Page 396 - Paranoid Illusions

30th Jan 2014, 5:00 AM in Feeling Pinkie Keen
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Paranoid Illusions
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 30th Jan 2014, 5:00 AM edit delete
Holy crap, are we almost at 400?


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



Grey Pennies 30th Jan 2014, 5:05 AM edit delete reply
Feelings of evilness are pretty typical for GMs, I have noticed.
Jennifer 30th Jan 2014, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
Graham Chapman reference for the win!

Yeah, I think mild evilness is a prerequisite for GMing. It certainly is in campaign comics.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
Yes, evilness is a requirement. You have to be able to throw conflict at the party from your BBEG. Can't be afraid to hurt those adventurers, even mentally/emotionally when the call of the story demands a sacrifice. Not that you have to kill a PC to do it. Just... make them think you can do it and they'll feel the conflict flow from your evilness.

It's what gets my group into the game, that real sense of good versus evil. :D
Disloyal Subject 30th Jan 2014, 8:59 PM Good VS Evil edit delete reply
Unless it's an evil party. An enragedly righteous, yet unfailingly fair, DM makes a better foil to a band of dastardly, underhanded blaggards.
And I always did like when both sides of a conflict had essentially the same alignment; those wars're always the messiest.
Ace the Eagle 30th Jan 2014, 12:25 PM edit delete reply
II prefer the term ... sadistic
Kaleopolitus 31st Jan 2014, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
I cannot deny, I have been feeling particularly evil towards my friends ever since I became a DM for them...
JustMyBassCannon 31st Jan 2014, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
I believe the actual prerequisite for a GM is true neutrality. There's a time for law and a time for chaos; a moment for benevolence and a moment for utter cruelty.

I'd say that the 'feeling of evil' coming from being a GM is either due to holding power over the players ("Power corrupts..." and whatnot), or due to the need of a GM's attitude to stay in (or close to) true neutral. When the game calls for evil, you're evil; when it calls for chaos, you're chaos.
ANW 30th Jan 2014, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
The winner of round 1 is
Luna by vote over Sweetie Belle.
Round 2
The Sharman of the Everfree,
Master of Chaos,
Crazy as her name
Who will move on.
FanOfMostEverything 30th Jan 2014, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
The Charmin of the Everfree? That's very good absorbency. ;)

My vote's for Discord.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
But if your ponies really have to go, don't squeeze the forest. ;)
XanatosDrake 30th Jan 2014, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
DISCORD! I'm howling at the moon. And sleeping in the middle of a summer afternoon. DISCORD! Whatever did we do to make you take our world away? ........ One vote for the avatar of chaos here.
kriss1989 30th Jan 2014, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
If you're REALLY his friend, you'd vote for Discord!
Classic Steve 30th Jan 2014, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Zecora. She's least likely to do something foolish.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
Mane-iac. That laugh is contageous.
aylatrigger 30th Jan 2014, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
If you mean Shaman...
Sorry, none of those. I'm gonna do a write in candidate of Fluttershy.

Zecora is an Alchemist, not dealing with anything magical or anything. She's just thought to be spooky as not many know about alchemy, her race, and she speaks weirdly.
Discord is a master of adding to chaos. Everfree Forest has two basic things adding to its being scary for most ponies, 1. Nature works how it does in our world, with no pony intervention. 2. D&D type creatures live there. As neither of these are really high enough on the Discord scale, he is not the Shaman either.
Mane-iac isn't really in Everfree Forest.

Fluttershy however is a druid who lives right next to the forest and makes friends with all the animals. As seen in season 1, this includes Manticores and animals from the Everfree Forest (or, at least, she could). She could live quite happily there as animals would bring her grass and things if she was concerned about the flora there. Her nature-powers of every animal liking her (and assuming she is a druid, more) work well with the forest and its theme. As well, while she says she's afraid of the forest, I think the forest should be more afraid of her. Maybe that's why she lives at the edge of it. The forest would grow closer to town, but it wouldn't want to risk incurring her wrath.
Tatsurou 30th Jan 2014, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
I think Shaman of the Everfree was supposed to be Zecora's title, not the position we're voting for.

I vote Discord.
aylatrigger 30th Jan 2014, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
Then I vote Discord.

