Page 330 - The Next Grand Adventure

29th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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The Next Grand Adventure
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Aug 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
But what Pinkie's planning is for another story, because this arc of Swarm of the Century / A Bird in the Hoof / A Dog and Pony Show is at an end.

Starting this Saturday, and continuing on through September and October, will be a run of guest comics provided by fellow readers. It's an impressive set this time around, full of references, crossovers, mini-arcs, parodies, cuteness, and much, much more. Regular comics will resume on October 31st.

And when we do return, we'll be starting up again with Feeling Pinkie Keen.

Have fun, see you all later this Fall, and enjoy the guest comics!

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



Raxon 29th Aug 2013, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Best. Gm. Ever.

Story time today is about guests DMing.
Cain 29th Aug 2013, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
Ranubis's stint as a guest GM for encounters had the glorious 'Fey eat Unicorns' incident. He had to figure what the Fey were eating and moment of panic said Unicorns as they were the only beast on the Feywild he knew of. And the quest happened to be to recover some unicorns to prove we could be trusted. the quest was a pre made, his flub was all him.
Zakaz 30th Aug 2013, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
One time, our regular DM was out of town on business, but he told us that we would still be able to continue with his brother.

His brother turned out to be one of the strictest and die-hard DMs I've ever met. He railroaded like crazy, if we even attempted to go off his path, he would send as many impossible challenges as possible. Bad loot, barely any money and extremely hard enemies.
Disloyal Subject 18th Nov 2013, 5:11 PM DMs edit delete reply
Huh. That's a weird way to DM... I like to railroad a little, but more in an 'all roads lead to Rome' way. So far, no one's just blown off the main plot, but I make sure to have encounters, minidungeons, and the like prepped... just in case.
As far as guesting... in the campaign with my orc hippie, we were storming a guard tower in the mountains that'd been taken by bandits in hopes that we could take it and have a safe place to rest for healing and spells. After most of us got lured back outside using our bleeding & dying ranger as leverage, the DM turned running the game over to me for a bit, while his DMPC, our Fighter - well, Warblade, but thematically similar - snuck up the tower to kill the last bandit while the rest of us followed his demands to empty our purses and flee on pain of the ranger dying. The bandit's listen checks were mediocre, so he got to the top floor, where the sniper was, undetected. He attacked, but got a 2. The archer's counterattack was just as bad (it's fun to explain how an archer misses at point blank!) and he dropped his bow and started running when the retaliatory AoO scored a glancing blow for a few points of damage. The Warblade missed with another AoO as the bandit frantically tries to climb down the ladder to the second floor, but then it's his turn... Seeing that he probably won't catch the rogue this way, he jumps past him, barely making the check to land safely, and rolls yet another attack, burning a maneuver for a damage bonus if he passes a Concentration check.
He passes, and rolls his attack (with a bonus, since the bandit's on the ladder with his back turned).
Nat 20.
The rogue was already wounded, with only 2 or 3 HP left, and he got hit by over 20 points of damage, at first level. I ruled that the attack cleaved him in half through the spine and out the belly in a spray of blood, then the ladder behind him. It was a very satisfying end to a frustratingly long fight that should've been over in 1 swing, a bandit that humiliated us all, and a fight that continued the pattern of all fights being too close for comfort. (Did I mention I was the only caster?)
Mister Tulip 29th Aug 2013, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
This is going to be good. I like the little touch with Pinkie's DM-styled speech boxes on the last panel, too.
Fey 29th Aug 2013, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Am I the only one that read that last part in Scott Bakula's voice?
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Maybe. I heard it as delivered by Amanda Winn Lee.
Joe the Rat 29th Aug 2013, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
For some reason I hear the GM as Vaarsuvius...
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
I picked up 'Motley Crew' with my DM hearing.
Syth 29th Aug 2013, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
Well played Sir, and Fillies Love Cannons.
aqua 2nd Sep 2013, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I also like Pinkie's GM-styled boxes. It's a great way to set up the episode into an adventure with the smaller group. Should be a fun side trip into the madness of a Pinkie GM! :D

Reminds me, and this could be the story time if you like, but there are occasions when a player surprises the group with being an entertaining GM. My brother doesn't game with us, but before his retirement, he surprised us with a brilliant game of Toon.

A game of Toon where we could die because there was 'Dip' introduced into the adventure! It was a fun little romp through toon town and the human world in a very "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" style world.

