Page 38 - Fanfare of Violence

3rd Nov 2011, 6:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 1
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Fanfare of Violence
Average Rating: 4 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd Nov 2011, 6:00 AM edit delete
Attacking the boss before they can even get a word in?

No, I've never had my players do that to me, what are you talking about.

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Sephiroth 3rd Nov 2011, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
First. Also, I remember our half-orc barbarian doing the exact same thing. EVERY. FREAKING. TIME.
AstroTrain 3rd Nov 2011, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
I try to steal the big bad's crown of evil or whatever before the fighters can even raise their swords. Unfortunately, that often leads to me becoming evil and killing all of them because of said crown.
MrMachete 4th Nov 2011, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
We actually used that as a strategy in an encounter the other day. One of us yanked the crown off the insane ruler and went nuts, then our cleric promptly bashed him for all of his health.
Lavender 3rd Nov 2011, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Second campaign I ever played, we are fighting our way up the BBEG sorting list, four of them in total.

And what happens?
We attack before they even started to monologue.

It was actually annoying as I wanted to hear their stories. I'm more a of a role-player, I like the story side of things.
Lyntermas 3rd Nov 2011, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
But you gotta let the Big Bad give their monologue. How else are you supposed to learn about their engaging backstory and underlying motivations?

Joke Prediction: Pinkie Pie starts coming up w/insulting names for NNM.
AJ:"I stick a hoof in her mouth to shut her up."
DM:"How close are you to her?"
AJ:" Assuming I've lived in the same town as her, right next to her"
Twilight:"Wait, so at every party, you're always right next to Pinkie and behind RD?"
AJ:"Don't question me."
nemryn 3rd Nov 2011, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
'engaging backstory and underlying motivations'? I think you mean 'potential weaknesses'.
AstroTrain 3rd Nov 2011, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Same thing.
Snowy 3rd Nov 2011, 7:53 AM Thinking it out edit delete reply
Applejack was clearly the brains of the group until Twilight came along
Chris 3rd Nov 2011, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
Cutting off or preventing villain narration is a time-honored tradition in many of my groups. One of my all-time favorite D&D memories is from when a party member got captured by an elderly wizard who was new to the whole 'evil' thing. He locked her in a dungeon cell after having his minions tie her up; she immediately started trying to chew her way free of the ropes that bound her. An hour or so later (his understanding of how to be an evil archmage having been formed primarily from storybooks) he came striding into the room flanked by guards, and announced in a dramatic voice, "Now that you are in my power, I shall reveal to you my nefarious plan!"

The player (who had had quite enough of these cliches, as the entire session had deliberately been filled to the gills with them so far) told me, "I ignore him and keep chewing on the ropes."

"Yes, for you see, it was I who brought the goblins to...are you listening to me?"

"Still chewing..."

"Um...that is, I brought the goblins to...look, could you pay attention when I'm speaking? It's really distracting to have you trying to escape while I'm talking."

"Still chewing..."

"Ugh, you know what? Fine!" And with that, the mage stormed out.

Although they eventually rescued the player in question, the party never did figure out what the mage's plan was (and subsequently failed to stop him from leveling a nearby village as a result. Still, everyone agreed that the player in question had done the right thing.
Kaleopolitus 3rd Nov 2011, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
Love these kinds of short stories XD I wonder though, how does this kind of stuff work anyway? I have absolutely no experience with board games and the way they work has always intrigued me...

Like the evil wizard guy, was he actually a player or just the DM?
Draco Dei 3rd Nov 2011, 11:21 AM Dragon OF God edit delete reply
Ok, first off, tabletop Roleplaying Games aren't EXACTLY "board games".

Secondly, among a great many other things, you can think of it like acting (usually just voice and face acting, not full-body... that is called LARP). The "players" each act for one (or occasionally more) of the main characters. Not necessarily heroes (so groups like to play Evil), but the MAIN characters. The GM is the actor for ALL the other characters.
Chris 3rd Nov 2011, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Yes, as Draco said. The player in question controlled her character, while I as DM controlled the evil wizard, his henchmen, and everyone else in the game who wasn't one of the player characters. For the scene I was describing, there were no mechanical actions--that is, no dice rolling or consulting tables and spreadsheets or anything--just me and the player describing what the characters we were controlling did. So 'acting' really isn't too far off as a description.
xuincherguixe 3rd Nov 2011, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
How do they work? With varying degrees of success.

