Page 324 - The Lovable Rogue

15th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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The Lovable Rogue
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 15th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Hey, it's my birthday! I have officially turned 21 today! I won't be drinking anything, though I suspect some of my friends will be.

It's kind of hard to believe that I started this comic just as I was starting college. Then again, I started writing on a regular basis (fanfiction, but writing nonetheless) as I was starting high school. And I started Play-By-Post roleplaying around the time I started middle school...

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



darkwulf23 15th Aug 2013, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
darkwulf23 15th Aug 2013, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
So story time of the sappy stuff in your campaigns?
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Most of the time if it is too sappy I leave the room and wait until it is over... Though really that happens more when it is romantic and sappy. Anyway, I think the best sappy and non-romantic stuff happened in my ponyfinder game.

-Befriending the shy speedster Speed Chaser. Speed Chaser was a mailpony who tried to make all her deliveries with max speed and stealth. But Crystal Wishes, my character, had magic alarms on her magic item shop to tell her when anypony entered. So she got to talk with Speed, and became her friend through coaxing. SC revealed she was also Pony X, the Ultra Pony Roller Derby Champion, and CW agreed to keep it to herself and to make magic items for her for the contests that allow magic items.
-Speed went to the Mirror Plane (Manual of the Planes 3.5) and met her evil mirror double. After a race (20 levels in monk meant she couldn't hit herself) in which the double begged Speed to let her kill her, Speed let her on the conditions that she waited for her to come back (Monk of the Four Winds), led her back to Equestria's mirror, and became her sister. After that despite exact opposite alignment, Sprite Chaser (the double) was TSBFF with Speed.
-Sprite Chaser getting along with the rest of the party proved a bit difficult. For one, she was born evil. She had not really done anything evil, but felt she needed to be evil. Yet being with a group of high leveled good characters made her terrified of them and terrified to act out her own alignment. Eventually the party was able to break her shell a bit, which was pretty heartwarming. Unfortunately due to the nature of the world she resorted to being a 40th level Card Carrying Poke the Poodle Villain.
you know that guy 15th Aug 2013, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
An evil double that becomes bff: sounds like Precure. Specifically Yes Precure 5, with Cure Dream and Dark Dream.
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Sappy for my PCs? Eh, nothing really happens in that category even if I try to instigate it. I really think our other GM is just not that imaginative.

In one odd-ball campaign my character was cloned by the BBEG, but they switched the gender for some reason. I rescued the clone and since she wasn't fully aged, she looked younger by about 5-6 years. I treated her like my sister. She hugged my character as thanks and... that's pretty much it.

I try to throw some sappy elements in the campaigns I run, but most of my players just joke through them and ruin the mood. :p

We did have ONE good sappy moment, and that's when the party helped a red dragon (the former BBEG of the previous campaign) regain her dragon form from the current BBEG (A master vampire).
After a long adventure, the dragon was quite touched that the PCs actually helped her out. She didn't quit her dubious alignment cold turkey, but she was definitly a lot less evil than before that.
kittypetro 15th Aug 2013, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
well in tyhe campaign Im currently in we were three diffrent adventures who met up, one being a pixie sorcerer who fed us this long sob story about how some ratmen had stolen the money she was carrying that was supposed to be rent for the orphanage she lived in and she needed help getting it back. Me being the LG elf ranger i was decided that ofcourse we would help, where upon the pixie went from crying to cheering and then asked if she could ride my wolf animal companion Silvermist
Tatsurou 15th Aug 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Yesterday, I told a story of when I used the Succubus disguised as a Genie Child. Thing is, I've used the more than once on different groups.

In one group I used it, the group's Paladin became the Genie Child's (Mika) Unofficial father. No matter how out of control her magic got and the trouble it caused, he was always there for her, often offering her comfort for her 'failure'. And the succubus who was disguised as Mika actually developed a soft spot for him.

At one point, when the Paladin and 'Mika' were separated from the party and in a dark cave, the succubus revealed herself, and told the Paladin exactly what had been going on, and offered him a choice. One year with her as his arcane familiar, or a lifetime of raising Mika.

(Note: The succubus was final boss levels, so familiar bonuses would have been phenomenal. The kind of thing that invalidates the need for the latest MacGuffin.)

Paladin: It was very nice to meet you, miss, but I need to find Mika. She's scared of the dark, and I don't want to leave her alone.

The succubus was shocked at his statement. She wound up taking a piece of her power and creating Mika as a genie child as a separate entity from her, leaving her with the Paladin. The rest of the party never learned of this exchange. (If they had, they would have likely strangled the Paladin's player for passing that up.)

Much later in the campaign, the succubus showed up again, disguised as a fully grown genie woman. She claimed to be Mika's mother, and had been searching for her. She thanked the Paladin for taking care of her, and asked him to return her.

This was meant to be another test of the Paladin's character. He decided to do what was best for Mika, returning her to her mother.

The succubus stood there, staring at the Paladin as she held Mika. Then she smiled.

Succubus: You're right, we should do what's best for Mika...and that's having her stay with her father.

As she said that, she revealed herself as a succubus and handed Mika back to the paladin. She then revealed the entire thing she'd done.

There was quite a bit of in character discussion, right up until the party Rogue spoke up.

Rogue: Say...has anyone asked Mika what she wants in all of this? (Not waiting for a response) Mika, do you want to stay with your mother, or your father?
Mika: (thinks for a while) I want to stay with both!

So we now wound up with the Paladin - dedicated to a holier-than-thou god who preached the smiting of evil - married to a chaotic-evil succubus and with a genie child daughter. The only reason this didn't wind up with him fallen is because his god's commandment "Protect the children" was higher up the list than "smite evil" and the Rogue convinced the God that keeping the parents together was part of protecting Mika. I guess that's what comes when the rogue makes himself an expert in all forms of law just in case he's ever arrested.
darkwulf23 15th Aug 2013, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Brought crazy and touching to a whole new art form.
Mink of Snow 15th Aug 2013, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Best story ever.
You can't see but I'm crying
Zuche 16th Aug 2013, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou, I hope that you are exceptional at all of the things that keep you busy. Otherwise, there's just no justification for the great loss the gaming world has suffered.
q97randomguy 15th Aug 2013, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
So, twin vampiric earth ponies. They've been together for nearly 300 years at this point, and things have reached a breaking point.

Nightingale washes the blood out of the bathtub. “Why would you fill the tub with blood, Morningbird? It’s not cleanly in the least.”

"Why, because I wanted to bathe in blood, Brother."

“That is disgusting, Sister. Did you really have to kill so many to get what, matted, scabbed fur?”

"You always shoot down my favorite ideas. ’Don't eat the doctors during a plague', 'don't eat foals', 'don't trap ponies in the basement for snacks later'... it's almost like you don't want me to have any fun at all."

"I'm not sure I see the 'fun' in those activities..."

"Do you know what's fun, dear Sister?" He takes out a box. "Scrabble! I just found it the other day on one of my rare ventures into the curios shop."

