point rather than focusing on monsters XP values.

The cool part about trying to get away from an encounter in such a manner would be that the group that they ran past might come back to get revenge after they got away. Or they could chase them the entire way through a dungeon. They could run into traps and the like while trying to evade the enemy. It is often far more dangerous to try and run past a group than it is to take care of them.

Though I've played games where fighting was a HUGE focus of the games, and as such, battle tactics and the like were ways of getting bonus XP and each player had a different XP count and tally. Everyone was more focused on making battle-optimized characters.

I've had a bunch of fun in either type of campaign. I'd say it comes down to DM discretion.

It all depends on the type of game you like to run.
terrycloth 10th Aug 2013, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
It really depends -- there are scenarios where the fact that all you need is the McGuffin, and killing the monster isn't necessary, makes it a much easier encounter. Especially in cases where the monster is *way* beyond the characters.

Circumstances making an encounter easier is a normal reason to reduce the XP.

But if you were *supposed* to fight them and got around them, you probably deserve full xp.
Malroth 10th Aug 2013, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
How I'm going to handle XP next campaign, Any time you accomplish your goal despite someone/thing seriously trying to stop you you get XP. Sneak past the Guard Patrol by slipping in a forged patrol Map? XP Steal the Jail Keys by slipping sleeping drugs into the Guard Dog's Food? More XP. Sneak past that same Guard Patrol on the way back out? Yep You get XP. Snipe a Flatfooted Monster that wasn't at all involved in trying to prevent your mission? Sorry No XP for this one.
MerchManDan 10th Aug 2013, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
I don't think AJ is ignoring combat; she's ignoring the element of surprise. In the last panel, she seems to be EMBRACING combat.
Raxon 10th Aug 2013, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Applejack is the Indiana Jones of ponies.
Sunbeam 10th Aug 2013, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
It reminds me of that scene from Goblins.
"How did you know the brain was in there?"
"He must've remembered something from the fiend folio abou--"
"Nope. This isn't in the fiend folio. I was just really, really, mad!"
Digo 10th Aug 2013, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
Also, the GM's comment about farm training for this sitch has possibilities. XD Military Farm!
Zakaz 11th Aug 2013, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
My claim to fame is that I am Techincally related to Indiana jones. My great great grandpappy was Coronel Percy Fawcett. He was inspiration for Indiana jones.

Also, Isn't Daring Do the Indiana jones of ponies?
Raxon 11th Aug 2013, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
No, Dr. Jones is the Daring Do of humans.
Zakaz 11th Aug 2013, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
So what does that make Mutt?
Deathsheir 12th Aug 2013, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
If Dr. Jones is the Daring Do of humans, and Applejack is the Indiana Jones of ponies... then Daring Do is the Applejack of ponies...
CrowMagnon 11th Aug 2013, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
Digo: Heh, probably just a dig at how AJ's player likes to use her character background as in-character justification for her meta-gaming.

Zakaz: The source of much outrage among certain fans.
FanOfMostEverything 10th Aug 2013, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Screw your fluff. Can't. Be. Surprised. Ever. Take it like a DM.

Which is to say, accept it, then double the number of foes in the next encounter.
El Jefe 10th Aug 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
I don't really get the GM's complaint. I mean, how is Evade Ambush NORMALLY justified in-character? What about this scenario makes it somehow less justified than in any other surprise/ambush?
Draxynnic 11th Aug 2013, 2:33 AM edit delete reply
Simple. Through the Alertness feat, Applejack is alert enough to catch the telltale signs of an ambush in time to respond appropriately. "Evade Ambush" means that her first response is alerting the party to the imminent ambush.

Besides, in this particular circumstance - the group has entered the dark warren of an underground race. It's like going into a kobold den - if you're not on the lookout for an ambush, you're a bunch of scrubs.