We were impressed, and it's funny how much our characters tried to take thnigs more seriously when perma-death was possible. I applaud my bro with that surprise.
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Now that is a cliffhanger. Is it strange that I'm left wondering what story featured Applejack, Fluttershy, and Twilight as the focus characters? I don't remember that ever happening on the show. The most interaction I've seen between Fluttershy and Applejack was in the episode featuring the dragon, but the latter got about as much time as anyone but Fluttershy that time.

Does anyone recall an episode I've forgotten? Or...

No. No. She wouldn't. Newbiespud, may I have permission to speculate freely about the nature of the next storyline? I'm pretty sure I'm wrong about this, but I'm still asking in case you find people trying to guess ahead annoying.
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
I've been on the edge on my seat waiting to see what guest comics we got this time around. The way Spud spins it, we're in for a treat!
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
And now don't I feel stupid for completely overlooking the sentence that answers my question about the adventure Pinkie runs. I'd completely forgotten that neither Rainbow Dash or Rarity were present for that story and that it works pretty well as a Pinkie for DMPC event.

Come to think of it, there are more than a few stories which would work fairly well with Pinkie as either a player or a DMPC. Too Many Pinkie Pies might also work best with her behind the screen.

...Because I'd hate to think of her reaction to watching Twilight kill her character a few dozen times in a night if she wasn't the one moderating the action.
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
I don't judge Z, you're too cool for that. "Too Many Pinkie Pies" would be an awesome cool adventure for Pinkie's player to run. Can you imagine the chaos she'd let cut loose just for the LOLs?

Though, she'd probably have to run Dash as an NPC for her part, assuming that she even does the swimming pool scene.
Starphoenix 29th Aug 2013, 7:25 AM edit delete reply
They did say Feeling Pinkie Keen, right?

Also, Bravo, good show.
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
"Feeling Pinkie Keen", featuring everyone but Rainbow Dash and Rarity, was indeed confirmed. I'm clearly more tired than I thought, and I knew I was very tired.
Twooshort 29th Aug 2013, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
I predict that the GM will be showing up as Spike.
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
I take it naps are currently not possible?
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Not at the moment, but I'll probably have to take one in a few hours. I miss being able to stay asleep for more than four hours at a time.
Digo 29th Aug 2013, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Ick, I hope that's not due to medical reasons. D:
JohnBobMead 29th Aug 2013, 12:09 PM Zuche nap times edit delete reply
So, new parent? That would remove staying asleep for more than four hours at a time, or so I've been led to believe.
Zuche 29th Aug 2013, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
No, it's just that my spine feels like a rotting tree trunk if I sleep longer than that. I usually manage a few more hours by moving to a chair. Sadly, it doesn't work if I try starting in the chair.

And no kids. I thought they'd need something more.
nemryn 1st Sep 2013, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Aww, I was kind of hoping that it was the guest comics Pinkie would be DMing for.
Eyepoppee 29th Aug 2013, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie Pie is best GM.
you know that guy 29th Aug 2013, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
Is Rainbow Dash Pete from Darth's androids?
XandZero2 29th Aug 2013, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
First off, I got to say Newbie, I like how you managed to end this arc on an even ten's digit panel. I honestly felt like the arc was dragging a bit at the end with all the friendship lessons - but this panel in-particular makes up for it to some extent.

Now I can't wait to see how a Pinkie-GMed game's going to run, and more importantly, I can't wait to see if the regular GM is going to play a PC during the adventure. Spike maybe?

Whatever the case, I also have a story to contribute to story time today if we're going off of guest GMing as a thing.

This story has to do with only the second pen & paper RPG I ever was a part of... An RPG set during the not-so-old days of 3.5 D&D in the Iron Kingdoms RPG setting (think fantasy steampunk).

So, one day a number of us were sitting around shooting the breeze, and we decided that we were going to start up an RP group.

Only problem?

-No one had any real experience GMing.

Well, we figured we'd worry about choosing a GM later - so then we went ahead and settled on a setting (the IK) while we made our characters.

Then, when we could put it off no longer - we finally started discussing who would be the GM.

Since none of us had any experience GMing, none of us even knew if we'd enjoy it, or if we'd be any good at it, or - you get the idea.


We decided to have 'try-outs.'