...mostly because I had a character who worshipped the God of Insanity and Chaos in one 4.0 game, and I must channel her for a bit. All hail Discord! He will make all our lives more interesting and make life more worth living!
kriss1989 30th Jan 2014, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Huh, I'm a Discordian IRL. And yes, it is a genuine religion. And no, it does not actually involve discord.
referee 30th Jan 2014, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
dang, Sweetie Belle lost. And this one doesn't seem that is going to be different, but I vote for Zecora.
Euric 30th Jan 2014, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
Zecora. Cause she's just that awesome
MumaKirby 31st Jan 2014, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
Stare into the spiral and, once again, take a guess.
T_T 31st Jan 2014, 6:45 PM face edit delete reply
I'm going with the ALCHEMIST of the everfree, Zecora.
Raxon 30th Jan 2014, 5:32 AM edit delete reply
Well, Fluttershy completed her escort mission successfully. Story time today is about escorting people or things!

I have a fun one for you today, courtesy of my favorite wolverine knockoff, Ransu!

Once upon a time, there was a mercenary who decided he was could use some excitement. Well, he travelled to a floating continent nation, and enacted a daring plan. To understand this plan, you should know that the royalty in this nation consisted of the best trained warriors in the nation. They were expected to be leagues above anyone else, and it had been that way since time immemorial.

Ransu decided to steal the queen.

Not metaphorically, either. He climbed the northeast tower, and tied a rope to the spire. Then he climbed down the side and scaled the outer wall of the center tower, tying the rope off on the balcony. He entered the castle, with no prior knowledge of the layout, and found the queen's bedroom. The queen, being six inches taller, and having 180 lbs on our protagonist, was amused by his wobbling as he carried her all over the castle, getting lost for half an hour before finally finding the center tower and starting up the steps. The queen could not let this go.

"You can't get out this way, you're just going to get stranded."

He shook his head. "Naw, I think I know where I'm going."

Upon reaching the top, he untied the rope, climbed onto the railing with her over his shoulder, and jumped. They swung from the tower, and midway through the upswing, he let go, sailing over the castle wall with her they landed(barely) in a net he had set up, and after her amazement at being alive wore off, she confronted him.

Queen: Are you insane? You nearly got us both killed! I'll have you arrested for kidnapping!

Ransu: It will take an awful lot of work for that. I've studied your laws, your highness. I am innocent of kidnapping.

Queen: That's ridiculous! You stole me from my bed!

Ransu: Tut tut tut. Were you unaware it is not technically illegal to abduct the queen? The laws stipulate that kidnapping is defined as any subject abducted and held against their will.

Queen: I am the queen. I know this already. What is your point?

Ransu: Are you a subject, or are you her royal majesty, the high queen?

Queen: *facepalms* I think I hate you.

And thus the queen did accompany our lovable rogue to the nearest deportation dock and had him banished forever.

Yup. He escorted the queen, because she sure wasn't about to let him run loose unsupervised.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
If she was the authority of the land, why not just make a new law on the spot? >_>

Anyway, escort missions aren't my player's bag, but they've done a few. A funny one was from a super hero campaign. The PCs captured the BBEG and turned them over to the police. After the trial the BBEG was given life in a maximum security prison on the other side of the country, so the PCs were hired to escort the BBEG to ensure any loose minions didn't break him out during the trip.

None did, but the party had to protect him at one point from a RIVAL super villain who took the opportunity to kill off the captured BBEG. XD
So now the PCs have to protect the BBEG from the rival or risk losing a lot of cred with the Super Hero League.
Draxynnic 30th Jan 2014, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Depends on how absolute her power is. If it's a constitutional monarchy or the like, there might be some form of parliament she'd need to do so to enact changes in the law.

A more likely complication, though, would be a general safeguard that a change to the laws cannot retroactively make an act that has already been taken a crime. She can change the law all she likes, but it was still technically legal when it happened.

On the other hand, though, where the personage of the monarch is concerned there are all sorts of other crimes that could potentially come up - lese majesty at least, endangerment of the monarch's person, possibly even treason if she wanted to be ambitious.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Whether a law can be made retroactive or not also depends on the authority of the monarch (This came up in a D&D game where a dictator made an act the PCs commited a crime, and he dated the effective date of the law to the day before the PCs commited said act, because he could).