"It is a game about making words, Sister, out of letters!"

Morningbird looks at the box. "So... do the words, like, become real?"

"N-no. I don't... I don't think so..." He reads the back of the box. The tiles clatter inside.

"You... you just make words, Sister. It's a game of the... the mind!"

"Sounds cool. You can chill here with that game, and I'll paint the town. Red."

"Ah but... but you can make the words 'red' and 'paint' in this... this game... Sis-sister..."

"It's not working, is it...?" She looks supremely unamused. "Right then." He chucks the game into the blood-filled tub. "Well, admittedly, I have been a little peckish, but... I do so think we ought to... not draw attention to ourselves. It would be nice to actually integrate into society..."

"Oh, I've integrated myself a good deal."

"What? How? That's not possible. I mean... look at you."

She laughs, a light, airy thing that would make almost anypony feel at ease. "Oh, Brother of mine, you think so little of me."

"I would be lying if I said I were not constantly concerned about your antics and presentation..."

"If you weren't, I wouldn't be doing my job as your little sister, now would I?"

"You were born three minutes after me, Sister... I barely think that counts... And you always were more mature... What happened to the bug collecting and the glasses and the stamps? You... you used to have hobbies once..."

"I like my new hobbies. They're a challenge!"

"They're challenging, alright..." he mutters.

"Can you make the police think that their chief is a murderer? Can you make the wife kill her husband? Get a group of stallions so riled that they start a riot? Oh, such fun with that one, Brother."

"Well it would be simple, but... I don't see the point in causing disharmony in the ranks..."

"We need them to get along. Intolerance is why we must hide in the first place. Why do you encourage a suspicious mind and... ponies being... all... evil eye on us?"

"But that's part of it, Brother. The challenge is to make them think that it's all them, that I have nothing to do with it. Just drop a few little things here and there... and they do the rest!"

"To what end do you wish to play games with an innocent society? We are still... them, Sister. Why not use our abilities for... the benefit of society? To help Princess Celestia..."

"And what did the sun nag ever do for us? Did she stop this from happening to us? Did she try to help us? No! We're branded as evil!" She stomps a hoof, and the floor cracks under the blow. "I tried helping, damn it, but you know what it got us!"

"Well, yes. But you see... that's why we should try to have them understand..." Nightingale says weakly. "I... I suppose."

"You know what I've seen over the centuries? The ponies haven’t changed. Sure, they have been replaced when their time comes, but they're never different. Always falling for the same tricks, always reacting in just. The. Same. Way."

"So you seek to kill them all? Or cause them to destroy themselves? We were them, once. It takes this much to change our perspective. But... I have not yet lost hope. If anything, I blame the one who caused us to be this way. I do wonder who he is."
"If I ever find the stallion who did this to us..." She snorts in rage, pawing at the chipped floor. Then, all at once, all the fight goes out of her. She looks up at her brother, eyes moist. "Brother... brother, what would I do? I want to hate him... I do hate him... but... all this... it's all him. And I love it." She chokes back a sob.
"You love it because it's what you have... become. I do not... enjoy it much, myself. I do not seek to... replace it, as you have. But I understand why you do. I prefer to remind myself in the small things that make us what we once were. I enjoy my morning paper and my toast. I enjoy the little mundane things. They are the only things we have left, Sister." Nightingale is not particularly saddened by his sister's reaction, but still speaks with a due melancholy. "You love it because you... force yourself to love it."

"No... No, it's fun. It's fun, damn it! It makes me laugh! It does! It—" Her voice breaks.

"Please, Sister. I... I wish I had something to say. But there’s nothing that I haven't said before already." He looks away then back with a sigh. "Maybe... maybe I've forgotten how to laugh, myself. But I don't think we should sacrifice what little we have left of being a pony to do so. Is there no middle ground for ones such as us?"

"They don't let there be any, Brother. I've tried. Broken it to them gently... But they run and scream and struggle. And then I have to end them. They'd give us away. I've tried... so many ways... and always it's the same. Except for that one time that mare tried to steak me." She laughs, a small, pitiful thing. "At least she was brave. I had such hopes for her... She could have been it, the one who would finally accept it, accept us... But no! She tries to kill me! And you know what? I almost let her." Voice giving out, she gasps for breath. "But I couldn't leave you alone, damn you." She wipes at the tears in her eyes.

"...W-well. That's... that's a kind consideration, Sister," he says, eyebrows tilting down at the sentiment. A small, pursed smile gently turns up, but there is nothing less than the irony of the situation to keep his emotions at bay. "And no, I suppose they will never understand, but we... our frustrations..." He stops, taking in his shaking sister’s form, trying to piece together something to comfort her. "You turn outward, and I turn inward. But what if we... had something to... focus on?" His efforts are all in vain, as she breaks down into tears. "Sister. Please."
Nightingale stretches out a leg toward her, tentatively. "Don't... don't cry. I hate that."

She grabs ahold of his leg, clutching it desperately, and buries her face in his fur.

"T-there now..." Swallowing a little, he pulls her to himself, wrapping a leg around her head and clutching her head to his chest. "Please... we will find something. I'm sure of it."

She clings to him, nuzzling his chest. "I just... I want somepony to love me. Is that so much to ask? Is it? Everypony else... they can have it. Why can't I? Why," she whimpers.

"No... no one said you can't. I mean... I'm here for you, as you are here for me, aren't... aren't I? I... I love you." He rubs the top of her mane in a silly little childish way.

She cries all the harder. "You don't even... get it! Do you? You never loved anypony that you didn't have to!"

She goes deathly quiet.

Then she scrambles back from him like he's the sun itself.

"You only love me because you have to..."

He releases her, letting his leg linger, before returning it to the floor. His mouth, run dry, closes, as he looks to the side, staring at the messy tub.

"Is that what you think?" he whispers, almost dead in his intonation.

Her breaths come quicker, and she trembles on the floor. "Oh Celestia... Oh Luna, it's true." With strangled sob, she becomes incorporeal and falls through the floor.

"Morningbird!" He frowns. "Damnit, Morningbird!"

In frustration and anger, he smacks the floor of the bathroom again, tiles cracking and foundation giving way. The floor shakes once. Twice. And then things are silent again. But only for a moment.

With a great crash, the ceiling shakes, groans, and explodes outward in a shower of wood, concrete, and broken porcelain, raining dust and debris down into the hallway underneath.

"Morningbird!" A great roar emanates as a figure, eyes glowing red with a cocktail of explosive emotions, descends through the hole, seething furiously. It is rare for him to be this angry. But he is, at this point.

[No! Leave me alone! You don't even care! You never have! Nopony has!] The thoughts come from his left, down the hall, and they seem to be getting farther away.

Making a beeline for the thought, he rushes toward it, throwing all sorts of things out of his way. He makes his way quickly, trying to catch up.
He doesn't even bother to respond mentally. He's too angry right now.

Reeling back his hoof, he stops outside the door behind which the telepathic communication came from. He pauses, just for a moment, to remove his hat.

