Page 340 - Smarmony Returns, Part 5

21st Sep 2013, 6:00 AM in Intermission 3
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Smarmony Returns, Part 5
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Sep 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo

Guest Author's Note: "My players once attacked each other because they couldn't decide which guard to murder first at the entrance to a dungeon. My dungeon took the rest of the evening off."

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



Dugong 21st Sep 2013, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
You know you're devoted to this comic when you're making posts in the comments from the opposite hemisphere you live in :)
TheStratovarian 21st Sep 2013, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Spike your hair, learn alot of haste spells, and use that magic to mimic another certain mascot with the anagram present. And heh! A fun little gem yet again, but d'aww on the cute twilight!
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Coffee musta just kicked in cause I figured out your clues way too quickly. O_o
TheStratovarian 21st Sep 2013, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
*chuckles* Glad ya got it. It just hit me seeing the geas comment, but oh how I love weaseling out of any dm that tries to do that on a pc.
Norakos 25th Sep 2013, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Really? Cause I have no idea what they're talking about.
Walabio 21st Sep 2013, 6:07 AM This reminds me about the 5 Fathers. edit delete reply
This reminds me about the 5 Fathers.
Demonu 22nd Sep 2013, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
Always nice to hear. ^^
FanOfMostEverything 21st Sep 2013, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Well, on the bright side, they can keep destroying Cadenza every time she starts to regenerate. Or seal the phylactery in cement. There are a lot of ways to disable without destroying.
darkwulf23 21st Sep 2013, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
I had the same thought. Take the phylactery and the child with you. Locate a powerful arcane or divine caster with a strong good alignment to break the phylactery safely. And every time the lich tries to regenerate before you get there distract the child with a puppet show about how violence is not the answer and kick the sh** out of that d*** lich for daring to use a child like that.
Killerhellhound 21st Sep 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
I like the way you think
Midnight Blaze 21st Sep 2013, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
But what if the goal was originally to return the phylactery?
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
No returns without a receipt. :(
darkwulf23 21st Sep 2013, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
I can exchange right?
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
Only for an undead of equal or lesser value. ;)
Zuche 21st Sep 2013, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
...laughing too breathing can do...blacking o
MumaKirby 21st Sep 2013, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
There's also the possibility of finding a way to seal the Lich and letting the little girl die of old age....
Thar 22nd Sep 2013, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
Not sure how this works, since I have yet to play a game (hope to get started next week!) but couldn't you seal the body in cement or a cage or something while it's regenerating, or while it's weak? seems more efficient than continually making Lich pudding.
Pathfinder 21st Sep 2013, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
My preferred method of disposing phylactery - trick evil dragon into eating it. Even if Lich somehow explodes from the inside it will be pretty near-destroyed. And one less evil dragon too. If not, the Lich is done for good.
darkwulf23 21st Sep 2013, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
Uh huh and what do you do about the forsaken child?
Pathfinder 21st Sep 2013, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Yeah... we didn't have girl then. Forgot about her. Maybe a Dragon can take care of her. Maybe he will be responsible parental figure to her? Or maybe just leave child in tavern frequent by high level adventurers. You know, kill a reforming Lich, get a free drink.
Tatsurou 21st Sep 2013, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
It says it's feeding on her. It doesn't say it has to be near her to do that.
Alternatively, feed it to a tame gelatinous Cube, and have the little unicorn girl keep it as a pet.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
I ran a D&D campaign where the BBEG lich had a pet small gelatinous cube. Darn adventurers set it on fire and then wondered why the lich was angry with them. :p
Tyri 22nd Sep 2013, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
NO!!! A curse upon you, interlopers! The armies of the Lich King will hunt you down. You will not escape your fate...!
SAFR 21st Sep 2013, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
I take it that "colloquial" substitution was intentional.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, completely intentional.
Gden 21st Sep 2013, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Derpy is supposed to be british, so she calls an american term colonial. I've heard it before.
Evil Paladin 21st Sep 2013, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
"That's a lot of freakin boxcars"?
Is that a Fallout: Equestria reference I see?
Gden 21st Sep 2013, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Boxcars has been a term for sixes for years.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
The fact that I still use the term "Boxcars" probably dates me ^_^
Evil Paladin 21st Sep 2013, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
What IS Nurse Red Heart's alignment?
DoubleCross 21st Sep 2013, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to assume her alignment is 'eats babies'.
katarani 21st Sep 2013, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
Her alignment is Bioware Neutral.