There's dozens, if not hundreds of rule sets, each of which might be trying something a little different. Which makes it a bit hard to talk about. For the most part, one person creates, and manages the scenario, and the rest of the players interact with it.

I want to say every can do pretty much whatever they feel like, but that's not quite right either. You can see why that's a problem with Rainbow Dash's player in the above strip. It's a group activity. Making things even more complicated, is the idea of roleplaying. You're not playing yourself. Your character might not know the same sorts of things you would. They might have entirely different ideas than you. So, how you might respond isn't how your character would.

It's not easy for the person running things either. The Game Master has to create a world in which the players can interact with. Make up the stories and backgrounds of all these various figures. And also try and engage them in a way that advances the story. There's a lot of different approaches here, but I'm of the opinion of just throwing problems at the group and letting them decide what they want to do about them.

And this is why kids should be playing Dungeons and Dragons. It teaches important social skills!
Kaleopolitus 4th Nov 2011, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
Thanks everyone, idd, it does sound like a lot of teamwork and social interaction is neccesary. But I don't think most kids pre 14 will be able to show that xD

Anyway, thanks for the info everybody. You learn something every day. I'll probably never play a table top rpg, but thats only for a lack of people to do it with.
Jugo the vampire 26th Nov 2012, 2:26 PM true that homes edit delete reply
Well Table top games have a reputation of people who aren't very social but how do so many of us manage to find games? I obviously don't know your circumstances but I would say don't give up just yet, it's worth the trouble and it's fun. be a gm if you have to. Because friendship is magic!.. So anyways I remember this one time where a fiend was telling us about how we screwed up and how badly he was going to murder/hurt us. After using obfuscate and silently crawling to the top of his throne mid way through his speech I activated celarity and cut his throat and every other body part I could reach. He died that turn and we burned his castle to the ground and ate some of his followers. Using Pressence & Dominate our leader wiped their minds and sent them to kill the guy's rival so it would seem like he had killed them all in retaliation. Good times.
Trivial 3rd Nov 2011, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Heh, heh... Rainbow Dash here reminds me of my days playing a Dwarf fighter. That was way back in 2nd ed., mind you.
Anthonox 3rd Nov 2011, 10:01 AM edit delete reply
I despised the way my old group would take forever having stupid conversations with the villains. It might make sense in a play starring ordinary people, but these are heroic supermen and their villain is probably some kind of mage who will just become more and more unstoppable with every passing moment.
TheDoomBug 3rd Nov 2011, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
You want a villain to live? Forcefields (or magic barriers). Have the villain behind one of these and only tell the players if one of them does a spot check. End result: A) Spot check, listen to villain, continue game (chugga chugga woo woo); B) One of them rushes straight into it and, depending on how evil you or the villain are, is either thrown back or instant killed.
Kiana 3rd Nov 2011, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes I'll do similar, but rather than have it be rail roading, it'll be part of the battle. The force field is held up by one or more generators or magic pillars or something. So the party has to break them down. The villain gets a chance to rant and the party gets a goal. Add in some minions swarming them and it even makes an interesting two stage battle, as the villain gloats only to have his protection stripped away and his robed rear end handed to him.
Buttershy 4th Nov 2011, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
"Sshamlessly sstealss thiss for next game"
Maklak 16th Nov 2011, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
Its funny how those generators are never behind their own shield seeing, how they are crucial and all. It would be fun to GM an unwinnable battle.
Medinoc 31st Mar 2012, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Some justify it by making that impossible in-universe.
Guest 20th May 2014, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
i had a boss battle that thay can't win, becuse thay are sappose to talk to the guy who was perverting hell from swallowing the earth, yes he was useing virgin blood to do it, but he has just figerd out a way he may be abel to close the hell-mouth forever he just needs more time. after commplaning about the imposable fight i let them kill the guy, his last words "you fools" thay stoped the ritual.
then i start to lay on the fire and brimstone, devils pour out of the earth and some demon for good meshes, and the lords of hell show up to thank them. thay will be getting statues in thare honer, and immortal (but not in a fun way) and all the world will know what thay have done. thay foud out the down side of the immortalty rather fast when the angry mob found and one of them was decapitated and went mad from the pane, thay also don't heal any faster.