In short - the DM is trying to be really harsh here, especially since AJ's player made an investment into this.
Chris 10th Aug 2013, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
If I was the DM, I'd have flat-out told her that, if she couldn't even half-ass a justification for their not being surprised, then rule zero was in full effect.

Of course, I'd have never let her have an ability as anti-fluff as "target and party can never be surprised" in the first place. I am not a 4th ed player, but really: how does something like that even EXIST? Forget for a minute whether or not it's OP, how does one justify that sort of ability on a purely conceptual level?
Zakaz 11th Aug 2013, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
Sudden momentary clairvoyance?
Zuche 11th Aug 2013, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Chris, I think you and the DM may be misunderstanding what Alertness and Evade Ambush do. They do not actually prevent surprise, but a mechanical disadvantage that arises from being surprised: the surprise round. The group can still wind up starting the encounter out in a more challenging tactical position than they would have if they'd detected their enemies in advance. The option to retreat might be lost (or difficult to regain). They might start combat within easy reach of a monster with high initiative and a nasty opening attack, probably a lurker. Or they might start the combat outside of combat distance, giving their enemies time to prepare some hazard or other obstacle.

There's no need to punish the player here. It's fine for the DM to want some sort of in-game explanation for how the character was able to avoid losing (in effect) the initiative in an ambush, but the player shouldn't be required to provide one. Applejack paid good currency to protect her party from this situation once a day, and the benefit is a balanced one. You're just able to react effectively to being surprised.
Chris 11th Aug 2013, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
I guess I don't really care whether or not it's "balanced," nor whether she built her character around it. I'm trying to figure out how one can justify saying that it is literally impossible for a character, or anyone in their company, to be taken by surprise.

Though if you're saying that the ability doesn't prevent surprise, just allows the party to react more quickly to a surprise attack, then that's another matter. Still, if any player in my group pulled the "who cares what makes sense, I wrote it one my sheet" routine, it wouldn't get them very far with me.

I mean, come on; all she has to do is say something like "AJ heard their claws scraping on the hard rock as they tensed to leap, then called out to the party as they attacked." Boom, problem solved, everyone's playing the game and having fun. Instead, she effectively says "F--- you and your game," and I for one wouldn't stand for it.
Zuche 11th Aug 2013, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Because the surprise you describe is a purely mechanical effect, a single action granted to the group with the surprise round. All the player has done is declared that her character is the sort of person who is never caught completely off guard. It's still possible to catch the character unprepared, where she would not be ideally equipped when the surprise round would start. It's unlikely to occur while she's invading an enemy's fortress, but it can happen while a party is trying to clear rubble from a passageway or turn a winch designed for giants or even recover from having a floor collapse underneath them.

There are times the player would not be able to use evade ambush. The difference between the scenario you describe and that one is that it is the DM who must justify why the power can't be used, not the player who has to explain why it should be allowed. The DM might disallow it because the party said they were working in complete darkness and under the effects of a Silence ritual... provided they didn't all have darkvision or set up a warning signal to use through the rope they've got binding them all together. That may carry consequences, but at least now the DM isn't playing "Gotcha!" games with the players.

Asking a player to justify an option before she selects it is fine. Asking the player to describe how she was able to use the power is also fine, but that is not a prerequisite to making use of it. Demanding that the player justify use of a power the fully informed DM allowed her to take in the first place is disruptive. I don't think a demand is being made, even if the DM is clearly frustrated by the result. The player is not at fault if this ruins the DM's fun, though this is something both may wish to discuss after the game.
Kadakism 11th Aug 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Not sure if my Scent ability is acting up, but do I smell a troll?

Evade Ambush isn't all that great really. A once-per-day ability that allows you to make a number of allies equal to your Wis Mod not be surprised. (I'm assuming that Newbiespud is taking liberties with the Powers here).