Since she saves lives by being a practicing nurse, she has to balance it out by eating babies and kicking puppies in her off hours.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
In the last guest comic with this group, Redheart did stone the kids at an orphanage just to stop an arsonist from burning the house down. I'm not sure what alignment is "ends justify the means" but maybe that helps figure out the answer.
Guest 21st Sep 2013, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Ends justify the means is mostly Chaotic Good.
Renata 21st Sep 2013, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Chaotic Good is "I'm doing the right thing, and your rules won't stop me" while "ends justify the means" is either Neutral or Evil depending on exactly how bad the means are and how important the end is
DanielLC 21st Sep 2013, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
If it's actually "ends justify the means" then it's neutral good. If you're rationalizing the means by claiming it creates good ends when it really doesn't, or you're ignoring the fact that means are an end in themselves, etc., then you're not really being honest about why you made that decision so it's had to gauge the alignment, but it's probably not good.
Malroth 21st Sep 2013, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
You ignore the desired end and judge SOLELY by the means used. So "ends justify the means" people almost always are Chaotic Evil.
you know that guy 22nd Sep 2013, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
According to Book of Exalted Deeds, neither means nor ends are capable of justifying each other. The good news is, you can either use good means for neutral ends or neutral means for good ends and have it count as a good act. The bad news is any act that has evil means or ends is simply evil.
terrycloth 23rd Sep 2013, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
Chaotic doesn't really care about ends. Chaotic Good is 'means justify the ends', Chaotic Evil is 'ha ha I like hurting folks', and Chaotic Neutral is 'I do what I want, bitch!'

Ends justify the means is Lawful Neutral I think? Possibly lawful evil. Depends on how good the ends are and how bad the means.
DoubleCross 21st Sep 2013, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
I remember this story from a while back...
Seanpony Renaud 21st Sep 2013, 8:52 AM So do I edit delete reply
Except it involved six separate weapons.

I'm gonna be honest though, depending on the lich having to kill a little girl to destroy a lich is mostly a fair trade. The reason you hesitate is that a little girl powering a lich is possibly more powerful than the lich not because she's a little girl. I have liches that pretty much run entire cities.
Robin Bobcat 21st Sep 2013, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Wait.. hang on.. Which set of critical hit rules are we using? Doubling damage after roll? Doubling number of dice rolled? Looks like dice rolled. *does math* That would be an ABSURD number of sixes.
138-12=126, 126/6 = 21...

If we assume that all dice that do not roll sixes roll average, which is 3 when not counting sixes, that's.. *rummages*

18 sixes, and the remaining 6 rolling an average of three.. that is a LOT of freakin' boxcars.. somepony check Derpy's dice?

DracoUnis 21st Sep 2013, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
I have a player that rolls like that in my group. His uncanny dice mojo has saved the party's ass from:

A Star-Spawn of Cthulhu in Cthulhutech. He one-shot'd it with his mech's charge beam. Rolled a 1-10 straight with his attack roll, then at least 4 or 5 10s on his damage roll (C-tech uses a d10 system)

A giant, burning jaguar demon in Scion. He dealt enough Aggravated damage to incapacitate it long enough for the Magic-user to seal it in his sword.
Gden 21st Sep 2013, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
The crazy thing is 24d6+12 doing 138 damage means that all of the dice rolled over a 5 (all would have to roll 5's and 6 would have to roll 6's, or other variations of course depending on how many extra 6's they got)
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
I've rolled 18d6 once and got (with the exception of *one* die) all 1s. The chances are really low, yes, but not zero. :)
Robin Bobcat 22nd Sep 2013, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
nah, Gden.. As noted, you can have low rolls, even a few ones, but just have more sixes to balance.
Let's see... most sixes possible.. 20, with the four remaining being three ones and a three. (or other low combinations)
Fewest sixes possible.. Huh. 6 sixes, with the rest being 18 5s.

Still absurd dice luck. Maybe Cheerilee's Luck ability allows re-rolls of damage dice? That'd explain it.

Ahah! Ok, I have it. The 24d6+12 is NOT The crit damage.. that's the base damage. Cheerilee's Luck ability turns it into a Critical, which allows damage dice to be re-rolled. This changes Derpy's luck from 'absurd' to 'pretty damn good'.
Gden 22nd Sep 2013, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
That explains that, I don't play 4th ed. I tried it once, and wanted to barf, so I never touched it again.
Zuche 21st Sep 2013, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
Okay, I am conscious again, though maybe not coherent. (I wrote "I am couscous," on my first attempt. Might need to lie down for a bit again.) Right, sorry, where was I?