There were four of us in the group, and we decided to each take a turn at being GM in a series of one-off quests. This would serve a dual role. First off, it would allow everyone to try the GM chair while everyone else got to sample their GM styles to see if they liked them or not. Secondly, it would allow all our puny level 1 PCs to get some experience, fame, and - gasp! - cool gear!

Well, I've never heard of any other group handling things this way, but we agreed that after everyone completed their one-off quests, we'd then all take a vote for those who were still interested in continuing on as GM - and the winner would win the title of 'Official Group GM for All (or most) Future Sessions!' Hazzah!

^With all that typed, you might be wondering how things turned out...

Well, the first guy ran a quest in a haunted mansion riddled with zombies. We had an NPC cleric come along with us to help out and it was a nice little adventure that proved to be a fun challenge. By the end of the quest, the first GM also gave us a plot-hook for future adventures (introducing this shady dude in a red cloak that was supposed to be secretly evil - but my character, who happened to be a paladin, passively sensed that the guy was pure evil, and actually called him out on it and nearly got his head blown off for his trouble - but I digress).

Then we had the first GM hand off to the second.

Now, this GM obviously knew nothing about the IK setting (he threw out magic items and dragons like candy when both were supposed to be exceedingly rare), but we still had a pretty good time during his quest, and at the end he rewarded us with some ridiculously powerful swag (I got a +5 magical, Cold Iron Battleaxe - at lvl 2!).

Then I took over! BWAHAHAHAHAA!!!

XandZero2 29th Aug 2013, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
I ran the players through a goofy little quest I'd concocted where the PCs were hired to exterminate a gremlin infestation plaguing a local factory. That was the first time I'd ever GMed, and I pulled out all the stops. Custom maps, traps, monsters, NPCs, etc. It was hilarious and a real hoot (-and I also had plot-hooks for future adventures in my quest too)!

Following my adventure, my little brother (who was only about 8 at the time, believe it or not) ran us through a quest of his own. The quest involved the party going into some catacombs riddled with ghosts, giant spiders, pirahnas, a giant gator, and all kinds of craziness (it was basically a whirlwind tour of the monster manual) - surprisingly however, we had a ton of fun, and all in all, my little bro did a good job GMing too.

Once all four quests were completed, it came time to vote. The guy who ran the second quest decided to step down (since, as I mentioned earlier, he had no knowledge of the setting). But everyone else was game to continue GMing, and we had to choose what to do from there... Who would win the coveted title of 'Official Group GM for All (or most) Future Sessions!'

Well, when it came right down to it...

-We simply couldn't decide!

The first guy, my brother, and I had all done a pretty good job GMing, and we were all okay with any of us continuing on as the GM. In the end, we simply agreed to continue rotating GMs in and out after every campaign - and though that did lead to some difficulties later on down the road (since every GM still had THEIR PC in the party during their campaigns - and that tended to lead to some OP moments) all-in-all, it was a fun experience (which also happened to be my FIRST experience as a GM).
l3f4y 29th Aug 2013, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
My group is composed of six people right now, though we've had people coming and going since everyone got together (I only joined a few months ago, myself). Our regular DM has a whole world mapped (complete with the genealogy of kings and a several-century history meticulously planned out), and the party has mostly been traveling through the main plot, but we've just finished a short arc by one of the players.

Our entire party was teleported to a dwarf fortress by a gnome. The dwarves were apparently looking for some heroes to solve a "problem" (i.e. kill some evil, power-hungry drow), but the gnome they hired was a bit drunk and a moron, so they got us. We barely made it through a set of about a billion traps before meeting a naga who sent us to kill the drow leader, who sacrificed every single one of her underlings to gain immense power. Then our cleric attempted to defile the altar she had been using (admittedly at my suggestion) and summoned a stone drider. We barely got out alive.

I've also been doing a few sessions of an extended side campaign - every once in awhile we'll take a break from the main plot and play different characters in the next installment of my story. Originally it was a one-off for when our regular DM was out of town, but I got a little carried away.

The best thing about it is that all three of these have been in the same world, and they've affected each other. My campaign was already heavy on the dwarf vs drow tension when our main characters were sent to the stronghold, and after defeating the drow cleric we spotted a red-robed wizard fleeing the castle (the upcoming first boss of my own campaign).

All that said, I still have the best time with our regular DM, playing my almost-evil favored soul gnoll carpenter.
Raxon 30th Aug 2013, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Teleported to a dwarf fortress?