On a more interesting tangent for this subject, suppose the ruler is or has access to an archmage. The ruler then signs a document into law for a specific past date and then charms the court to believe that the law did start on that date. :)
Raxon 30th Jan 2014, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
That's pretty much it. Laws in place to keep her from making it a crime retroactively. That said, she's the most skilled, competent fighter in the kingdom. It has been that way for centuries. Nobody gave any thought to. The admittedly laughable idea the monarch could be kidnapped, because it had never been tried.

That said, the queen was awake, and thought the fumblings of this little man to be amusing. Then he did something truly dangerous and she was caught off guard.

It's not every day a guy can honestly say he kidnapped a naked queen and got off scot free.
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
Wait, you got off Scott for free? You didn't mention you knew Scott! That totally explains the naked royalty tagging along.
kriss1989 30th Jan 2014, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
Actually, if she didn't resist, offered directions, and could have left at any time she was not an unwilling victim.
Raxon 30th Jan 2014, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Ransu's not really morally ambiguous like Raxon. Ransu is Neutral Good. Mercenary for hire, but he can afford to be picky about who he works for.

Then again, after he completes an assignment, he usually empties every possible thing he can from the enemy stronghold, up to and including appliances and furniture. He loads it into wagons and takes it to the nearest city to sell it. He'll make multiple trips if need be.

Aside from pretending to commit the most heinous crimes at hand to increase the bounty on his head, he's a good guy. Oddly enough, he has never broken a major law.

To be fair, imagine how humiliating it would be for the queen, the most skilled warrior in the kingdom, if word got out she was kidnapped by a guy who was a mere 5'2", 140 lbs, and built like a stick figure. And he didn't even blackmail her a little! If that's not a paragon of virtue, I don't know what is!
Marioaddict 30th Jan 2014, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
Not entirely sure if this counts, but...

There WAS this one time that we were running from the lord of murder, picked up a cleric and got him away from the lord of murder, only to then find out that the cleric was the EX-lord of murder.

I had a very pleasant conversation with him.

While keeping my teammates from throwing him out of the wagon.

Because, you know, no one wants to have TWO lords of murder coming after them.
aylatrigger 30th Jan 2014, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
Oooh! I have one! The best kind of one!

I was a player for this. The party had been tasked with carrying a well-locked chest to a rich merchant. This was in my oldest brother's campaign setting, where you had some base races and classes and could get more available due to the story (the races: Humans, Fairies -all female race who eat humans and steal 'Lost Boys' to reproduce-, Orcs -all male race who rape women to reproduce-, dwarves -who worshipped dragons-, and skeletons; the starting classes: fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard). I was a Fairy Rogue.

Now some things of note. Dwarves generally worship three main gods, 4 if you count the not as popular non-dragon god. The Dragon God Marmoreus is the Marble Dragon Dwarf God of Good, War, and Alcohol (his followers believe that he gave Alcohol to the first dwarven bartender). The Dragon God Aurum is the Gold Dragon Dwarf God of Evil, War, and Alcohol (his followers believe that he gave Alcohol to the first dwarven bartender). The fourth god is the first dwarven bartender, and his followers believe that he invented alcohol himself. But the third dwarven god is the one the most different, even though he is also a dragon. For the followers of the Emerald Dragon Smaragdos believe that there used to be 12 dragon gods, one for each of the main arts. And of course they also believe that Smaragdos's art is the best. And that is the art of banditry. Followers of Smaragdos will hone this art, and even have it viewed by spectators who will grade your robbing skills and hold up signs giving you points.

So of course on our trip to deliver our cargo, we are beset by dwarven bandits. The spectators could be seen as well, quietly judging the robbery. My fairy immediately knew what to do. "You call that robbing someone?!? You can't rob someone like that!" She then preceded to use her knowledge on robbing people to train the dwarves to rob better. She directed them to a Goblin village that had pissed off our party for them to try their skills on, and we left in peace.

Along the road we also met a man who was happily chewing on some roast by a campfire. He introduced himself as Melmac the Babyeater and invited us to share his meal, but we politely refused. We chatted with him for a bit, then left him to his meal.

