Page 339 - Smarmony Returns, Part 4

19th Sep 2013, 6:00 AM in Intermission 3
<<First Latest>>
Smarmony Returns, Part 4
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 19th Sep 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo

Guest Author's Note: "Based on a true story at my gaming table."

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



TheStratovarian 19th Sep 2013, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Bravo Bravo! And Tom for bringing down the house, and gm with an extra side of humble pie. (Pie not included with humbling!)
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
It's a large humble pie, extra dry, with a glass of "In your face" on the side. :)
TheStratovarian 19th Sep 2013, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Heh! While so true, a dm lurks and never forgets a slight, no matter how old, as the sayings go.

But still, its a rare smile to bring players together knowing you brought the night down crashing into the dawn of a new day.
Joe the Rat 19th Sep 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
No, I'm pretty sure that's at least a Gargantuan humble pie. Although if we're only serving one slice at a time...

(scribble scribble)

That's a Huge slice of humble pie! With a Large dollop of -booyah!- cream. Non-dairy, of course.
nekollx 19th Sep 2013, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
And then The over exporure to the magic makes tom Sentient, gathering his other stony brothers he rebles against the ponies who calosly used him as a weapon, their fury crusing all who oppose them
Grey Pennies 20th Sep 2013, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
I want to make this at the next LARP I go to.

Just to see how people react.
TheStratovarian 19th Sep 2013, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Since it seems a good time as any to offer a topic for folks. Also, given the look of pain and misery for the poor dm here. Lets offers a two for one deal.

Any stories folks have of a dm taking pity on a player in a moment of kindness? or the players deciding to be nice to the dm?
Pitiable 19th Sep 2013, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
I take pity on my players often, I'm a bit soft-hearted. I'll give them little bonuses, an extra die of gold, and I try not to Monkey's Paw their Wish effects too much. Never saw the benefit in being antagonistic against players I'm already throwing loads of antagonists at.
TheStratovarian 19th Sep 2013, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, the three or four page wishes that would make a politician smile in glee at it coming down to the wish goes without a catch, or not at all. Its nice that some dms out there are kind enough not to do that.
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Aye, I'm a softie at heart as well for my players. It is especially noticable in shadowrun recently, where one player is uploading his teams exploits online. I mean, that's gonna bit him real hard soon enough when the cops come calling...

Still, I was nice to help him survive that Uzi spray of bullets to the face, so I'll give him a head start to run.
Kira 19th Sep 2013, 4:16 PM Similar edit delete reply
I did something similar in my shadow run game. oddly enough it never bit me on the ass either the DM did not care to pursue it or felt it was too easy.

For reference my character drew webcomics based on her shadowruns a few days after each one drawing and writing the whole thing out herself and posting it online for other hackers to see.
Letrune 23rd Sep 2013, 4:47 AM Kindness? edit delete reply
One of the online, in-chat forum game of mine had me a huge streak of bad luck - I barely rolled anything higher than 2 in an online dice of 6.
One part had me, a small healer, without a team, against something I could call "certain death", in the form of a gigantic (thrice my size, and shins wider than my chest) battlemage. I got claws, but he got armour. I knew only heal spells, and he was sure alive and well... Battle starts, he rolls an attack, I roll a 1 for evasion. After some failure of espacing and dodging, the warmage pinned me down, and started to cast a deadly fire spell. Last chance to survive - 1 for healing.

The other player helped me by saying that the fear and the beating-up made me so weak that the healing misses me and heal the other guy - right upon his face, which causes him to spitting around, and finishing the half-cast fire spell right upon himself. After he managed to burn his cloak and himself, we are almost in the same situation - except that he got no healing.
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
A player was once kind enough to provide a character for a one-shot that his opponents would hit on anything higher than a roll of 1 against any defense save Fortitude. True, the character was immune to forced movement, had high resistance to damage and the ability to regenerate about 20% of his hit points every turn. It was still more entertaining to see him soak all the damage up and keep right on going, burning surge after healing surge at a crazy pace in exchange for the opportunity to recover a brutal pair of encounter powers.