But regardless of how powerful an ability might seem, activating rule zero isn't the answer here. Just because a player uses an ability that YOU as DM allowed them to have to subvert something you wanted to do to the party is not reason for you to say "well screw your player choice and character investment. Now dance, puppets."
Chris 11th Aug 2013, 5:41 PM edit delete reply

No trolling here, and if you read my comments you'll see that I don't really care how powerful an ability it is. It could be hilariously underpowered, for all I care; that's not the point. The point is that AJ's being That Guy; specifically, she's being the That Guy who refuses to role-play.

What she's doing up above is just like a player saying "I use diplomacy to convince the king that we're innocent" and, when I ask how she's going to convince him of that, she replies "doesn't matter, I got a 37 on my check." I'm not asking you to RP the entire speech, but you can at least tell me what you're saying. Otherwise, why did I bother with any setting in the first place? I could have just said "make a DC20 skill check" and let you roll--that's what you're doing, after all.

But that'd be a pretty poor excuse for a game, wouldn't it? Seems to me that AJ's player is going out of her way to piss all over the trappings which surround the dice rolling, and if I were the DM (or a player) for that group, I'd be pretty disappointed that she was seemingly so intent on ruining everyone's fun.


>Asking a player to justify an option before she selects it is fine. Asking the player to describe how she was able to use the power is also fine

I think you and I agree that far, then. I just don't think it's asking too much for people to do some minimal amount of role-playing in a role-playing game. The DM turned some of the scene-building over to her, and instead of taking the chance to explain what her character did, she threw it back in the DM's face, which just seems incredibly dickish to me (granted, the DM was being kind of sarcastic with her to begin with. Maybe she's just being snippy at him for that reason, in which case she's still being dickish, but at least has some justification). Heck, she could even have asked the DM for help, but instead she casually dismissed the idea that there was any game being played beyond dice-rolling.
Rokas 11th Aug 2013, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
I think you're not quite understanding the flow here.

DM announces Ambush > AJ's player activates her character's abilities that are relevant in an ambush situation > DM gets sarcastic and snippy > AJ's player retorts.

Right now the DM is being "That Guy", by having a conniption that his/her well-planned ambush is no longer going to be a player stomp but more of an even battle (I don't play D&D so I'm just going by what others have said about the ability in the comments). How would you like it if you use an ability your character had to affect the outcome of a point of contention (whether battle or diplomacy or whatnot) and then the DM/GM gets in your face and starts being sarcastic?

A DAM/GM CANNOT get upset for their players adhering to the rules.
Rokas 11th Aug 2013, 11:03 PM edit delete reply
Another reply because I accidentally hit the "post" button before I was done and can't edit it.

As I said, a DM cannot get upset at someone following the rules. Yes, it's a Roleplaying game, but while you're concentrated on the "roleplaying" aspect, you've got to remember it's also a GAME. If you didn't have rules and adhered to them, then you might as well not bother with the dice or character sheets at all; it's not a game anymore, it's playing pretend. It's cooperative fiction writing. Anything but a game.

So what's happened here is the DM flipped out that their idea got turned by a player ability that has been with AJ's character since day one. The DM has gotten sarcastic, snippy, and denigrating, and AJ's player has retorted in an understandably irritated and angry manner. Granted, the ideal response is to be polite and calm and explain things rationally... but I thought this was a comic about people, not idealized Mary Sues who always do the right thing no matter what. Sometimes you just lose your cool, especially when someone's doing their best to talk down to you, as the DM is doing in this comic.
Zuche 12th Aug 2013, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Rokas, I was with you right up until you wrote about what is and isn't a game. A game isn't about the rules, but the objective those rules serve. If the objective is to create a fun time for everyone and "overlooking" a rule would better serve the table at the moment, the rule can be put aside. This isn't a competitive game, where the rules must be observed at all times to keep things fair.
Mudpony 12th Aug 2013, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
>>What she's doing up above is just like a player saying "I use diplomacy to convince the king that we're innocent" and, when I ask how she's going to convince him of that, she replies "doesn't matter, I got a 37 on my check." I'm not asking you to RP the entire speech, but you can at least tell me what you're saying. Otherwise, why did I bother with any setting in the first place? I could have just said "make a DC20 skill check" and let you roll--that's what you're doing, after all.