Did you go native? Do you need alcohol to get through the working day?
Tatsurou 29th Aug 2013, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
While I don't have a story for this story time, there is one story I recently remembered that I wanted to share.

It was reading about a Bardbarian that made me remember one time I made my own Barbarian/bard cross class character. I'd put most of my bonuses for the character into a customized weapon and a custom song/spell, so it looked like I'd be underpowered a bit, but that was far from the case.

The weapon? My "Might Axe", which was a steel guitar with a battle axe head at one side. It had an enchantment on it that the strings wouldn't break when it was wielded as an axe.
The song? "Song of Magic Transfer". The actual description I don't remember, but the basics was that I could take one spell one of the casters had prepared or was casting and let a different caster cast it, as long as that other character could cast a spell. The way I mostly used it was the wizard would prepare to cast the fireball, I'd play the song, and the rogue - who could naturally cast 'find treasure' - would deliver the spell via a knife into a weak point on the enemy. Nothing quite as fun as watching a fireball explode INSIDE the enemy.

This was okay until I managed to argue the GM until letting me use the spell to transfer an enchantment of Illumination from an incredibly fragile glass statue to a lump of magic ore that was much sturdier. I then used that argument to transfer the magic of the next enchanted weapon we found to my axe.

I proceeded to do that from then on, adding the magic of any artifact we found to the magic equipment the party already had. Eventually, we had equipment that sent all our stats through the roof with massively devastating effects against the opponents...and they all were still listed as equippable by level 1 characters.

We ended the campaign when we were able to melt a Tarrasque to slag...but it was still fun.

One year later, I saw the first advertisement for "Brutal Legend."
Salivanth 29th Aug 2013, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
My prediction for the next arc's plot:

Twilight leaps on the "mysterious Pinkie Sense" plot hook, and grows more and more frustrated at Pinkie. Eventually, she blows up and yells at Pinkie about how her stupid adventure doesn't make any sense, it doesn't have any rhyme or reason, and you can't solve a puzzle that's too random to BE solved.

Pinkie then giggles and reveals that every instance of the Pinkie Sense was set up ahead of time, and NPC-Pinkie was just pranking everypony. There was no Pinkie Sense violating causality and predicting the future, it was just a bunch of tricks.

After Twilight recovers from her WTF, she learns a valuable lesson about trusting her friends, and also feels like a total idiot.
NOTDilbert 29th Aug 2013, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
OOH! I predict that during the IRL moments of GMing, Pinkie will have several "Baby Cakes" moments as being the GM reveals itself as a true job with a lot less funfun than she thought....
DarthMalice 29th Aug 2013, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
I once was hired by a friend to guest gm a game and assassinate his entire party.

but I guess no pony wants to hear that story <.<
MumaKirby 29th Aug 2013, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
So wait... your friend brought you on as a character hitman? XD

Was he bored of the group or something?
ShadowDragon8685 30th Aug 2013, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
From a guy named "Darth Malice"? Yes.

Yes we do.
Darthmalice 30th Aug 2013, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
Noooo Mumakirby, he wanted me to kill them as the GM. He basically hired me to plan and run a TPK. He was co-gming a game and was annoyed with the way the other gm was running things, since the guy had never even played pathfinder before starting the game. So in the game before asking me to GM, he put them in a dragon's lair, then privately asked me to wipe the party. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted, as long as it used a dragon- and since they were 7 level 6-8 adventurers, I decided to throw an adult Umbral Dragon at them- an encounter that would have been hard for a properly geared party of their level, but doable...
The PROBLEM was the inexperienced GM had never properly geared them. Little to no magic items, and the party had never been told potions existed.

What ensued was a massacre. Dragon was hiding in the shadows of the ceiling, then breath weaponed then when they came in ( they weren't quiet at all coming in). Dropped the healer, vampiric touched the fighter dead, and proceeded to one by one catch the others as they ran around like chickens with their heads chopped off. They ended up doing, all told, 27 damage to the dragon.

This was my first time meeting all of these people too. Surprisingly, not only are they all (except the fighter, he was the gm who didn't hire me) still my friends, they're actually my gamers in my own campaigns. Might have something to do with me turning around and giving them advice on how to fix their characters/tactics afterwards.

They're still terrified of Umbral Dragons though. I scarred then for life :)
RinaldoLuk 29th Aug 2013, 4:27 PM Headcannon edit delete reply
In my headcannon I've decided that the versions of the MLP characters in Equestria Girls are the Players in this game.