The whole adventure was a race against time for him: every recharge opportunity he took left him more and more vulnerable to the dangers of the place. (He was taking about 20 points more damage from every psychic attack that hit him by the time he reached the final chamber. Guess what kind of damage the BBEG delivered.) On the other hand, very little survived more than a round against him. If he didn't kill it outright, he turned it into easy pickings for the next attacker.

In the end, his resources held out just long enough to score the victory. A real nail-biter, and a lot of fun to watch.
TheStratovarian 19th Sep 2013, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
Now that is a fun test of time. You know you are burning the hourglass, but yet, so close and that moment its just one last hurdle, to make it in is all the more sweeter.
Grey Pennies 19th Sep 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
There was one time that I suspect the GM took pity on me when I failed a Stealth check.

There was this "unknown scary monster" following us through the jungle. I was making Stealth checks left and right, until I rolled a nat. 1. The result?

The monster ran away a jungle patrol came and aprehended us for trespassing. Heh.
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
One of my players had a really good pity story from his time in a prior group to mine. It was a modern X-Files kind of game and the team was fighting some terrorists over Florida's "7-Mile Bridge".

The helicopter is damaged and the team has to bail before the chopper hits the water. Jump and swim checks were had, but my friend rolled a nat 1 TWICE on his jump check. So instead of the water he ends up falling toward the concrete bridge. The GM took pity and had a passing convertable catch him by "pure coincedental luck".

Although his character broke both legs landing into the convertable, the alternative was pretty much a dead character.
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Passing convertible. I've got to remember that one the next time a player is falling to his death after grappling with a dinosaur.

...Maybe I'll make a few adjustments.

Anyway, it beats killing them outright when there's still fun at hand for the rest of the evening.
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Falling to his death...
...grappling a dinosaur...

...correction from earlier, I want in on YOUR kind of game. :D
Zeeth 19th Sep 2013, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
Aw, man, you still have a copy of Hot Rods and Dinosaurs? Where do I get me some of that?
Guest 19th Sep 2013, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Fairly sure the first effect wouldn't count, sorry.
It'd work if Derpy hit the dragon over the head with it, but if it leaves her possession, it shrinks.
As a general idea, size-changing is only ever going to make you worse at ranged attacks.
However, the second growth still works, and if Derpy isn't holding the rock to begin with, she can throw it as normal (rather than as an enlarged rock)

Also, I'm fairly sure Growth doesn't stack.
And the rock, after being doubled a few times (+1 size category is double size in most DnD-inspired games, including 3.5 and 4th ed), would definitively not be beyond the size of a halfling, so no bigger than small.
Carzan, King of Jungle 19th Sep 2013, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Shh. What the DM doesn't know won't hurt you. He he he.
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
I'm well aware that in a strict ruling this plan wouldn't work. Rather, rules are bent here for the laughs of a group that's figured out how to turn a rock into a cruise missile in terms of damage potential. :D
FanOfMostEverything 19th Sep 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Only growth effects make you worse at ranged attacks. Shrinking yourself gives you the size bonus to hit without sacrificing damage. Plus, you usually get a Dexterity bonus as well.
terrycloth 19th Sep 2013, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
First, they're obviously not playing D+D.

Second, if they were, it makes your to-hit worse, but you do more damage because of increased strength (up to +10 from form of the dragon III in Pathfinder) even if the projectiles shrink.

And it sounds like they're using a higher level spell than 'enlarge' to make it go up more than one category.