She'd be right to say that. Yes, part of it is roleplay. To encourage that is why a DM will often give mods and/or set a different target number based on such things. But ultimately, a character is not the player.

When it comes to things physical, it is easy for me to say what my character does, even though I could not do backflips or lift super heavy weights. But when it comes to things mental, well, it can be hard to play a person smarter, more of a social animal than you are, because then your own limitations impact the character in a way physical ones do not. But if they cannot provide the hows, they can still provide the basic motivations, things like deciding to try and talk their way out of it, if not the details.

That shouldn't, however, stop you from setting a higher target number ;)
Flashpoint 13th Aug 2013, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
The way I see it the DM didn't really turn any of the scene-building over to her, and if they did it's a really dickish and asinine way. It looks more like they're frustrated at the failed ambush attempt, and they're antagonizing AJ because of it. And more on top of that, it feels like they're mocking the character as well, and if there's anything I learned it's that you don't mock someone's character, especially if they put some work into it. AJ is more retorting to the DMs bad attitude in an equal manner. I'm not saying what she did was right, but I do feel what she did was rather justified.
Deathsheir 12th Aug 2013, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
There are many ways to justify having both abilities like that, OP as it may be. Your character lived in a backwater town at one point, where it was so bad that if you weren't alert and prepared for ambushes, you're as good as dead. This lifestyle alone gives the "alertness" feat. As for the Evade Ambush... Tell me, if you're Alert, and you suspect an ambush, Why, just why would you keep that to yourself instead of telling your party, thus raising their alertness...?
Suburbanbanshee 16th Aug 2013, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
AJ lives near the Everfree, which is full of dangerous animals and plants. She also plays competitive rodeo, which means she has to have a lot of situational awareness. And yes, she's also the kind of character who just doesn't like surprises (and does have siblings and Pinkie Pie around), so I can see her learning to be exceptionally alert and careful.
Dusk Raven 10th Aug 2013, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
The DM's really hung up on this whole "ambush" thing.
ShadowDragon8685 10th Aug 2013, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
@Dusk Raven: The GM was probably planning to subdue and saddle all of them and make them come up with something, The Great Escape style.
Bombom 24th Aug 2013, 11:06 PM Is this just me? edit delete reply
I took it not so much as the DM being angry as finding it hilarious, as most characters will come up with some incredibly outlandish ways to justify it.
guy 8th May 2014, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Probably the best thing to do, after having seen the above fight.
Mink of Snow 10th Aug 2013, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
I think this is the first time they actually cursed in the comic. Took em long enough.

I usually find a way to break an ambush in character
Digo 10th Aug 2013, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
Heh, my group is made up of usually polite and open-minded folks. In-character though, we are pretty racist and big-cussing murder-hobos. XD

And then the session ends and we're all nice people again. Truly, RPing is our window to vent.
DoubleCross 10th Aug 2013, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
Venting is when you exposit your true emotions that you've been building up over a space of time. Are you saying that the racist and murderous (and apparently classist judging by the concept of 'murder hobos') characters you play are -actually- what you're like?
Digo 10th Aug 2013, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Nah, we just have jobs tat deal with terrible people and RPing on weekends is our way of just venting the week off our chest.
Zmaxter 10th Aug 2013, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
My GM does this a lot.
He even rages sometimes when we do stuff we "can't" do, and it's annoying sometimes.
Like, when I made my character I didn't know what I was doing, so I thought I had picked some cool stuff, but he's really combat handicapped.
The best thing I have is Paranoia, which makes target enemy affect target enemy with an ability of his choice.
Being an ability of his choice makes this ability not so great, but the boss I used it on had 1d20 as the lowest damaging ability.
He rolled a natural 20.
From that day forward, all bosses are immune to paranoia...
Now all my character can do is Syphon Blood and Fireball.
Curious 10th Aug 2013, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
And what game is this that gives you such things as Syphon Blood and Paranoia?
Newbiespud 10th Aug 2013, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
Curious 10th Aug 2013, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
Are you serious, or is that just a plug for the game? I can't honestly see a pony game with abilities such as Siphon Blood or Paranoia. Just seems too dark.
Newbiespud 11th Aug 2013, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
I'm serious.