With a sickening crunch and splintering wood, the door comes off its hinges, tearing down and smashing to the floor, kicking up dust wood splinters.

Behind which, an angry silhouette stands in the fading particles that bloomed in the crash.

Through the dust, Nightingale sees Morningbird lying in the middle of the street, no longer incorporeal. She's a shivering, sobbing wreck, and she doesn't try to get up.

The stallion pauses for a while, but storms up to her, staring down at her past fuming nose, the cold wind blowing past.

"You idiot!" He yells, not caring who else would hear or see.

"Go 'way."

"How dare you. How dare you say that!" he growls. "For all these years, and you still have the gall... the thought to say that I don't care! I do not even know where that came from, but... how dare you?

"What do you think keeps me here, day after day, trying to make sure you don't lose yourself? What possible motive would I have to do anything I do, to sacrifice my own sanity just to make sure that you can wake up the next day able to look at yourself and not see a monster? What time have I wasted and what for?

"Do you think there is anything that I love about all of this? Do you think I do not hate this predicament with every fiber of my being, every last inch of what I have left that I can even call a pony? Do you think that it is merely through familial ties that I do this?

"We had not even met until the day this happened, and then we were stuck! What made you think that I had any motivation to stay? What makes you think we are connected by anything more than just the word? "Sister" and "Brother" have no more meaning to me! We are not tied by blood! The only blood coursing through our veins is the mix of a thousand ponies before us! I share nothing with you anymore!

"But yet I waste myself doing this, and you dare to question why?"

Having let it all out he shudders, giving one last breath before closing his eyes and softening his voice. "You hurt me with your words. Were you anypony else, I would still have stayed by your side all these years, simply for what you are. What you used to be. What I still believe you can be still. But you turn away from everything."

"Everything turned from me... everything lost... It's all gone. It took everything, Night, everything. It... He made me take it from myself. And now there's only the blood. That's all there is anymore. That's all there is for me." Tears streak down her face, and she does not bother to try drying them.

"Then all we need is something else, Morning. That's all." She laughs, long and bitter. "We have been... living this way for years and years, without focus. Without... something to keep us from turning. We are doing it differently, no doubt, but still, we both suffer from the same effects of the same disease. We need... something to do. And I think... I think I know what we can." He puts the hat back onto his head.

"What is there, Brother, for us? What?" Her tone carries faint hints of hope. "You have a plan." She clutches his leg, staring up into his eyes. "Tell me there's a plan," she begs.

"For these years we've simply just let... it go. This. What happened.

"But... what if... what if we did something that we've been ignoring all these years? It is something that I don't... feel... good about doing. Because it is not something a good gentlecolt or a lady ought to do.

"But... what say you to the idea of... revenge?"

"I... I think that... that would quite fit the bill."

"We've been... taking this out on others. Ourselves. Why not... find the one who deserves our anger?" He frowns. "The one who made us this way..."

"Then we pull his hooves off... grind his teeth to dust... skin him then tar and feather him... poke out his eyes... and leave him in the middle of the desert."

"... Or maybe ask him a few questions first." Nightingale reaches down, offering a hoof to Morningbird. "Come now. Let us go back in."

She takes his hoof and rises. Then she pulls him into a rough hug. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry... I should have never said that, never even thought it." She chokes up. "I love you too, Brother." She nuzzles his neck.

"I will never give up on us." He whispers into her ear, pushing her away gently and staring into her eyes. "We are more than just brother and sister. We have a bond that is more than any siblings would hope to achieve in a lifetime. So... don't question my devotion to you."

"Never again. I swear it." Nightingale smiles, a little sad smile, holding her in his legs. "Brother, it's been so long... How will we find him?"

"Well... not like we don't have all the time in the world, hm?"

"We should start by looking for others. Like us. No doubt he did this for... amusement. Otherwise he would stay around to sire us, yes? Like the stories." Determination fills his eyes in the predawn dark. "We will track him down," he says, voice steely.

"And... I'll fix the house tomorrow." He looks at the giant hole where the door used to be.

"Or we could leave now. Disappear into the night. Again..."

"But... But... Sister."


"The three ponies you have tied up in the basement..."

"Eh... Well, we have a few options... Eat them... Kill them... Give them drain brammage... Or leave them for others to find and let them tell about us."

"Sister, I must... must rein you in with the killing..." He sighs, looking up to the sky. "I suppose we have to start reprogramming you. But that shall be for tomorrow." He drops his head, looking at her from the corner of his eye. "Let us... go back to the house. I am weary. I would like to get some rest."

"Or that, I guess..."

"Always with the impulses!" he grumbles, moving off. She follows after him, trailing in his hoofsteps. "... What the heck is 'drain brammage'?"

"It's how brain damaged ponies say what they've got, of course!" She laughs, and it's a lot closer to her normal one.

"... I won't allow that in scrabble, you know."
Zmaxter 16th Aug 2013, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
I have a pretty awesome one.
Just this last session, last weekend, our guild leader died. He was a player and it was pretty tragic.
Fortunately, two of our players can read minds, and we knew he didn't actually kill himself, he survived and when he gets buried, he is going through a tunnel to escape and do some undercover investigation.
Worst thing is, two of our members don't know it's fake so they actually think he's gone and we can't really tell them :P
reynard61 15th Aug 2013, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
Heh! Now we'll hear some *REAL* whining!
you know that guy 16th Aug 2013, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
Whether you're related by blood or not? Westermarck only cares whether you were raised together. Wincest doesn't care at all.
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday, Spud! Story time today is all about birthdays, in honor of our fully adult Spud! Tell all about a character who was sired under abnormal circumstances, prophecies regarding births, or a really fun birthday celebration. Real life, or in game.

Demonu, I'm expecting something special from you. You know darn well why.
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
So...In Pathfinder I made a Merfolk Monk.

Temperance was from a tribe of merfolk who lived in a mountain lake. They had a queen, and the crown was passed from mother to daughter. Temperance was born as the daughter of the Queen...but also a twin. Twins were considered unlucky and usually the second twin was killed by being tossed downriver, where there was a deadly rapids. Merfolk rate of getting twins was about 2/3, so this happened fairly often. A monk from a nearby monastery knew of this, and fished in the river fairly frequently to keep an eye on the river (and to catch fish that would die in the rapids anyway). Most merfolk babies he rescued this way were sent to another mermaid tribe, but a harsh winter kept Temperance at the monastery long enough for the monks to want to adopt her, and they did. She grew up never swimming, and training hard to keep up with the other monks due to her lack of feet.

Basically she was a merfolk monk, which got rid of the movement penalties. She was also a monk of the four winds. And she has dark blue eventually she would become a navy SEAL.
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Could Temperance survive out of the water long enough to adventure?
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
In pathfinder merfolk prefer not to spend long times out of water, but do not get any penalties from doing so (besides low land movement speed). And since she has never swum as far as she can remember, she didn't feel the same yearning for swimming that most would. She still likes a good shower or bath more than others would, but is perfectly fine.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
My tenth birthday went uncelebrated, and I've been stuck at that age ever since. Now if only my body understood that. It's okay, though. Nothing could have compared to my brother's first birthday impersonation of Godzilla or his daughter's first birthday approximation of the table flipping phenomenon.