The stacking, though -- yeah, that shouldn't work even if the projectiles didn't shrink since you're layering the same spell on the same object twice. Most systems don't allow that because of obvious abuses.
terrycloth 19th Sep 2013, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
... and it occurs to me that spells that enlarge you as a side effect, like form of the dragon, would let you start with a bigger rock.
Guest 20th Sep 2013, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
No, if you're using Pathfinder rules, you DO sacrifice damage.
The projectiles, while growing, keep the damage - presumably because they carried less momentum.
FanOfMostEverything 21st Sep 2013, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
From the Pathfinder SRD:

Any reduced item that leaves the reduced creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them).

Tom, for example, would deal full damage.
thubby 20th Sep 2013, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
the funny part is that by physics the projectile shrinking would actually make it MORE deadly by increasing its velocity while also lowering the surface area over which it hits.
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Huh. This reminds me a bit of something that happened in a Lair Assault session, though it turned out very differently.

Two of the PCs were squared off against several angels of vengeance and an angel of battle. The former were trivial opponents, one-hit wonders that couldn't penetrate their resistance to all damage. The latter, however, was arguably far tougher than the event's BBEG.

As the first PC waded through the minions, he scored overkill with a critical hit. The second PC, an avenger, promptly announced she was stealing that critical to use on an attack against the angel of battle. She then unloaded her best daily attack, one that would drop the creature from full hp to a third, possibly as low as a quarter on a critical hit. It would also put a healthy dent in the opponent's defenses, pretty well assuring that the pair of them would topple it by the end of their next turn.

All she had to do was hit.

Now this isn't difficult for an avenger. Once your oath is set and you've found yourself a place where there's no foe next to you save that one, you get to roll the attack twice -- and her modifiers were pretty good. So were her attack rolls, a 12 and a 14 before modifiers.

Only... this was the only opponent against whom those results were not good enough to hit its AC. It would have been a different story if it had already been bloodied, or if she and an ally had set up a flansking position first. But at that moment, in those conditions... it barely fell short.

The player would be a credit to any table, a wonderful mix of humour, charm, insight, and energy. You would not have been able to tell that from the howl of anguish she let forth at that moment. All the fight went out of her at that point.

I asked, "Doesn't that still do half damage on a miss?"

With a clipped voice, she replied something to the effect of, "That's no consolation to me right now."

Never managed to kill any of them, but the time ran out on them after that, denying them victory until their next attempt.
Philadelphus 19th Sep 2013, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
It's stories like these that remind me why I like Pony Tale's eschewing of rolling to hit in favor of simply rolling for damage. Minimal damage means you basically missed, but at least you did something.
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Hmm. Yeah, I can see that being important. It's easy enough to own your failures for skill checks, but finding something to own about a missed attack that does nothing would be a lot more difficult, if not impossible. I have seen a string of rolls none higher than a 5 wear a player down... which gets especially bad when the guy next to him can somehow hit targets with a 3 or better all the time.

To that end, I've been examining an overhaul of 4E mechanics that let a player make up to two skill checks with an attack, coupled with that attack roll. (During your turn. Fewer checks are permitted outside of your turn.) If all three fail, you miss. If the attack roll fails but the skill checks succeed, you do half damage. (Minions are still an exception, assuming I keep them as an option.) A hit applies a benefit based on the successful skills (if any), but the amount done increases by the base increment (1[W] for weapon attacks, one die for everything else) for every 5 points you roll above a target's defense.
A critical hit is still maximum damage, but that maximum damage is based also on just how much you exceeded the target's defense.

(The last is one reason I may remove minions from play. This adjustment makes it more likely that PCs will one shot an enemy of approximate level without having to spend much effort on building them.)

One other adjustment that system requires is to increase the damage of basic attacks by one die per tier, rather than just for epic tier. There are a lot of other details, but it's greatly reduced round-o'-nothing frequency.
Valengarde 19th Sep 2013, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
"That's not fair! They have rocks! And all we have are these machine guns!"
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
Well just throw the machine guns at them, then!
Thar 20th Sep 2013, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
That won't work. Quick, send someone back to base to get RPG's. Those are a lot bigger!
Robin Bobcat 19th Sep 2013, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
"Go for broke, Derps!" is my new battle cry.
Enryu 19th Sep 2013, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Rock falls, GM dies.