There are such things as ponies in dark campaigns - I'm playing one weekly game of that sort right now. But if you want to make it lighter, you can also reflavor/rename every power as something else that basically accomplishes the same thing.

For example, "Siphon Blood" is a low-power combat talent that applies a small amount of ongoing damage. As is, the flavor of that talent is something like opening a minor, bleeding wound. But if you want, you can reflavor it to be something like, say, "Annoy" - wear down your opponent's mental defenses with the power of your voice or something.

Still - light or dark, ponies or not, Pony Tales or Roleplaying is Magic, when young adults get together to play an RPG, it's usually going to be at least a little more serious than the show.
RandomNinja 11th Aug 2013, 4:17 AM edit delete reply
Clearly you have never heard of Fallout:Equestria.
Zmaxter 11th Aug 2013, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Yes, it is indeed Ponytales.
And it can get very dark & grim sometimes.
Stuff like one of our friends dipping a bunny in acid or a pony getting decapitaded in a room full of pillows.
Walls of eyes... pony bodyparts in a secret dungeon... and so forth.
Guest 10th Aug 2013, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
Evade ambush, which means that the DM wasted time setting up and are wasting more time whining about it.
guest 10th Aug 2013, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
I think this ambush avoidance could be easily avoided by the other seances, such as sound, rangers are supposed to be in tune to that kind of thing
ArkenBrony 10th Aug 2013, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
I was planning on giving a guest comic that I was even going to draw, but my drawing pad has stopped working on me, so I doubt it'll actually happen
Tatsurou 10th Aug 2013, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Not really comic related, but a story time I wanted to do: "You had to be there" moments. Something that happened in a previous campaign with a group that has effected roleplay in all campaigns since, and leaves any new member of the group completely lost.

Here's one of my favorites.

As you may be aware from my previous stories on here, I am very good at roleplaying small, cute characters. Everything from innocent little girls to cute, fluffy animals. One time, when I was DM, I made a campaign called "Fear the Cute Ones"...except I only called it that in my DM notes.

As per usual in my campaigns, I had several cute NPCs who were there as innocent seeming quest hooks. As per usual, the party jumped on each and every one, because I've always giving them great rewards for doing so, and because they were REALLY susceptible to cute. However, unlike usual, those cute NPCs kept showing up again and again in later towns. Same NPC, with a logical reason for being there, asking for help again. Every quest seemingly innocuous. And the group went along with each and every one.

Then the next time the group bumped into the first little girl, she asked them to help her with something at her place. She led them into a rather large dungeon. There were monsters in the dungeon, but the little girl told them that they were tame, they were her Daddy's pets. She proved this by going up to a Dire wolf and petting it, then giving it a treat. The group was a little weirded out, but when I made the Dire Wolf roll over and play dead for her, they were just excited by the cuteness. Then they got to the innermost chamber, where a large runic circle was drawn on the ground. The various things they'd fetched for this little girl over the course of the campaign were revealed to be energized eldritch artifacts. She picked up a ritualistic blade, turned to the group, and said, "Is it okay if I disembowel you all just a little bit?"

The group freaked the f*** out. They managed to evade the little girl for a which point I revealed she was actually a high level sorceress, and she began kicking their asses. They had to kill her, and then fight their way out. They were scared witless.

I then proceeded to do that with every cute NPC I'd thrown at them the entire campaign.