so lets recap the world is rueld by lords of hell, evaryone knows its the pc falt so 80% hate them, and thay can't die.
terrycloth 3rd Nov 2011, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
The half-ogre barbarian in our group lets the party talk to the villains until he gets bored, and *then* he kills them. Usually in mid-sentence.
Alpharius 3rd Nov 2011, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
My Deathwatch group is notorious for this. I've almost stopped writing backstory or giving villains motivations, because as soon as I try to put any exposition into the story, they open fire on it. One time I even put a helpless Eldar into a session, knowing one of the group really liked interrogation. First thing they do? Stab it dead. FML. They're a great group otherwise though.
banjo2E 3rd Nov 2011, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
My roleplaying group's good enough about not doing this sort of thing that it only ever happens when the guy we're up against is the kind of jerkface we all hate both in and out of character. We're talking, long-range, teleporting, laughs maniacally at everyone before killing you with meteors jerkface here.
Sam_Hunter 3rd Nov 2011, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
I'm also playing in that sort of group. We Let the DM go on monologue out of respect (and boredom sometimes, he really need to improve his pacing), but from time to time one of us just charge the bastard. Besides, when that occur, it tend to be the one who is the best min-maxer I have ever seen, so not only does the big bad not get a line, but he also drop dead in the first round fairly frequently.
Derpmind 3rd Nov 2011, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
Two things: I don't think you should have put that narrator box in the third panel. A picture's worth a thousand words, but the narrator box makes it seem like the DM describes Nightmare Moon's entire appearance in one short sentence. Removing that has the reader imagining a lengthy, entertaining monologue from the DM describing NMM's pure evilness.

Second critique-thingy: Rainbow Dash doesn't have a 'tail', she has a rainbow tail. The sentence should properly read: "You grab Rainbow Dash's <i>Rainbow</i> tail yak yak yak." This is monumentally important. The barbarian has two rainbows growing out of her, and is a paragon of Ponyness. Remember in the first page, she says "Nothing awesome could ever come out of ponies." Rainbow Dash is part living Double Rainbow. That alone is pure awesome. Dash's player has to eventually come to believe that Rainbow=Awesome, so therefore any missed opportunity for RD to be Rainbow-y is a missed opportunity for character development. This is, again, excessively important for what deceptively seems like a small detail.
MirrorImage 3rd Nov 2011, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Ah, but by writing out that narrator line in the 3rd panel, we see just how impulsive Dash is. Twilight gets her 1st Person Smartass line off, and Dash immediately charges, not even bothering to take in the full description to know whether this person is evil or Goth. So while normally I would agree, Spud did it right here.
Alpharius 3rd Nov 2011, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
Both of those points seem nitpicky and stupid to me, and I don't think that removing the narration box or redescribing RD's tail would add absolutely anything to this comic.
musicssound 3rd Nov 2011, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
ROFL. Thought I was playing Dwarf Fortress for a second there:
There is an obsidian frieze. All craftsponyship is of the highest quality. Depicted in the frieze is Applejack biting Rainbow Dash's Rainbow tail. This relates to the appearance of Nightmare Moon in Summer 1000. Depicted in Rainbow Stone is Rainbow Dash being Rainbow-y. This relates to Rainbow Dash becoming the Paragon of Ponyness in Spring 1000.
Limey Lassen 3rd Nov 2011, 7:39 PM edit delete reply
Limey Lassen
Oh god, wow. You just reminded me how bad I want to play a pony roguelike.

Hint: pretty bad.
Rockburgh 4th Nov 2011, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
Anquestria. You're welcome.
Random Person 5th Nov 2011, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
I tried that just a few minutes ago. Street Urchins kept popping up as I walked around town and stealing my money so I purchased a dagger and started killing them.

Eventually, they came out in huge swarms so I was forced to kill them left and right until a mercenary appeared and killed me.