Also, with something that big you don't really need to worry about aim. just throw in the general direction of the enemy and even a glancing blow means pain.
Tatsurou 19th Sep 2013, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou a max possible damage of 156? Would that slay the dragon?
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
It depends on the system and the level of the challenge. In D&D, for example, this would be a sure thing in 1E (where even the oldest gold dragon would have up to 96 hp), even in the Forgotten Realms (where the same dragon could have up to 118 hp). Dragons were a little tougher in 2E, but most would fall to this. In 3E, it depended mainly on level, since dragons were adding their Constitution modifier to hit points to every hit die gained, and hit die were gained with each new age category. In 4E... not so much. It would be possible in heroic tier if you'd already hit the dragon a few times, but an epic level dragon could take this sort of damage five to nine timees before going down.
Zuche 19th Sep 2013, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
Huh. I only just noticed the smaller Cheerilee and Zecora in that final panel, signifying the growth of Derpy and Thomas. Nice touch.

Say, if Derpy is the party tank and she often throws that rock as an attack, does that make her Thomas' tank engine?
Nemo 19th Sep 2013, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
I think I love you.
Digo 19th Sep 2013, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
I *know* I love Zuche. Puns are great :D
you know that guy 19th Sep 2013, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
Digo x Zuche OTP
Digo 20th Sep 2013, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
Pfffthahaha! Well that made me spit my coffee in laughter.
The 8th Fool 19th Sep 2013, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
Y'know, I have this odd feeling that throwing colossal++ rocks around inside a cave isn't an entirely safe thing to, they'll be probably be fine.
Raxon 19th Sep 2013, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
If a cave in occurs, the rocks will be entering Derpy's threatened space, and will invoke an AOO, allowing her, as a monk, to catch the rocks and throw them at the dragon as they fall at her.
Raxon 19th Sep 2013, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Note to self: colossal weapons good. Let us revisit my jungle giant.

You know, jungle giants from 3.5 are large, and with gigantism, they become huge. They also have +16 dex. One half-halfling jungle giant with gigantism, oversized weapon, and my own homebrew feat Compensating for Something allows him to wield colossal weapons without penalty. As a halfling, he gains a talent for thrown weapons. In addition to that, he can qualify for Halfling Rock Skipping Champion by the time he's level four or so. There. A minmaxed character who throws rocks. Who deals as much damage at level ten as the wizard will at 15. And that's not even counting the grapple bonuses.
Digo 20th Sep 2013, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
I now have a desire to stat a "Paper Golem" that's immune to bludgeoning damage.
Athena 19th Sep 2013, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
I cannot get over Cherilee's <i>face</i> in the seventh panel! Best screenshot ever.

(Either that or the note on Tom, which I'm debating printing out and giving to my DM...)
Jannard 19th Sep 2013, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
Nice. Too bad it wouldn't technically work. But nice!
Digo 20th Sep 2013, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
I think the technicality of these ideas not working should be the signature of this group. :)
KingArthur5 19th Sep 2013, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
Did you really use a rock and say "Look out! Here come's Tom!"?
Syth 19th Sep 2013, 10:16 PM edit delete reply
Wouldn't they all be in the dragons threat range and provoke attacks of oppertunity? I mean, that's a lot of spell casting going on and they'd still have to make concentration checks against fear as that's a fricken dragon!
Syth 19th Sep 2013, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
Maybe it's because I took the Spoony One's treaty on not making Dragons sissies a bit too seriously but you can't tell me a dragon has nothing against a bunch of furry hamster sized grass chompers with rocks.
That just screams to me as WRONG.
Even in 3.5 unless you were with an inexperienced DM or fighting a juvenile dragon (which this one isn't)they should not be push overs.
Raxon 20th Sep 2013, 12:12 AM edit delete reply
Let me explain to you what my dragons are like. My dragons are six legged taurs. They are a highly social species, and they live in brood raising harems. Mess with one, and you're likely to have to fight a hundred. A female juvenile of 45 years is about 80 feet tall, and 160 feet long. An adult male can be 400 meters tall, 700 meters long, and is capable of SWALLOWING A TANK WHOLE!! I designed them with the idea that any proper dragon should at least be able to bitchslap Godzilla to death, and I ended up with something that can do that almost from birth.