I will not share the unusual circumstances of my birth. All I've been told is that the typical response to seeing me in that first month was, "Will it live?" and the slightly less common, "Should it live?"

The experience prompted my father to swear that he'd never have another child born in Newfoundland. He meant it. My mother was shipped off to Nova Scotia when when the next was near due to be born, only for that sister to decide she's make her debut when she was good and ready.

My brother and next sister were born there as well, as we'd moved to the province a few years later. The youngest was born a continent's breadth away and month less a day after my second youngest sister, indicating that my mother took my father's oath even more seriously than he did.

Not quite prophecy, Raxon, but close enough?
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Meh, the other GM never lets our characters feel special or even get top billing on an adventure. We're just another number in a sea of warm bodies taking up oxygen from the planet.

As for real-life celebrations, we don't do much. If it's a birthday we'll go get a Publix cake (or bake one ourselves) and snack on it while we game.
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
As my brownie recipe lower on the page could make you guess, I'm the best cook in my D&D groups (at least the of the people I know).

So I make all the birthday celebration items if we don't buy them. I like cooking so sometimes I make things anyway.
Neutral Demon 15th Aug 2013, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
I don't have a character story cause I'm fairly new to actually gaming.
But my birth day is Halloween.
Destrustor 15th Aug 2013, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
My birthday is about a week from Christmas, meaning I'm one of those annoying dudes who always complained that they didn't get as much gifts as the others who'd get separate celebrations for both.
Waaah, My christmas gifts also count as my birthday gifts but I only get one more so the other kids don't get jealous but then they get a whole new set of gifts on their birthdays and then I'm jealous, waaaahh!
Oh, woe is me to be afflicted with such dire first world problems!
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Hey, that's a perfectly legitimate problem to complain about! That issie should not befall any person and you're getting short-changed!
I'd take it up with management.
Zakaz 15th Aug 2013, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
I once had a character who was hit with an age reduction spell. Luckily, she was only reduced to just before adulthood, so we were fine. Could have gone pretty bad though.
Flora 15th Aug 2013, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
Ah man, I feel ya--I was born on the 21st of Dec [winter solstice baby, ah yeah!] I'm lucky in that my parents did actually give me what felt like an entire extra set of gifts, especially if my birthday party itself was held in earlier December. Rest of the family wasn't so great though, hah.
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Solution: ask for all of your presents and major celebration to be on your half-birthday.
McBehrer 15th Aug 2013, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Last year, my Pathfinder group surprised my with a chocolate cake. The best part was the Pinkie Pie figure with its face pressed into it (my only MLP figurine until I bought Derpy a couple months ago) and the frosting, which spelled out "The only thing that should be rubbed in anypony's face."
Tatsurou 15th Aug 2013, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday, Newbiespud!

My story for birthdays is a bit different. See, what happened was that one of the players was having their birthday that day, and the rest of the group - me included - decided to give him a campaign where he could really shine, where he would be the MVP. He was playing the rogue, so it was relatively easy to craft a session where he'd get a good chunk of the glory (he had been playing mostly a support role before this campaign).

The session got off to a great start. The group was thrown in jail, and the only one who managed to keep any useful equipment was the rogue. He had to get them out, retrieve the equipment, take down the corrupt officials who falsely imprisoned them, and escape with their lives and reputations intact.

...unfortunately, this campaign later became known as "The Day of Cursed Dice", as NO ONE managed to roll a single skill check that even totaled ten with modifiers. The 'easy campaign to let the rogue shine' nearly TPK'ed the party 17 times that day, and actually wound up with the party trapped in a hell dimension with the only way out being to make a deal with a sadistic torture demon, which turned out to involve anal violation.

Yeah...we mulliganed that session.
Demonu 15th Aug 2013, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
First: happy birthday, Newbiespud

Second: kind of putting the pressure there on me, Raxon ^^'

Well, there's always "Operation Unicorn" but telling the same story twice would be unbecoming of me.

So instead, let's talk another 'birthday' celebration. As I've mentioned before in "Operation Unicorn," the group had decided that the day they found Sarah should be her birthday. The seasons had come and gone since the last birthday and lo and behold, Sarah casually remarked one morning that she would like to invite some friends over for her birthday during the weekend.
(timewise, this happens after the whole bandits@school incident)

Has anyone here ever thrown a birthday party for a twelfish year old girl? Yeah, the party didn't either. It always amuses me how the group could stress out over trivial things as if they didn't just slay a monster the day before or had to save a kingdom next week. It's really telling how a party can just casually stroll up to a dragon and slap the life out of it but need them to entertain children and suddenly they have no clue what to do. So they stuck their heads together and started planning said party.

Alex the Cleric: "So we're going to need snacks, drinks, gifts, entertainment and such. We should also probably store away our weapons and artifacts just to be safe..."
Me (the GM): "Guys? What about (insert super mega important plot related main quest)?"
Jim the Fighter: "Grocery shopping now, slaying evil later."
Me: "But didn't you agree to meet with Baron Blackhammer?"
Jim: "We'll send a message asking to reschedule."
Me: "What?"
Mike the Paladin: "Oh, better yet: we'll ask him if we can hold the party on his domain. That way his granddaughter can join in as well, we'll still meet him and besides, he still ownes us a favour for last time. It'll be killing two birds with one stone."
Me: "Seriously, what?"
(Baron Blackhammer is the local baron mentioned in "Birthdays are serious business")

But yeah, they actually went and did just so. After some negotiating and good dice rolling, Baron Blackhammer allowed the group to organise Sarah's party on the castle grounds. And yes, chocolate-strawberry cake would be served. Considering that the household could take care of everything, the group only had to hand over the gold for it. After all, it was still their party to hold. That just left two problems: gifts and entertainment.

The latter was solved pretty easily. When discussing what they could bring, Sarah said not to worry about it. One of her friends was going to bring along a game that they had been talking about at school and that Sarah really wanted to try. The group cheerfully checked that one off the list. Oh, if only they know what they were in for. More on that later.

But gifts. Gifts was going to be a major pain. Again. They probably wouldn't be able to top giving a unicorn but damn it if they weren't going to try. For the record, said 'unicorn' was now just a regular pony that Sarah rides around on. As expertly as the enchantment was cast, without the proper ingredients and devotion, it began to wane off after time. At first Sarah was a bit disappointed that Princess wasn't a real unicorn (yeah, the pony is named Princess, deal with it ^^) but she still appreciated the gift. Or as she cheerfully said: "Now I can ride Princess to school." as riding into class on a magical unicorn wasn't quite that smart an idea.