Rest in piece Ruby Scales the Dragon Mage.
Khenal 4th Nov 2011, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
I'll just leave this link here. Bronies really have gotten into just about everything.
Kiana 3rd Nov 2011, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
A lot of groups have players like Dash. They can be fun to toy with. I like to have a few villains go into motive rants before the fight breaks out (and sometimes the party even listens!) and then, after those, when the players get used to it, I'll send a villain after them that attacks WITHOUT talking. Party busts down the door, villain is in their face nailing the fighter to the floor.

My current group is better about this, mostly because it IS a My Little Pony campaign and I made it clear that some (but not all) villains can be defeated through diplomacy. I used the 'villain attacks first' idea to get some characterization across real easy: This is not a squishy wizard hiding behind minions.

He charged in, started beating them into a pulp and then stayed behind long enough for his minions to flee, before he fled himself. I was surprised that no PC fell below 0 HP. Quite impressive, really, since they were facing a custom made Elite Striker...
Dragonflight 3rd Nov 2011, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
I've lost count how often this happens in my games. However, I *have* had sessions where the players *let* the Big Bad rant, because of this old rule from way back, listing all the things you can do that automatically succeed that the Big Bad doesn't see because they're monologuing. So they let him rant because they can do all sorts of things to unfairly level the playing field by the time he's finished.

Also, in Marvel Superheroes, the monologue is where the evil villain gets all their karma. Whether the hero survives or not really doesn't matter.

Of course, I also recall being told recently that Twilight Sparkle is *my* character archetypes to a T, so I dunno... :P
Other Guest 3rd Nov 2011, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
Without Applejack, Rainbow Dash attacks, gets hit by lightning, dies because she's only level 1, then Dash's player has to play a pre-rolled Derpy Hooves for the rest of the session. So Applejack just saved the whole evening.
xuincherguixe 3rd Nov 2011, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Ah. To shoot first or not to shoot first? The eternal dilemma of the protagonist.

Just because you're a good guy doesn't mean you have to fight fair. Since it's often the world at stake in these situations, kind of selfish to be going about preserving ones honor.

On the other hand... if this guy is such a flake that he's going to tell you exactly what he's done so you can foil him? And give these deep details about him, revealing potential motivations and weaknesses? Maybe you can keep your hand away from the holster for just a little longer. And who knows what sorts of other nefarious deeds are going on at the moment. Contingency plans that could have quite troublesome effects if the heroes didn't do something about them. And how would they know to go do something about them? Yeah. That's right. Let the guy who can't keep his mouth shut tell them.

I like to go for the compromise. Sneak up behind the villain with a taser! That way you interrogate them.
Guest 3rd Nov 2011, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
But since Nightmare Moon uses lightning, doesn't that mean she has Electricity resistance? A taser would do no good against her!

(Don't you know the classic rule of RPGs: "A bad guy suffers less damage from what 'element' they represent"? Zombies, for an example, wouldn't suffer from 'Death' damage because they're already dead!)
xuincherguixe 3rd Nov 2011, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Taser was kind of a stand in for an idea. One can substitute any reasonably effective non lethal mechanism for taser here that they choose. In the context of Nightmare Moon? Presumably drugged cupcakes.

Though Nightmare Moon strikes me as someone so evil she'd refuse to eat it. Hmmm, what would Sun Tzu's position on Ponies be?
Raxon 13th Jun 2012, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
That is an excellent question. I shall begin ponifying the art of war immediately... as soon as I'm done with the comic archives.
xuincherguixe 3rd Nov 2011, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
Not that I agree that Nightmare Moon is electrical in nature mind you. Much more likely she just has a lot of Wizard levels. She does do a lot of magical things.