That is all.
Jgame 30th Aug 2013, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
Then who's the DM? Did the girls try to be friends with Sunset Shimmer but the school shunned them a result, so Sunset Shimmer suggested that they DM with one another to be friends and has been secretly using her knowledge of Equestria to easily make a convincing campaign setting???
deathsheir 30th Aug 2013, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
that, or it's principle Celestia.
MumaKirby 29th Aug 2013, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
... Is D&D camp a thing? I want it to be a thing. >.>
Stairc 30th Aug 2013, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
D&D Camp is a thing. I run it. =)
Wyvern 31st Aug 2013, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
I had no idea another FoD reader was so close. I don't need D&D camp, but it's an awesome idea.

I only poked my head into the new store space when it was still getting put together. The next time I'm in the neighborhood I've got to see the new digs; the extra space will be nice. Maybe we'll recognize each other at OryCon.
Anon 1st Sep 2013, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Heck, that's Newbiespud's hometown! It's the heart of FiD!

New store rocks too btw.
Chimerat 29th Aug 2013, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Oh gods... Pink GM voicebox!!!

(Congratulations on that idea for "Feeling Pinkie Keen" though. That is such a perfect fit! :D )
FanOfMostEverything 30th Aug 2013, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
I admit, I flinched when I saw the pink box.

Aaaand now I'm thinking of Deadpool. "Oh, pink boxes, what fun we shall have!"
Raxon 30th Aug 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
We feel compelled to comment on this phenomenon, don't we?

[yellow]We do![/yellow]

It is the best way to DM.

[yellow]Oh, it is.[/yellow]

[white]Hey! Let's all go get some chimichangas to celebrate![/white]

Hey, we're all going for mexican! Who wants some chalupas with a side of poutine? I make the best poutine.
Zuche 30th Aug 2013, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I am going to regret this.

No, never mind. False alarm.
Acksed 30th Aug 2013, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie's player is GMing?!

Paddle faster, I hear showtunes.
Zuche 30th Aug 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Well, you'll find opportunity,
Right here in this community...
Walabio 30th Aug 2013, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
If we do Feeling Pinkie Keen, I hope that we do not do the antiscience of the show:

Firstly, one must determine whether a phenomenon exists. If one determine that a phenomenon exists, one must then create hypotheses about how the phenomenon exists and then try to disprove the hypotheses.
Salivanth 31st Aug 2013, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
I'm still going with my "There is no Pinkie Sense and Pinkie's character is pranking the others for the entire episode" hypothesis. With a couple of minor changes to the episode, it should be very possible.
nemryn 1st Sep 2013, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
And one of those 'minor changes' is that now Pinkie learns that pranks aren't funny anymore when they go too far and start actually making ponies mad, right?
Onyxjew 30th Aug 2013, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
I love the RD faces on the screencaps. I had no idea she ever looked like that.
CelestDaer 30th Aug 2013, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
Back with the second GM I think I ever played with, he got sick once, and decided to have the players take over on occasion, and we would trade out who was GMing every so often. When I finally decided to start preparing an adventure, I built a twelve story magical tower where the players were guided by a magical book and an NPC to guess riddles on every level. I'll tell more if you're interested, but afterward, the GM told me that it was a nice break to have the players have to stop and think about what they were doing, but that XP shouldn't be a concept that the NPC could just give out.
The Incredible Werekitty 30th Aug 2013, 10:00 PM GMing huh? edit delete reply
Okay, so I decided to try out GMing when our old Gm decided to step down. I decided to run a Vampire the Masquerade game, and had a fairly ambitious plan, with the setting in New York, and anybody could become the titular ruler of the place, since it was unclaimed. Just for the hell of it, I decided to use characters based on MLP as extras. True there were NPC's in the VtM's book on New York, but wanted to have a little fun with the setting. Everybody ended up meeting in a nightclub where an Anarch Toreador Vinyl Scratch was spinning disks. Things were going relatively well, until everybody's schedule started to conflict like mad. I ended up canceling the sessions because the time between them, thanks to life the universe and everything getting in the way, was getting ridiculous.

Now I'm about to try running a completely different system, AKA 4th Edition Shadowrun on my roleplay forum. Wish me luck... And if anybody wants to join, feel free. The forum could use more people to liven it up, and a friend of mine, and I would think it'd be great to have other pony fans on board.