Another problem was that their budget was running low. Essentially hiring the castle grounds + servants had left a severe dent in the group's coin purse. Figuring they couldn't spare the coin for five seperate gifts, they decided to pool everything together and get one great gift to give to Sarah. While they were contemplating what said gift would be, I noticed that Tim the Wizard's player had dropped his wallet on the floor. I scooped it up but accidently let some things fall out. Most if it were cards or receipts but one thing in particular drew the table's attention: a strip of photographes of him and his girlfriend. You know the kind: a strip of four pictures that you can get quickly in one of those picture booths. While the table was teasing mercilessly, Jef the Rogue pipes up.

Jef: "When we're done rubbing Tim's face in the fact that he's getting some, I've got an idea for a gift..."

I decided on breaktime at that point because we were getting hungry and needed to order something. While I was on the phone, the group talked among themselves in the other room. It's always a good sign for a GM when you overhear phrases like "That's never going to work." "How do you think we'll even manage that?" "I like it." and such. So after a bite to eat, we reconvene at the table.

Me: "So have you decided on a gift yet?"
Jef: "Yes. We would like to..."

And at long last the weekend came around and the party was set to go. A tent had been constructed, chairs and tables had been pulled up and the mother of all strawberry-chocolate cakes was served. It looked like any ordinary birthday party you might have had when you were younger. Only, you know, with added magic and a way bigger budget and a castle and servants and...
Okay, mayby not. Moving on.

After everyone had their piece of cake and eaten it too, one of the kids pulled out a wooden chest seemingly from nowhere. Being curious about said chest, the party asked what it was for. "It's that I mentioned." Sarah replied while the kids kept pulling out clothes, prop weapons and the like from the chest. "It's really fun. It's about brave heroes trying to find lost treasure while encountering all sorts of obstacles." Sarah shuffled a bit with her feet. "I kind of told the others that you would play along."
"Play along how?" Tim asked, already fearing the answer. "Well," Sarah said as she bit her lip. "It would be really cool if you could be the monsters."

At that point, everyone around the table just stared at me. I casually grabbed a beer and drank it with a cheeky grin.

Jef: "Let me get this straight: you want us to LARP monsters against a bunch of children?"
Me: "Yeah, see how you like it."

Cue collective face palm. Never gets old XD

I just didn't tell one detail to the group. You see, after I had retconned Sarah into being a godchild, I slowly started to expand the pantheon. And, as you might have guessed, some of the children at the party also were godchildren. Which would make the 'game' so much interesting. The concentration of (divine) magic partially warped reality, allowing the 'game' to be 'real', which is why it was so much fun. The game started, making good use of the castle and surroundings, and whenever the 'game' would reach certain points, the magic would alter reality to suit the 'game.' For instance, the heroes (the children) needed to defeat "the bridge troll" in order to get access to "the castle." The magic did its thing and Jim was transformed into a troll. Albeit a children's interpretation of a troll and still recognizable as Jim but that's part of the fun of play/pretend, isn't it?

So yeah, the group got to play the part of the monsters. Jim was the troll guarding the castle, Alex was a mad sorcerer/scientist bringing Mike, a frankenstein/golem, to live, Tim was a vampire stalking the catacombs and Jef drew the short end and somehow became an entire gang of kobolds. Some of the castle servants got pulled in as well and were made NPC's. So essentially the group was playing their characters playing monsters against a group of children playing heroes. Good times ^^

The game ended when the heroes had defeated all the monsters and got to the treasure. The sun was starting to set and the children, tired out by playing, one by one said their goodbyes and were picked up by their parents (being gods in disguise. No one picked up on that at the moment) The group itself thanked Baron Blackhammer extensively for being such a generous/understanding host, saying that they will remember this and honour his call whenever he needs their help. Sarah couldn't wait to get home as the group told her that their gift was waiting for her back at the house.

Said gift? A family painting. Sarah sitting on Jim's lap while the others sit/stand around them. You know the type. The group had gone the extra mile and got an alchemist/wizard to weave magic into the paint used. The effect was something like the pictures from Harry Potter. The painting didn't move constantly nor did it when you looked at it but it did change whenever something (major) occured in the group. For instance, Dave the BARDbarian could be in town and the painting would show the group sitting while listening to Dave singing/playing on the side. Or when Jim and Mike had an argument over nothing, the painting would show Mike chasing Jim in an almost Tom & Jerry kind of fashion while the rest would be laughing in the background. And after the (main) campaign was over with, the ghostly apparition of Grymnos would appear, standing/floating behind someone's shoulder with his enigmatic smile and ruffling his hand through Sarah's hair.

Birthdays are the best :)
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
Very nice, Zuche.

And Demonu? Wow. Absolutely fantastic. You totally came through. That was beautiful.
Zuche 16th Aug 2013, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
Another great story, Demonu. I still get a kick out of the fact that the girl and her pony had names with the same meaning.
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday!

For my 21st I made brownies... I never touch alcohol 'cause I'm a prude.

My brownie recipe (which according to my friends is "awesome", "amazing", "Godly", and "Not Death by Chocolate, just Death.") is this:
find brownie the mix with the most chocolate that does not have chocolate chips or chunks
make the recipe as per instructions, mix all ingredients
add 2 regular sized bags of chocolate chips (about a pound)
take out brownies at maximum time for size...they should be too gooey to do the fork test on

When they come out of the oven they will be the perfect gooeyness, and you can cool them to a candybar.

Again, Happy Birthday. Hope you enjoy it!
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
I like to make chili for my birthday. My treat is seeing everyone eat my cooking and realize that I'm actually a pretty good cook, and all my weird ingredients go well together.
Phorvi 15th Aug 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Happy Drinking Day Spud!
ActingPower 15th Aug 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
...Wait a minute. I'm older than you, Spud?
(By less than two months, but still.)
darkwulf23 15th Aug 2013, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
This is the Newbie's birthday!
I hope you'll like it, Spud,
So here's this little poem,
I hope you'll think it's good.

Your score and one you celebrate,
As all your years before,
Here's hoping all of them were great,
And next year and next four.

You know what, no, no never mind,
May you enjoy them all,
Leap years, decades, centuries,
Through winter, spring, and fall.