Admittedly, before I delivered monologues I would cast a few spells to increase my damage resistances for exactly these reasons. What's up with all these rude protagonists these days?
Guest 3rd Nov 2011, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
And that is why Rainbow Dash has a lightning bolt for a cutie mark, because she brings the THUNDER!
Thud 3rd Nov 2011, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure most of Dash's attacks do physical or radiant damage. Buccaneer Blitz looks like a lightning attack, unfortunately until she levels up a few more times she can't get The dreaded Sonic Rainboom (radiant and thunder).
Silka 3rd Nov 2011, 9:43 PM Hee.. edit delete reply
I had a friend whose paladin was lift-debted to a kender. (Never got the whole story on that, but I already know it's not a good thing. XD) The main big-bad of that campaign made the mistake of punting the kender. Friend rolled a natural 20 to take his head clean off. She gained like ten levels in one fell swoop, and the DM jawdropped at her. "... you just blew my whole campaign..."
xuincherguixe 3rd Nov 2011, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
My only issue with this is that the way you wrote it, it sounds like only one character went up 10 levels. That would make balancing future encounters an issue.
Thud 3rd Nov 2011, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
Dude, there was a Kender in the party. That campaign was already shot.
Guest 4th Nov 2011, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
Don't know what a "Kender" is, but judging by that description and how it rhymes with "blender", I'm agreeing with your assessment of imbalances.
Guest 5th Nov 2011, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
You have no idea how close to the truth you are even in your complete ignorance. :)
Ellisthion 4th Nov 2011, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Nope nope nope.

Should have made her roll for it. A player shouldn't be able to stop another player's actions by just saying it.
Angus 4th Nov 2011, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
For the sake of the story, and for the sake of poor Rainbow Dash, I would have done the same in his place. An epic quest for the elements of harmony would be kinda dampened by the death of a character right off the bat. But then, I take a rather relaxed approach because none of my guys are real sticklers for the rules.

That's not saying I would hesitate to kill them off with dungeon traps halfway through the campaign if they insisted on being reckless, but I'd rather not put a damper on the whole session when we'd barely even started.
Sorakirin 4th Nov 2011, 5:49 AM edit delete reply
Funny I have the exact opposite problem. My players want to squeeze as much information out of the bad guys as possible before killing them.
leafia6 4th Nov 2011, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
This is so in-character for Rainbow Dash.
Mecryte 4th Nov 2011, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
So the BBEG has been unveiled. Everybody, grab some booze, it's time for the TvTropes drinking game.
Dragonflight 4th Nov 2011, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
On another note, someone did a fan-retexture of Robot Unicorn Attack, to make "Rainbow Dash Attack". Sort of fits his current behavior. :)
Belmor 4th Nov 2011, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
I love it that when I DM, my players are actively scared.
Yes your level three, no i wont stop you from hunting a primordial, ill tell you its a bad idea (OoC or IC which ever)

Ive had more than a few encounters where the players had to physically knock out or tie down the fighter so that the party doesn't get killed by the situation they're in.
lots of fun I must say!
Lord Crow 6th Nov 2011, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of when I killed the final boss of a campaign I was playing while he was monologuing XD
Joe England 7th Nov 2011, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Say, could I make a suggestion for the website? It'd be nice if the archive navigation buttons were above the comic as well as below it. That way, whenever I check on the site and it's been a few days, I don't have to zip down to the bottom of each page to go see the pages I missed, which sometimes spoils the punchline. It's a minor problem, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
Trae 9th May 2012, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
I had one of those "I hit it with my axe" syndrome players with a Gunslinger character in one of my games once. The party came across the big bad of the mountain.. who turned out to be a very VERY big and grotesque fatman that was constantly eating. The rest of the party started talking to get information, but the Gunslinger immediately started shooting. The boss just looked at her with annoyance and kept eating and talking with the rest while being shot at. Turns out that he actually regenerated hp through eating ANYthing...
Lady Chaomii 30th Jun 2012, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Our Applejack player did this once. She regretted it -very- quickly.

Turns out half the people in the inn were the villainess' personal guards, and they beat the hell out Applejack before chucking her into the sidewalk.

The players learned their lesson. Now they approach foes with caution, and only go into the offensive at the villain's moment of weakness.
Read Er 18th Apr 2014, 10:35 AM AJ AND RD NOT IN ONE TOWN edit delete reply
at FIRST, AJ never lived in same town as RD. Cause RD living in Cloudsdale, acctually
Guest 9th Sep 2019, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
In RD's earlier years, yeah, she lived in Cloudsdale, but by the Summer Sun Celebration, she had lived in Ponyville for a few years. Long enough to become the Chief Weathermare of the region. 26th Nov 2018, 11:46 PM Temple run edit delete reply
Page 38 shows that the impact of violence is very serious. The story is very attractive.