...I still feel sorry for that one guy who's Mom decided to surprise him at home that day with a puppy...

Anyway, we all remembered that campaign, and it made them paranoid about cute NPCs. So for several campaigns, I didn't use any.

A while down the line, a new player joined our group for a campaign. In the first town we came to, I threw an NPC at them.

Me: A little girl, dressed somewhat scraggly and missing her front tooth, walks up to the group.
NPC: Ecthcuth me, mithtewth, can you help me find my bwothew?
New Guy: Aww, so cute!
Everyone else: AAH! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
New Guy: O.o
Zuche 10th Aug 2013, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
This kind of reminds me of a D&D 2E guide to building villains, where one of the suggestions was a succubus that pretended to be a genie child. Grateful for rescue, this cute little tyke insisted on following her heroes everywhere, trying her best to help them out. She's always get it wrong in some way, only to be tearfully sorry any time they got upset. The whole thing was a game to her, to see how long she could maintain the charade and yet manage to corrupt a bunch of mortals without resorting to the same boring old diet of hot-blooded adventurers who'd be suckers for the overstuffed bodice full of gratitude. Playing on the good intentions of a bunch of well-meaning saps by making them responsible for the escalating chaos she'd bring to their lives was much more entertaining.
Digo 10th Aug 2013, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
Hey, I had the book! I know EXACTLY who you're talking about too. I tried that sort of thing on my players once. Worked exactly as advertised.
Tatsurou 11th Aug 2013, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
I never saw that book, but I did once pull that same story, although my group was a bit more jaded.

They continued to try and help and 'take care of' the 'genie child' over time, but they were starting to get annoyed, and I was having fun with what kind of chaos the 'genie child' could create 'accidentally'. (Note: Like always with the cutesy characters, I role played for all I was worth, and it was very convincing.) Then one of the players mentioned that having a chaos prone genie along wouldn't be so bad if she were more grown up and could do other non-magical things. On a spark of mischief, I asked if he was saying that in character.

The 'genie child' overheard, and worked her 'magic'...turning into an adult. I described in a good amount of detail how her figure was developed as an adult...and how her outfit hadn't grown with her, becoming impossibly stretched and form fitting instead. By the time I'd finished the description of her new appearance, the players were actually drooling.

Then she spoke. Still in the little girl voice.

(Disguised Succubus/Genie Child): So...what was it exactly that I could do for you like this without my magic?

They all looked rather...broken. Then I decided to really have fun. She got down on her knees in front of them, begging.

(DS/GC): Please! I'll do anything you ask, just tell me what to do to make you happy!

The looks on their faces...well, I had to take the 'genie child' character sheet out of the room with me while I laughed for a good five minutes. Then I rolled for the disguised succubus' will save to make sure SHE didn't bust up laughing. Thankfully, her roll was much better than mine.
Zuche 12th Aug 2013, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou, it is a great pleasure to know that someone like you is out there running a table. Well done.
Tatsurou 12th Aug 2013, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
Unfortunately, I'm not running a table any more. Haven't for a long time.
Zuche 12th Aug 2013, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
Dark days indeed then. May such a drought pass soon.
Starphoenix 11th Aug 2013, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
I think I still have that book. One of the more memorable characters from it.

Anyhow, I run a Vampire game with some players and I introduced a little girl to the party while they were in Los Angelos. She's obviously inhuman, but she apparently helps, so whatever. Certain things happen, and over the course of the game, she gets paired with a PC, offering to "help" him out. Her help involves getting him past a secured location, only to forget to cloak him, when in the same room as several guards. She continues this kind of help for some time toward this particular PC, who loaths/dreads her presence, but decided that doing anything too overt would possibly risk getting him killed. She has since gotten involved in multiple aspects of that PC's unlife, including but not limited to sticking his familiar in a blender.