And now it's time to thank you,
For all the things you do,
To make this comic wonderful,
And give us a good show.
Guest 15th Aug 2013, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
I read this to the tune of Pinkie's Singing Telegram.
Indigo Steel 15th Aug 2013, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
*snaps beatnick style*
Al 15th Aug 2013, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday!
JohnBobMead 15th Aug 2013, 6:30 AM Happy Birthday! edit delete reply
Indeed, happy birthday! Here's hoping it's a good year.
PikalaxALT 15th Aug 2013, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
To quote Fluttershy, I'm a year older than you, Spud. Enjoy your 21st, man.
Happy Birthday Newbiespud!
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday Spud!
There's always O'Douls or some such if you want to just "Role play" drinking with your friends. ;)
Neutral Demon 15th Aug 2013, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
I tried to break the 4th wall so I could get Pinkie Pie to throw you a party. But I failed.
So here is a cookie and chocolate milk ... but I drank the milk.
Call me Al 15th Aug 2013, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
So my brother was GMing a Star Wars campaign. We had to assassinate a Sith Lord. Well, somehow we found out it was their birthday that day, and we convinced his guards that we were planning his birthday party. One of our group members decided to buy him some hookers while I bought gingerale and someone else got a huge cake. We waited in his chambers with everything set up. In comes the Sith Lord annnnd... she was an old woman. She walks in and a hooker jumps out of the cake. She immediately has her security bots start shooting and and then we killed a Sith Lord.
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
LOL, that had to be an awkward moment.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Betty, that may be one of the best Star Wars stories I have ever read. Thank you for that.
Neutral Demon 15th Aug 2013, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Annnnd that's why you ALWAYS get all the facts
Wendilynn 15th Aug 2013, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
That I think is the best story I've read all day!
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Okay, with birthday commentary out of the way, it's time to show appreciation for the comic. You bring the story together beautifully here. It didn't seem right that the DM would do all of this just to pick on Rarity. Having it turn out that morale was having an effect on the player (and the group) feels much more appropriate.

...Even if it turns out that this is all an act by Rarity to help relax the group. I don't think that's the case, but if that's where this story is going, I could see that outcome working too.

And leave it to the barbarian to get the best "punch" lines.
DoubleCross 15th Aug 2013, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
YOU COULD DR- you know the line by now.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
He could drive nails through a quarter inch thick plank using only his thumb?

He could drag a locomotive engine from Oklahoma to Wyoming using only his teeth?

He could draw his own images for this comic so well that people were wondering where he found these screen captures?

He could dress himself for a change?

He could dredge up terrible memories of a time when it was the two of you were trapped in a cabin half submerged in a subarctic swamp, with only ten thousand rabid gerbils and half a deck of cards to keep you entertained?
DoubleCross 15th Aug 2013, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
...Either the joke was too obscure or you're doing this deliberately.
Newbiespud 15th Aug 2013, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
It flew over my head too, unfortunately.
DoubleCross 15th Aug 2013, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Probably because there's normally a different word involved.
Demonu 15th Aug 2013, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Also the expected punchline is missing, leaving some of the reference to be desired.
Digo 15th Aug 2013, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
I thought it was fairly straight-forward.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Is the other word "vote"?
DoubleCross 15th Aug 2013, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
But I'm not running for anything, so why would it be?
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
To borrow a line from "The Eve of Destruction", written back when the U.S. voting age was 21 and you could still be drafted into service:

"You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'"
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
When I googled that, google search suggestion came up with "You could drown a toddler in my panties".

Umicross. Please, please tell me that's not what you was saying. This is the kind of perverse line that even I will not cross.

That is the worst thing I've heard in over an hour. It's a terrible pickup line, and any girl who thinks infanticide is a sexy thing or a good pick up line needs to be sectioned.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
After reading Raxon's response, I would like to change my guess to "Dry your tears."
Newbiespud 15th Aug 2013, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
I got it now. It's kind of an in-joke between me and her. Also kind of an embarrassing one when finished, so I'm not telling either.
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Then I shall impersonate a gentleman and change my answer to "drop the subject."

I thought she was just talking about drinking.
DoubleCross 15th Aug 2013, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
Demonu 15th Aug 2013, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
The way Zuche wrote it, it made me think of "The most interesting man in the world"
Zuche 16th Aug 2013, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
...That may be the single most flattering thing anyone has said about me in a month. Not quite on par with being told that I was the best part of Calgary by my nieces, but still very flattering. Thank you, Demonu.
Destrustor 15th Aug 2013, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Oh yeah, whining aside, Happy birthday Newbiespud!
Here's to another 21 years of life until you're OLD.
Spade McTrowel 15th Aug 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday! It's mine also... except I'm a 'bit' older than 21 :)
fanozelda9 15th Aug 2013, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Yay odd coincidences, today is my 23rd birthday. I kinda wish I'd played a tabletop rpg before, because then I'd be able to comment on us being time shifted versions of the same person
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday to you two!

..I'm almost 23...

...going on 12 maturity-wise...
Chris Blanchard 15th Aug 2013, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
I once made a half-orc sorcerer in D&D 3.0. He was born into a tribe of orcs, and on the day of his birth, 13 crows fell dead from the sky. The tribe was ready to kill him when the old witch woman came and declared that the birds were a sign that he was destined to gain great power, and she took him under her protection. Eventually, of course, she died and the chief decided that without a protector my character would need to die. So, he killed the chief first and then fled. His whole goal in life was to gain enough power so that he need not ever fear anyone threatening or trying to kill him ever again.
RavenscroftRAVEN 15th Aug 2013, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Everyone with me, Rarity, you too!

♪ Don't you know, you never split the party!
Cleric in the back, keeps the fighters hale and hearty!
The wizard in the middle, where he can shed some light,
And you never let that damn thief,
You never let that damn thief,
You neeeever let that damn thief out of siiiiiight!
Oblivious 15th Aug 2013, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday, Spud, and congrats on making me feel old!
Semi-joking aside, here's to many, many more birthdays and roleplaying stories.
Rokas 15th Aug 2013, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday, Spud! :D

May you have many more to come!

And stay away from tequila.
XandZero2 15th Aug 2013, 11:08 AM edit delete reply

-I don't have much to say besides that, but yeah, happy birthday in any case (;
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
I'm proud of ya, Spud.

We teetolers gotta stick together! Straight edge for life!

Yep. Forever sober. Man, you think I'm bad now, just imagine if I was some kind of user.
Walabio 15th Aug 2013, 1:22 PM ¡Addiction is a choice! ¡If one chooses never to start, one can never become addicted! edit delete reply
Raxon 15th Aug 2013, 12:22 PM:

> “I’m proud of ya, Spud.”

> “We teetolers gotta stick together! Straight edge for life!”

> “Yep. Forever sober. Man, you think I’m bad now, just imagine if I was some kind of user.”

I always figured that You were on some dangerous experimental substance —— I kid. ¡If Michelle Bachmann can be crazy and sober, so can you! I am a teetotaler myself:

When I was a child in elementary school, it occurred to me that if I never start using addictive substances, I could never become addicted; so, like Adam Ant, I don’t drink, don’t smoke:

¡Addiction is a choice! ¡If one chooses never to start, one can never become addicted!

Addict: "¡Have pity on me!"

Walabio: “Did someone force you to start using it (whatever it is)?”

Addict: “no.”

Walabio: “¡You chose to become an addict when you chose to start!”

I am for decriminalizing narcotics because one cannot save idiots from themselves. as long as ponies are 100% accountable for their actions under the influence. I would make operating a motorvehicle under the influence without special circumstance such as being chased my a homicidal maniac (that actually has happened) punishable by an year in jail and permanent removal of one’s driverlicense:

Alcoholcompanies in general and bars in particular have bribed politicians with campaigncontributions to be very lenient on drunk drivers. Basically, drunk drivers get nothing but slaps on the wrists until they finally murder:

¡If one chooses to drink and chooses to drive one chooses to murder!