Oh, yeah. From whence came Derpy's "Boo-yah," expression? Much fun for its uniqueness. "What's the downside?" kills me, especially as it comes from the party's main healer. It reminds me of an article I read on humanity's strange virtue-vice dynamic, where a too common reaction to doing some good deed runs along the lines of "This earns me an afternoon of puppy roasting! Now I just need to get a proper bonfire started for the roast? Where's the nearest orphanage?"

As for loaded dice, my favourite comment in that regard comes from the Spelljammer box set, where the entry for "Random Ultimate Helm Generation" contained the following passage:

"Roll a d10 to determine the number of additional powers, then roll on the subtable on the following page. Roll a d10 for each power, [i]adding[i] the prevous sum on all numbers rolled. That is, if three powers are called for and the first roll is a 5, the second a 6, and the third a 10, the item would have powers 5, 11 (5+6), and 21 (11+10)."

Om the opposite page is a list of 100 powers, with entry number 100 (Power Word, Kill 1/day) including the postscript: "Also send out for pizza to celebrate, because you have just rolled 11 tens on a 10-sided die in a row. You might want to check out that die...."

As an(other) aside, it's a little disturbing to associate a magical compulsion with Trixie's butt.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
I have a friend with the old Spelljammer set. I'm totally going to ask him for the book because that sounds hilarious.

Cyborg from the old animated Teen Titans series used to say "Boo-yah" often. ...I don't know of anyone else though. I used to use it with one of my Shadowrun mages when he successfully blocked a spell.

And yeah, Nurse Redheart is an odd character. True story-- her style is based off an alien assassin character I played as in a Marvel superhero game. My alien equipment healed humans quite well so I was often thought of as the team medic... despite my actual profession. But I guess in the Marvel universe when everyone is throwing cars around like baseballs and leaving 10 meter deep divots in buildings it doesn't much mean anything. XD
Zuche 21st Sep 2013, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
But...but I thought Cyborg told us he was only gonna' say that once?

Sorry for not being clear. I meant her physical expression, not the word she used.
Digo 21st Sep 2013, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
Quite a number of these pony expressions had to be hoof-made as there was little in the way of closeups of Derpy in the series. :)
NOTDilbert 21st Sep 2013, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Also said by Ron Stoppable (in Kim Possible TV series), but don't know who said it first. Could be Military slang/jargon....
Raxon 21st Sep 2013, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
I like the idea of having a geas enchanted on part of your body. I think I'll have my bard enchant his block and tackle with a geas spell that affects people when they look directly at it.

I think I'll call it the rod of dominate person.
Rokas 21st Sep 2013, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
You bastard! Stop making me laugh so hard I nearly tear a muscle!
Malroth 21st Sep 2013, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
in 3.5/pathfinder the spell you want is "Illusionary Script" Lasts days per level, can be cast on anything that weighs less than 10 lbs, and implants a single command into anybody that sees it that lasts for 20 minutes per time seeing it, since this is shorter than the casting time of the no save permanent duration Geas Spell you can imagine the possibilities.
Raxon 21st Sep 2013, 9:21 PM edit delete reply
Ladies and gentlemen, Malroth just taught me the secret to putting mind controlling tattoos on my junk. Let's all thank him!

Please phrase your gratitude in the form of uncontrollable sobbing from a man or woman who has lost all will to live.
Robin Bobcat 21st Sep 2013, 10:10 PM edit delete reply
Better: "I prepared Exploding Runes today."
Digo 23rd Sep 2013, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
...that is a really unfortunate tatoo for *any* part of one's body.
flutters hi 23rd Sep 2013, 9:34 AM flutters hi edit delete reply
Malroth, didn't twi use "Illusionary Script" on her doll: "Smarty Pants"?
reynard61 21st Sep 2013, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, it's originally military. We used it in Army Basic Training in the early 1980s, but I think that it may go as far back as the mid 1970s.
Kira 21st Sep 2013, 11:47 AM similar? edit delete reply
wasn't the small child attached to the magically item of importance one of the stories provided for the youtube voice reading or w/e the PC's decided to adopt her or what ever.
Demonu 22nd Sep 2013, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
That's a different story :)
ShinyBidoof 21st Sep 2013, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
If that one youtube video you made is anything to go by, then I see where this is going.
I gotta say, I liked the outcome of that scenario, and I get the feeling I'm going to like the outcome of this scenario.
KingArthur5 22nd Sep 2013, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
Ah... boxcars. This comic maker has read Fallout: Equestria.
Newbiespud 22nd Sep 2013, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
No, it's just an old term for sixes on dice, and-