Anyway, that's the main highlights of the quest. After getting curious for what was in the chest, we opened it up and discovered it was full of babies (a theme?). We closed the chest and delivered it to the intended recipient.
Disloyal Subject 30th Jan 2014, 9:19 PM More Plans edit delete reply
I tend to always build in some tricks up my sleeve specifically with escort missions in mind, just in case - it's seldom needed, but it's awesome when I do get to use them - and I've been known to munchkin up melee characters who can effectively negate all reasonable physical damage to the party if we stay closely packed; most of them boil down to 'draw all attacks and boost AC to the stratosphere.' Gestalt Knight/Favored Soul-->Prestige Paladin = Can't Touch This, thanks to Shield of Faith, Magic Vestment, Knight's Challenge, and a side of Dispel Magic. Oh, and Vow of Poverty; that's what truly breaks it. Patron deity was Sune, iirc.
AlternateUniverse!Zuche 31st Jan 2014, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
He missed a golden opportunity to fuck her until her brain came out, impaled on his todger.
Raxon 31st Jan 2014, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
Not cool, man. Next thing you know, everyone will be running around with a competent clone.

What? I can't really say Raxoff is evil.
FanOfMostEverything 30th Jan 2014, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
This is why I keep all of the characters' Perception bonuses written down on the same cheat sheet as their save bonuses, ACs, and a few other frequently referenced data. I can make these rolls without anyone knowing what or why. They just hear the dice roll behind the screen, followed by a noncommittal hum. And sometimes I roll dice for no purpose, just to keep them on their toes.

Well, that, and it's nice to have Armor Classes written down so I don't have to ask "What's your AC?" after every NPC attack.
you know that guy 30th Jan 2014, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Really wish my DM did this.
I do know that guy 30th Jan 2014, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Maybe you can get the other PCs together and give him a chart of those pertinant stats?
Delta Pangaea 30th Jan 2014, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
To be honest, I kind of like being asked for my AC. It makes me feel like I'm actually somehow responsible for my character not getting whacked.

I would also accept the DM doing something like 'Your AC is blah, so it misses'

Just a 'He attacks you, he misses' just feels... crappy.
Anvildude 30th Jan 2014, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
That's where the DM needs to inject a little Story into the game, and pay attention to the where's and whatfors of how the PCs have their relevant stats.

"The goblin's rusty sword scrapes along your breastplate without penetrating"


"The javelin cracks through the plate of force protecting you, letting out a loud SPANG and a shower of sparks before burying itself in your spleen"


"Your Dwarven gut drank worse poison than this last Forgemas when the clan's brewmaster let his 2 year old 'help' him in the kitchen"
FanOfMostEverything 31st Jan 2014, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Indeed. I try to make the misses interesting. Touch AC is a good metric for that, determining whether the blow whiffed completely or clanged off of armor.

For the hits... well, the loss of hit points is bad enough. I don't see the need to detail the gruesome wounds inflicted on the hapless characters.

When the PC's are on the attack, though, that's when I can really have fun. Like when the fighter got a crit with a heavy pick: "Congratulations! You've struck brain!"
mycroftxxx 31st Jan 2014, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
I had a GM who _started_ with a cheat-sheet. Eventually, she ended up making us pre-roll a bunch of blind skill checks (for GURPS) for our characters. She would just roll a d10 at random and consult the party's handy chart.
Haru_no_Hikaru 30th Jan 2014, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
We were playing an egypt themed game, and I was playing a druid who specializes in river stuff. The rest of the party was 2 Fighters and a Rogue who was pretending to be a not-particularly-good sorceress. We had been hired to help this family get to a big temple so they could get a curse of bad luck off of their kid. Halfway there, we get attacked by crocodiles(Which I mostly take care of with my Crocodile and Magic spells). One of the fighters was pretty good, but only had a bow at the time(he was also the leader of our group), while the other hadnt had a chance in game to get their gear(she didnt really care for playing, and had put it off and now couldnt). So one was shooting while trying to avoid the one croc that had come up to him and the rogue/sorceress who were a bit away, while me and the other fighter were surrounded on the plank to get to the boat. Eventually, I cast a Fire sphere spell or something. I didnt see that it would stop when it hit a creature though, and used it to burn all the crocs every turn, since it would reach all but the farthest one. GM either didnt notice or decided to let it go.
So Night falls, and focus shifts to the Leader of our merc group. He comes across this weird guy in the mud. Just sitting there, occasionally talking about some Holy one who helped him and is like family; Says his name is Blackstone. Eventually, the questions start annoying him and he tries to bite the fighter, who carefully knocks him out with a good punch. Meanwhile, 2 more crocodiles have appeared on the deck of the ship, and have been captured.
Day comes, Me and the weaponless fighter wake up in nets. We got turned into were-crocodiles, and my animal companion got turned into a were-human. I of course, being a river druid, thought it was AWESOME. The fighter, not so much.
We continued on our journey towards the temple. And there is a huge line of people. We're going to be here for weeks waiting. I stay with the escortees, while the rest of the group goes to get local news and stuff. I decide I'm going to heal some of the other waiting people, as much as I have the ability to. So I heal this burned kid next to us, and everyone's thankful. Then everyone else starts pushing me towards the temple. I get them to at least push up the escortees too, and the rest of the party comes back when we are close to the door. The leader of the party starts argueing with the door guards to let them and the family in with me, as I'm under his hire and he's been hired by this family. We all get through and the kid gets rushed to cursebreaking while we get to wait in the lobby a bit. The Were-Croc Fighter is feeling some kind of creepy stare from somewhere, where as I feel a comforting watch. Eventually, the high priestess comes in, thanks us, and takes me to a special pool to receive a blessing. They cure blackstone's were-humanism, since he didnt like it, and the fighter's lycanthropy. I keep mine, since I'm a river druid and it's awesome. The priestess gives me a warning not to let it change my alighnment, and we stop playing there.