We should also 8th the legal alcohollimit (because of lobbying from the alcoholcompanies in general and the bars in particular, one can drive drunk, as long as one is not too drunk. If one discovered that the schoolbusdriver of one's children would be almost but not quite legally drunk, ¿would one feel that one’s children are safe?

I would also decriminalize prostitution because what consenting adults do is noponies business but theirs.
Destrustor 15th Aug 2013, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs, coffee or energy drinks of any kind, and I average 5 hours of sleep per day.
The only thing I'm drunk on is insomnia!
Indigo Steel 15th Aug 2013, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
Only fi...!?
How do you...
Wh...I can't...AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!
*head explodes*
Destrustor 15th Aug 2013, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Also, I said "average". Which means sometimes, I get even less than that.
Raxon 16th Aug 2013, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Walabio, I personally oppose legalizing prostitution, because I believe that allowing yourself to succumb to sexual urges is a form of weakness. Paying someone to indulge you in such a weakness? Shameful, and unbecoming of any man. Thewants of the body are not something to be indulged. They are limitations to be overcome. That's what makes a man badass.

As such, religious arguments aside, I believe prostitution is bad because it makes you weak.
Walabio 16th Aug 2013, 1:06 PM One cannot save ponies from themselves. edit delete reply
Raxon 16th Aug 2013, 5:22 AM"

> “The wants of the body are not something to be indulged.”

One cannot save ponies from themselves. All this criminalization does is destroy lives of adult women who chose the profession. In the olden days, the prudes used religion as sufficient justification for banning prostitution. As society becomes more secular, they switched to childprostitution and sexslavery:

According to the FBI, childprostitution makes up only 2% of prostitution in the United States of America. It makes far more sense to directly target it than all prostition.

Sexslavery in prostitution basically does not exist in the United States of America. Too many women are willing to voluntarily be prostitutes.

I believe tat using narcotics is idiotic, but am for decriminalizing them because one cannot save ponies from themselves. The same argument holds for adult prostitution between consenting adults. I definitely do not want the government in my bedroom.
Suburbanbanshee 16th Aug 2013, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
"Sexslavery in prostitution basically does not exist in the United States of America."

Let me explain the concept of "pimp" and "madam," and how that relates to "non-voluntary participation in illegal activities."

Further, I hate to tell you this, but the FBI is constantly finding more sex slave rings in the US. Lots of Mexican girls (and boys), as well as lots of other ethnic groups brought into the US illegally. Without speaking the language, it's easy to keep them prisoner. Apparently even places like truckstops sometimes have sex slaves in a trailer someplace; and they're also found in many cities and even small towns (near highways). It's a very sad, weird thing, but it's true and getting worse.

And of course, a lot of abductors kidnap and keep girls (or boys) captive as sex slaves for their own use, without any commercial need. Witness the infamous Ariel Castro.
Walabio 17th Aug 2013, 12:04 AM Criminalization of prostitution kills. edit delete reply
Suburbanbanshee 16th Aug 2013, 1:43 PM:

> > “Sexslavery in prostitution basically does not exist in the United States of America.”

Note: I meant of adults. Basically, it does not make economic sense to enslave mare adult prostitutes because of free-mares willing to do the job.

> “Let me explain the concept of ”pimp“ and ”madam,“ and how that relates to ”non-voluntary participation in illegal activities.“

You bring up interesting cases of abuse, but the reason we have the abuse is the criminalization of prostitution:

If we would decriminalize prostitution, most prostitutes would form co-ops:

Several prostitutes, let us say 10, for example, would rent a retail-space. Each mare would be responsible for her share of the rent, bills, and taxes (1/10th in this example). After paying her share of costs, everything else a mare earns, she keeps.

Prostitution is bad, so we should close the bordellos, thus forcing prostitutes to work on the streets where the serial killers can shop for victims. Making prostitution the most dangerous profession in the country, with the highest murder-rate is good because prostitution is bad.

> ”Further, I hate to tell you this, but the FBI is constantly finding more sex slave rings in the US. Lots of Mexican girls (and boys), as well as lots of other ethnic groups brought into the US illegally. Without speaking the language, it’s easy to keep them prisoner. Apparently even places like truckstops sometimes have sex slaves in a trailer someplace; and they’re also found in many cities and even small towns (near highways). It’s a very sad, weird thing, but it’s true and getting worse.“

The statistics are that only 2% of prostitutes are are underage. It makes far more sense to target exploitation of children rather than adult mares working voluntarily.

> ”And of course, a lot of abductors kidnap and keep girls (or boys) captive as sex slaves for their own use, without any commercial need. Witness the infamous Ariel Castro.“

¿What does this have to do with prostitution? ¡It is totally orthogonal! What Ariel Castro did has nothing to do with whether or not prostitution is criminalized or decriminalized. Besides, if you magically believe that Ariel Castro abducted women because of the legality of prostitution, then, since prostitution was criminalized, then if it it would have been decriminalized, he never would have enslaved those women. Personally, I believe that your logic is crazy and whether prostitution was lawful or illegal had nothing to do with his behavior.

The fact is that criminalization of prostitution kills. It renders prostitutes beneath the law —— prostitutes dare not report crimes against them because they will be arrested —— and closing bordellos forces them onto the streets where they face violence. Besides, as a secular nation, we should not have religion-based laws:

The original rationale for laws against prostitution was totally religious. The main proponents of keeping prostitution illegal are religious ponies. They, now-a-adays use arguments like child-prostitution (only 2% of prostitution), violence (almost all violence is because prostitution is not lawful), public health (police use the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution, so the illegality of prostitution creates the perverse incentive to not use condoms).

New Zealand Decriminalized prostitution in 2003, and since then, has had no homicides involving prostitutes. That is much better than an American state of the same size where prostitution is illegal, where one would find hundreds of homicides of prostitutes in the same timeperiod where one would expect 204 homicides per 100,000.

¡What adult consenting mares and stallion do behind closed doors is nopony’s business but theirs. ¡Keep the government out of the bedroom!
Zuche 15th Aug 2013, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
I should have pegged you for a dry wit, Raxon.

A surprising number of non-drinkers here. Nice to not be the odd man out somewhere.
Indigo Steel 15th Aug 2013, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
Indigo Steel
Same here, no booze, no smoking, no drugs!
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
I'm a prude, so I even disapprove of my parents drinking... Also the smell of alcohol makes me a bit light headed, so I stay away from the stuff.

I get incredibly sick with even a whiff of 2nd hand smoke, so I stay away from that too.

And I don't see the point of drugs. I have enough mental and physical issues without things to mess them up more.
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
You might be almost as bad as when one of my Loony and more hyper friends drank a caffeinated was like giving pixies pixie sticks...
Call me Al 16th Aug 2013, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Humans make enough bad decisions on our own, we don't need drinking to increase that.

And smoking will kill you. About two weeks ago a man that I've known my entire life died of lung cancer and he was an avid smoker.