Wait, now I'm curious, since there's been two of these comments now. I've read Fallout: Equestria, but where and when does it mention "boxcars" so profoundly? Because I don't remember any such detail sticking out.
ayone esle 22nd Sep 2013, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
Lil Pip drops a boxcar on the alicorns, and they all run in fear of boxcars after that. And then she goes on to train in the use of boxcars as weapons from that railyard pony.
Kira 22nd Sep 2013, 5:00 AM Fanfiction Memes. edit delete reply
it's also briefly mentioned in Project Horizons as a joke.and a few other stories.
guest 22nd Sep 2013, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
perhaps, but I doubt you have read the comments
Guest 22nd Sep 2013, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
This sounds like demonu's story
ShadowDragon8685 22nd Sep 2013, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
Well, this problem seems like it has a simple solution.

Step 1: Destroy the phylactary. As an inevitable consequence, it kills Foal!Twilight Sparkle.
Step 2: Use the copious hoard to pay for a True Resurrection for Foal!Twilight Sparkle.
Step 3: Profit! You can put the screws to TS's parents to pay you back the price for the true resurrection. If they're unfamiliar with magic, you could probably charge 'em 150%, especially if you put 'em on a payment plan.
Digo 23rd Sep 2013, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
I've had players refuse to get ressurected because it meant pawning off half the loot to afford the spell. XD

"No, don't raise me!"
"But you're dead! You can't take it with you!"
"I don't wanna live as a hobo!"
ShadowDragon8685 23rd Sep 2013, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like both players and GM need to grok the wealth-by-level table.

It's not a table of "this is the absolute most you should possibly have at any given level," it's a table of "You should have about this much loot at this level."

So if your character croaks and needs to be ressed, you might be hurting for cash for a bit, but the GM should arrange a few windfalls to bring things back up to speed.
Rhiado 23rd Sep 2013, 10:13 AM BPFH edit delete reply
I love it when GM's pull this kinda crap.

Me:"yawn, destroy the phylactery anyways"

GM: "But the child will die, that's murder!"

ME: "oh, you say it's an evil act because the child dies? My character has no such knowledge that it will kill the child. Sure you told -me-, but that's player knowledge, not character knowledge. Evil acts require -intent-."

GM: "Um, well, you character can see this, plainly. So the character -does- know, so there!"

Me: "oh, you claim my character -did- know it. Very well, I claim greater good. While it's tragic that said child had to die, the life of one child, weighed against the ENTIRE FREAKING REALM, is not enough. Sorry, child dies. "

GM: "that's murder! it's an evil act, alignment warrrrgggbll!"

Me: "Yes, a murder committed by the person who set this situation up. Which is Not. Me. "

True, and related story. GM has a village that must be saved. Apparently, the Village's elders, centuries ago, did some Bad Things, in the name of survival. This created some very weird ghosts, that were effectively impossible for the -first level party- to handle.

My solution was to migrate the remaining villagers back to 'civilization' dropping them off at various villages along the way in ones and twos, effectively 'distroying' the village and breaking the curse. GM was surprised, to say the least.

We won't talk about the hatchling dragons in the second village. six of them, 3 second level PCs...

His next trick was to send us to a third village, which was being attacked by undead wildlife from the forest.

my solution was to burn down the forest.

My arguement for burning the forest down.

1. The zombies, being zombies, wont recognize fire as a threat, and will get burned.

2. It will clear more arable land for the locals, increasing available farm land.

3. All the non-zombie wildlife knows to flee from fire, and will evacuate the area, denying the what-ever-it-is any more fresh bodies to make more zombies with.

GM did not like this plan. So we're wandering around the forest...which is full of zombie -everything-, including squirrels, FFS. Yes, Zombie Squirrels.

I expect death by zombie squirrel in my future.
Starphoenix 23rd Sep 2013, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
I kind of feel that there are some people who should be excluded/not allowed/dissuaded from being a DM/ST/PH/GM. It's about the level of vindictiveness that comes from these individuals who feel the need to compete with their players and/or make them as miserable as possible. It really shouldn't be about that.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
I will get vindictive, but only as far as small, silly vengeful things go.

For example, I may decide that gnomes starched all your underpants, or they decided to doodle all over your face while you slept. If you really make me angry, I will polymorph your character for the session.Remember that episode of Samurai Jack where he spends the entire episode as a chicken? Yeah. Your wizard can still cast spells, but now she has even less hp, and lays eggs.

Ten extra squick points if the barbarian looks directly at her, winks, then cracks open the egg and slurps it out loudly while moaning.