The creepy paranoid/comforting watch stare we felt was the crocodile god watching us from his statue in the temple. I thought that was pretty cool.
silvadel 30th Jan 2014, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
Roll a perception check -- oh never mind... That is always a way to increase tension in a game.
DoubleCross 30th Jan 2014, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
Philadelphus 30th Jan 2014, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989 30th Jan 2014, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Decide that the arbitrary number of 400 isn't really significant?
Digo 30th Jan 2014, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
Stay home and eat cake?
Sensei Le Roof 30th Jan 2014, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
I kept trying, but I ran out.
ANW 30th Jan 2014, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
Zuche 30th Jan 2014, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
Part of me would figuratively kill to know what DoubleCross was suggesting. The rest of me suspects that it's probably best I don't know.
Raxon 31st Jan 2014, 4:00 AM edit delete reply
Zuche, I wouldn't touch that subject with a ten inch pole.
AlternateUniverse!Zuche 31st Jan 2014, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
Lyntermas 31st Jan 2014, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy: Um, panic?
Rainbow Dash: That's your answer for everything.
Guest 31st Jan 2014, 3:19 PM edit delete reply

It's 400. Do awesome.
Great Dinn 31st Jan 2014, 7:17 PM edit delete reply
Great Dinn
Celebrate with some kind of reversed Spike picture, in reference to comic 004, wherein Spike first appears?
Senshuken 31st Jan 2014, 9:20 PM edit delete reply
Somewhat off topic, but I feel that this is the best place to start asking around.

I am attempting to put a Skype Rp group together for Warhammer 40k 'Only War', which is for the Imperial Guard.

I am interested in seeing how many people are interested in this and to see if we can get someone who can turn this into a podcast. (I don't know how to do so myself.)

Just to be clear, this isn't a pony version of a Warhammer 40k rp game. I don't know if a pony version exists and I'm really not the person who should be putting it together.
Disloyal Subject 2nd Feb 2014, 8:51 PM Only in Death does Duty end edit delete reply
I have 2 things to say.
1, THIS is the best place to ask? Okay, sure, most of us are tabletop geeks, and loads of bronies love the grimdark end of the pool to mix with our sugarfluff for Harmony... okay, yeah, good call. Still a bit out of place, but you covered that.
Second, BY THE EMPRAH that sounds awesome! Ever since I found out they made one focused on the "t-shirt, flashlight, & wheelbarrow crew" I wanted to play... downside is, I don't have the book, and I'm in the process of organizing 3 games around a college class schedule. Still, if you need/have room for another player, I'd love to join if I can.
Senshuken 4th Feb 2014, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
I'd be more then happy to have you. And I'm willing to send the Rulebook to anyone who's joining for free over skype (admittingly, my internet sucks so it'll take a while. Don't tell the company I'm handing it out for free)