We've both agreed that she's pretty much his 1 point Cursed flaw.
Malroth 10th Aug 2013, 5:40 PM edit delete reply
now have a hideous, insane goblin hire the Party to "take out that evil girl at the Orphanage You'll know her when you see her"
but they're really just ordinary orphans.
Random Dude 10th Aug 2013, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
The lack of Man of Steel jokes here is disappointing.
Plastic.Mortality 10th Aug 2013, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
During one session, the (majority) of the party strolled into an ogre... mess hall. After releasing a dwarf from the ogres'... freezer (seriously, they had a giant meat locker with a living dwarf PC frozen in ice)... I tried a diplomatic approach, offering to have the dwarf killed and cooked for them (which everyone thought was funny since I was the only character with a mostly good nature). So the diplomacy passed (after making me learn, and speak, in ogre), but the bait and switch failed because the minotaur who could cook, failed to cook the meat that wasn't dwarven. So the ogres were all mad. Not because we tried to trick them, but because the food ended up tasting like shite.

Then the GM decided to call it a session because half of us had to go to class. When we returned, he decided to just say someone set-off a trap that crushed all the ogres but missed us (because we apparently hid in the meat locker), then gave us all the exp. It was probably for the best, since the two elves went rogue and disappeared, the dwarf and I were in critical condition, and we only had a minotaur barbarian and... I forget who the last guy was, but it was some large creature with a warrior class, verse seven or so ogres. And the minotaur was carrying me. In her sword's sheath. On her back. That was somehow filling with blood.
Snowy 10th Aug 2013, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
"Rocks fall everyone dies"
"Game over, see you all never again"
Anno1066 11th Aug 2013, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
I've got one.

A few years back, I was running a Spycraft campaign in which our wheelman decided that he wanted a nemesis. It's just a background, so not a big deal in game terms, but it would give him something to play off of and he left it to me to sort out the details.

It was three or four sessions in when the guy made his debut. The wheelman was driving the party to their next mission and, out on a mountain road, a black SUV appears out of nowhere.

The driver was dressed in a suit. Black sunglasses, pulled back hair, the whole thing. The wheelman knew what was happening and was excited.

The chase begins.

Our wheelman starts cautiously, choosing the Pull Ahead maneuver to keep space. The Nemesis, who appeared very close, tries to herd him in.

The dice are rolled. Wheelman gets a natural twenty. The Nemesis gets a natural one.

The Wheelman activates his critical and everyone else at the table throws in their action dice to 4x activate the critical failure (the by-book max in Spycraft.)

We still tell the story about how, from the party's point of view, this weird SUV pulled out behind them, hit and flipped over the guardrail and went flying down the mountain. They talked about checking out the flaming wreckage, but decided the mission was more important.
CrowMagnon 11th Aug 2013, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
Since they never checked the body, does that mean that the Nemesis got to come back for revenge, more dangerous than ever? Possibly with a wicked-cool burn scar?
Anno1066 11th Aug 2013, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
It was the intent, but it never happened. The campaign was short-lived. Two of the four guys I ran were casual gamers and never really got into the game. One of them caused a failed mission, but oddly not a TPK, a few sessions after this and the game dissolved right after.

That said, I've recently started running Spycraft again with a different group, but the original Wheelman is back and using the same character, so it's an option. Which brings us to another story that suits.

I'll spare the lead up, but the party was trying to get information on a ship. They had reason to believe that a group of marines, led by a Captain Taggart, might know where it was as they were the last people aboard. It was part of a secret mission and they'd been escorting it.

So, Taggart and his men were then set up in a hotel for the night before returning to their normal deployment. The plan (sometime after the Faceman knocked on his door and outright asked about the top secret mission...) was to kidnap him and take him somewhere else under the guise of protective custody. The problem: He's a higher level soldier and there are sixteen other marines in nearby rooms.

The Snoop hacked the hotel, killing the lights and jury-rigging a lockdown of the Captain's room so that it wouldn't open from the outside after our man was inside with Taggart.