Oh, and these are halfblood dragons. Fullbloods are horrible cosmic abominations that travel through space and are capable of devouring worlds. When they're done, they simply jump into the inky blackness of space, and hibernate until they find a new world to breed and feed on. When they are born, they measure a hundred meters tall and two hundred long, and they they eat the remnants of the planet their parent abandons them on. Then they move on to find their own worlds to devour. Their lifespans are measured in millions of years.

D&D dragons are for training purposes only. My dragons are effing endgame material. Sure, I'll shower my players with loot and gold, and gear, but they need every last item they get, because my custom setting is absolutely merciless.

Have I mentioned that goblins are still a threat when you're hitting level ten? Because hot damn, goblins with blackjack you in your sleep, put you in chains, and horribly taint you. Make you a psychopath that will kill anything and everything you come across, with your bare hands. You're still awake and aware, and you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel everything that's going on. You're still in your right mind, but your body is no longer yours to control.

The price you pay for my awesome game grub is high, indeed. I am a big fan of games with a steep learning curve.
Grey Pennies 21st Sep 2013, 4:05 AM edit delete reply
Wait... what happens if one of Raxon's full-blood dragons curls into a fetal position? Can they become planets in and of themselves?

I had thought of just that for a (soft) sci-fi setting...
Digo 20th Sep 2013, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
If I remember my D&D 3.5 rules, you make one fear check at the start of the encounter. Success means you can't be affected by it's fear aura for 24 hours. As for Attacks of Opportunity and spellcasting, they're probably casting defensively. :)
Spiritspiral7 19th Sep 2013, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Giga Rock Throw!
DracoS 20th Sep 2013, 1:04 AM edit delete reply
If you're gonna throw a rock, throw it through heaven! No matter what's in my way, Tom won't stop! Once I've confirmed crit, it means that I've won!
ShadowDragon8685 20th Sep 2013, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, I was expecting them to make a called shot on the dragon's mouth to get Tom into the dragon, and THEN unleash the Enlarge spell to choke the dragon.

Still, epic blunt force trauma works. Though as-depicted, those are nowhere near Colossal, let alone Colossal++.
Vapor 20th Sep 2013, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
Wait, can she still throw that rock? There's gotta be some penalty for using a weapon too big for ya.
V4V 20th Sep 2013, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Colossal Plus Plus... C++... I see what you did thar...
Karial 20th Sep 2013, 10:17 AM edit delete reply

I don't think this works, you're going to have to explain this one better.

Pony: medium > Large (1d6 rock becomes 1d8?)
Rock: Large > Huge (1d8 becomes 2d6 iirc?)

Where are they getting 4 extra size categories from?
Digo 20th Sep 2013, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
It doesn't follow known spell conventions. Its more of a fast and loose idea that they're just spamming a growth spell due to a technicality. :)
terrycloth 20th Sep 2013, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
They're obviously using a spell that enlarges by three size categories. The one size category one is called 'Enlarge', not 'Giant Growth'.
Karial 20th Sep 2013, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
Ah, that would make sense.

If such a spell existed in core it would be highly abusable.
Malroth 20th Sep 2013, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
Wu-jen get an 8th lv spell that enlarges 3 size categories and yes it is abusable
Raxon 21st Sep 2013, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
I should include a thing where a wizard that has enlarge offers 'all magical male enlargement'.
Zuifan 20th Sep 2013, 4:13 PM Irony edit delete reply
Rocks fall, the GMs monster dies.