And as for drugs, they cost you your health, time, career, life, and money.
Demonu 16th Aug 2013, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
I smoke cigars and a pipe and I enjoy the better beers (hurray for Belgium) and occasionally something stronger.

In fact, most of my (free) evenings consist of me in my evening robe sitting in my rocking chair with a pipe/cigar and a glass of the local speciality or a good beer and watching a show or a good (black and white) movie.

Seriously, what's with all the extreme attitudes here?

Does drinking kill? No (the act of drinking in itself)
Does excessive drinking kill? Yes
Is it unhealthy? Yes and no. Downing a bottle of Jack every evening is bad but a glass of red wine every evening actually has a beneficial effect.

Is smoking unhealthy? Yeah, not going to argue with that. In my particular defense, I don't find cigars or a pipe that unhealthy. For starters, you don't inhale with those and you just can't smoke them at the rate one would go through cigarettes. Added bonuses are it's cheaper (a pack of pipe tobacco or a box of cigars last a hell of a lot longer than cigarettes) and it's classy as fuck. Or so it is in my regard.

Drugs are bad, m'kay. Let's leave it at that.

You are all entitled to your opinions and I respect those. But please don't make it sound like the ones who enjoy a smoke or a drink are completely out of their minds.
Walabio 16th Aug 2013, 12:54 PM ¡Language! edit delete reply
Demonu 16th Aug 2013, 11:17 AM:

> “(hurray for (Expletive Deleted))”

Please, none want to listen to such faoul language. Raxon is an homicidal maniac and even he disapproves the B-Word.
Zuche 16th Aug 2013, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
It took me a minute to get that, as my version of the book used a different word. Well play, Walabio.

And Demonu, I'm not going to say much about drink. I know it can be done responsibly, but I've had to put up with the consequences of it being done irresponsibly too often to be sympathetic to it.

As for smoking, I've known too many smokers and endured too many entitled decades to have anything but contempt for the practice. Some of the smokers I've known have been outstanding people, but their respect for personal space (and property) when it came to their practice was abominable.

I don't consider my own rejection of these things a sign of greater intelligence or character. A lifetime of avoiding these didn't keep me from becoming an addict, as surely as a lifetime of appreciation for either doesn't make you one. That said, I won't apologize if my views on the subject should make you feel defensive. Though I consider Walabio's position naive, I hope he'll always be able to afford to think that way.
Walabio 15th Aug 2013, 12:57 PM ¡Happy BirthDay! edit delete reply
¡Happy BirthDay!
Pathfidner 15th Aug 2013, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Finally I have a good story on the topic. We played a 7th sea (swashbuckling system) during High School and early college and my friend had a character of Pseudo-Spaniard Swordsman that he played for 5 years with 3 different GM (including me). He finally gotten to be master of his swordsmanship school and with his leveled attributes he was one of the best swordsman in entire country. His school was't officially recognized but he didn't care. On the next session I gave him strong, but still considerably weaker enemy from one of the official schools so he can have some fun. Now rounds of combat have ten phases to act and typical fight is 4-5 rounds. Our swordsman was K.O.ed in the very first round (rolls in 7th sea don't have upper limit on the results). This was very unlikely (0.4% by my account) but I decided to roll with it. The winner just left him bleeding remarking that he wasted his life on fake school. My friend got up, patch himself and instead of going for round two as I suspected went to the bar where he started drinking and gave epic rant about how he could be ranch with bulls and horses and a nice wife instead of this worthless swordsmanship. He then went to park and sit on the bench. My friend started talking about abandoning his character (despite his power, because of bad optimization swordsman had no room to grow and was now quite old and would only get weaker with the years passing). Other members of the team panicked when he didn't show up after fight and went to hiding. All but one. One guy was a bit like Elan from Order of the Stick - he didn't got all the mechanics and was extremely naive and rarely learned from his mistakes. But he always have fun, even when his character ended screwed once again. He went looking for our swordsman, found him and gave him talk - reminded him of all he accomplished and how his character inspired him to not give up. It was naive and cliched - but this guy really belied in it I think. And he could deliver. This was one of the most touching moments that I witnessed in RPG. He kept playing this character for another year. Unfortunately our swordsman career ended on a sad note but that's another story.
Oh and Happy Birthday. I'll rise a glass for yours health tonight.
Vegetalss4 15th Aug 2013, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday!
May the coming year be a great one for you.
SAFR 15th Aug 2013, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Don't you know, you never split the party
Clerics in the back, keep those Fighters hale and hardy
The Wizard in the middle, so he can shed some light
And you never let that damn Thief out of siiiiiight!
Guest 15th Aug 2013, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Happy B-Day! ^_^
DragonTrainer 15th Aug 2013, 6:23 PM edit delete reply
Darn, forgot to log-in. :p
AJBulldis 15th Aug 2013, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday Newbiespud! And I guess spud is the operative word. Maybe I'm too old for this comic and colorful talking ponies...
aylatrigger 15th Aug 2013, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
You are never too old in my opinion.
Pinkie Pie 16th Aug 2013, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
So Twilight WAS wrong on Nightmare Night!
q97randomguy 15th Aug 2013, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday! I'm glad to see that you're also not planning on drinking on your 21st birthday. I too often feel alone in that regard.

Have a 5 for a present.
KingArthur5 15th Aug 2013, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday dude!
Gomegadon 15th Aug 2013, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday
Lyntermas 15th Aug 2013, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday!
Tech 15th Aug 2013, 11:18 PM HB edit delete reply
Happy birthday. [_] Have some cake.
Vanya 15th Aug 2013, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday!
Raxon 16th Aug 2013, 5:50 AM edit delete reply
It's coming. It's soooo close.

Zuche 16th Aug 2013, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
... I am curious, Raxon. Does this mean you made a guest strip?
Raxon 16th Aug 2013, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
No, sorry. Schedule does not allow for that. I have a story time. It is is probably going to be the greatest storytime story I have ever posted.

Prepare yourselves. It is coming.
Guest 16th Aug 2013, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Happy Happy Birthday, A good Birthday to you!
Happy Happy Birthday, have some cake, presents too!
Happy happy birthday, I say hip hip hooray!
Happy Happy Birthday, Newbiespud Yesterday! (Late but yah)
Suburbanbanshee 16th Aug 2013, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday, and thank you for this wonderful comic. (Not to mention all the gaming discussions!)
Starphoenix 17th Aug 2013, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birth-o-versary to you and you today!
*insert rest of Pinkie Pie's song here*

Also a very close to no alcohol drinker here too!

I also don't partake in smoking, drugs, or sex.


My life may seem very boring to some of you.
Minsc 18th Aug 2013, 5:24 PM I love moments like these! edit delete reply
Never commented before... just wanted to tell you, the fact you have actual friendship in this, like the show, is one of the things which makes me love this series so much! I love the jokes and cynical stuff as well... but I adore it when the players have friendship moments.
Norakos 1st Sep 2013, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Happy super belated birthday. Fun fact, mine is a day (and 2 years) before yours.