The Soldier was set up in a sniper's nest across the way, just in case.

The Fixer was with the helicopter they'd brought along, ensuring it was secure and ready if they needed to bug out.

The Faceman was outside the room's window (ground floor) ready to help move the body and provide what little cover fire he could.

The Wheelman (highest Attack progression/best fighter other than the soldier) goes in. He's covered in booze and, using info the snoop got, name-drops an engagement the Captain had served in to get him to let him inside, albeit begrudgingly.

Earns him a sneak attack. Quickdraws his taser and hits the captain. Captain makes his save by a lot (had a +8. 9 or less on the die and he's down) He's unaffected.

The lights go off, the door swings shut and locks. The wheelman tries not once, not twice, but three more times to taze Taggart. Hits every time, none drop him.

The guy playing the Snoop took that die away from me.

Calling it quits, and wanting to get away from the Captain who's using him like a punching bag, the Wheelman gets to the window and jumps out.

The Faceman throws in a tranquilizer gas grenade. This one affects the guy, slowing him by a lot, but he's still up (those grenades don't work well at the best of times) and breaks out the window and comes after them.

The Wheelman, now in the car, decides to clip Taggart with the car to make it look like a botched assassination attempt, slow him down and make a getaway.

Taggart critically fails his reflex save. The guys activate it, Taggart's finally down. They haul him into the trunk as the marines start smashing out the windows and the car gets hit by some potshots as they pull away.

Skip ahead some to sometime after the fiasco of Taggart waking up to where they've managed to convince the Captain to help them try to uncover a potential mole in the marines. They use the man as bait, with the assurance of sniper-protection to lure the mole (name of Rook) to a public spot. Rook manages to get a sneak attack in, pulls a knife and criticals Taggart, which sends the damage past vitality and into wounds.

Everyone had readied actions set up, so the guy goes down (but survived) pretty quickly.

The Snoop, doubling as the medic, rushes to Taggart to bind his wounds. He rolled so badly that we decided that he missed the knife handle poking out of Taggart's liver and splinted his arm.

The Wheelman then offered the Captain a ride back to his hotel, but I had him so pissed off at this point that he pulled the knife out, threw it to the ground and said something to the tune of "You know what? Screw this, I'm walking." and he did just that.

The party has decided that Taggart shall henceforth be known as Captain Ironsides; and they are afraid of him.
Meraxes 11th Aug 2013, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
Man! That'd be boss!
Indigo Steel 11th Aug 2013, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
"Ah just don't give a damn about yer ambush."

Definitely the element of Honesty...
kriss1989 11th Aug 2013, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
Possibly justifiable if she means "I don't panic, stay calm, and just react to what happened without giving a damn."
Indigo Steel 12th Aug 2013, 8:59 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
true, that...
Ammika 12th Aug 2013, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Um, I couldn't find how to submit guest comics.
Guest 12th Aug 2013, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Wait, never mind, somehow my brain just didn't register that email address.
Tatsurou 12th Aug 2013, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
You know, a good answer AJ could have given that would play into something from the show again.

AJ: Actually, in an odd way I did. See, on the farm, I've learned quite a bit about animals, so I can recognize a lot of 'em even if I can't see 'em. I didn't need tah see 'em to know they were there.
DM: And why's that?
AJ: They're strangers to bathwater, and ponies have a strong sense of smell, especially for predator scent like canids.
DM: SMELLED them coming?
AJ: Yup!
DM: And how does that alert the rest of the party?
AJ: Obviously, ah told 'em what was coming when I smelled it.
DM: I didn't hear that.
AJ: It's assumed with the feat.
Indigo Steel 12th Aug 2013, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
Sigurdgram 28th Oct 2015, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
The answer to how she noticed them is pretty easy. the DM says it! it's a bunch of armored foes, clanking around up there, presumably using their claws to cling to the ceiling. I doubt they'd be very quiet.