Page 435 - Long Distance Roleplay

1st May 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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Long Distance Roleplay
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 1st May 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Oh boy, it’s back to regular comics! Let’s start things off with… Story time! In the comments, tell a story about a time where you or another player found yourselves inexplicably absorbed between sessions, spending more time thinking about the campaign than was absolutely necessary.

As for Fallout is Dragons, the video's still rendering and whatnot, but you can find the finalized podcast file here! Enjoy! (EDIT: Video's up!)

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



Wait, does this mean the DM is good old Celestia? I mean, I know the DM is technically EVERYONE (or everypony in this case) but the general audience consensus always seemed to lean towards Lauren. Maybe I'm just reading too far into those frames you used. Anyways, updating mental voice for the DM.
Ponikon 2nd May 2014, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
I always knew it.

Also, emoticons in GM speech? Really?
Disloyal Subject 2nd May 2014, 12:28 PM Play-by-Post edit delete reply
Well, they are communicating by phone; that cinches that they're probably texting.
Jannard 1st May 2014, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Oh boy! Just as I love Rarity episodes, I also do love when there's focus on Rarity's player here too. And she happens to be the "roleplayer" of the group! Double yay!

As for being absorbed... Well, there's no gathering with my friends where I don't bring up WE NEED TO ROLEPLAY MORE OFTEN. Only one or two times have I thought too much of a specific campaign I was in (these last weeks was one of those times, partly because my group gathered to play on easter and I was absent then, and they went to the royal gala and I was sooooo pissed I missed that one), but I sometimes find myself tinkering with the rules and settings, thinking about campaign scenarios, characters, new feats and stuff to add flavor, new cool items heavy in lore... Even new classes and entirely new worlds.

Boy, it's true what they said, I should DM more... If only I bothered to put my thoughts into writing regularly and was more methodical and responsible...
Jannard 1st May 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
I guess I could go into more detail as to how much did I get absorbed... Well, as they've told me, they just happened to blow it at the gala; the bard offended the king so badly he commanded a duel with his champions, and the monk ended up brutally killing one of said champions with his cursed hand. Now they're escaping through the sewers, but not before they made a quick stop at the inn we were all staying. Now I have to decide whether my character was present at the gala or was at the inn for unknown reasons...

I've been thinking about it for two weeks. Thought what he would've done at the gala, what he would've done had he missed it, the possibility of trying to appear innocent and not involved with "those guys" (not that de DM will let me, he's already told me I will be escaping with them), what will be done nxt, what's the future cost of the deal the monk made with the lich to get his "gift hand", how could my character try to cut said hand in a way that's both convincing and appropiate...
FanOfMostEverything 1st May 2014, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Ah, DM overpreparation. I know it well. It's just so much fun building the world that you forget how little the players will ever see. Or notice. Or remotely care about. And then they find the one corner of the world that you haven't fully realized...

No plan survives contact with the enemy. No campaign survives contact with the party.
Jannard 1st May 2014, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Considering the only time I DM'd I had that almost exact same problem, I'd say yes, I see what you're talking about. I mean, they cared about the world, but as for noticing, seeing or going to any of the myriad places I had already thought of...
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:22 AM Worldbuilding edit delete reply
Best solution I've found is leaving what's where a little ambiguous and making all roads lead to Rome - it's just a matter of whether they carve through bugbears or zombies to get there.
Speaking of zombies, local band names are great for coming up with monster ideas! ('Zombie Sabertooth,' 'Cheese Golem,' etc.)
Codeman 1st May 2014, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
My problem currently is coming up with all these setting ideas, not getting them down on paper, and not having anytime to prepare for adventures... I really wish I had more time for DMing...
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 11:59 AM Solution edit delete reply
I just keep a pocket-size yellow pad for jotting notes wherever I am, but I only take the time to transcribe and consolidate it when I think I'll have players.
Digo 1st May 2014, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
Last week I had this unhealthy fascination of running an "Agents of SHIELD" campaign based off the recent events of the TV show and The Winter Soldier movie. I got so tangled up in weaving a storyline about it that it ended with nearly 10 pages of random notes, including SHIELD breaking up into two new organizations: Hellsing Institute and Department of Paranormal Research & Development. So now there's stuff about Hydra vampires and somehow Lyra & Trixie from the Ponyverse got involved too and I'm not even sure how that connection got bridged.
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:28 AM "That sounds AWESOME!" -Eren Jaeger, Attack on Titan Abridged edit delete reply
...huh. Think you'll run it? :3
Specter 1st May 2014, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
If what you say is true, then your campaign has stumbled on one of the greatest (and worst) plot lines in history: The unnatural combinging of universes that, in turn, either continue into a grand world, or destroy every univers involved.
Digo 1st May 2014, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
I don't know if I'll ever run it... but I'm going to hold onto the notes in case I do.
ANW 1st May 2014, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
Woo, I'm finally back. If you guys was wondering, I went under the knife on the uh backside last Friday, so I've hadn't been able to sit down long enough to do more than look at the comic.
So how about a double today?
If you could introduce one thing from our world to theirs,what would it be? No politics, religion, or weapons.
The second one, have you ever went under the knife yourself?
I would show them how to use an old time phone.
And you guys know about the second one.
Digo 1st May 2014, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Oh, hoe it wasn't too serious! Glad to have you back. :)

Dunno what I'd introduce to the pony world, they seem to be ding pretty well on their own. I haven't gone under the knife, but my wife has twice. Hospitals have always been awkward places for me.
tuxgeo 1st May 2014, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
From our world (sort of): The Sultanate of "Broneo" (a.k.a. Brunei on the island of Borneo).

Wikipedia says of Brunei, "It was renamed Barunai in the 14th century, possibly influenced by the Sanskrit word "varuṇ" (वरुण), meaning either "ocean" or the mythological "regent of the ocean". The word "borneo" is of the same origin."

Also, "In 977 AD, Chinese records began to use the term Po-ni to refer to Borneo." (Of course "Po-ni" is the connection.)

2nd Q: No.
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:19 AM Cultural Flow edit delete reply
They've already got most of what I desire: apples, potatoes, fish, swords, MAGIC, and if we assimilate stuff like Button Mash into headcanon, video games. And they're imaginative enough that they probably already have PnP games.
I guess I'd import Bioware. Yes, the whole developer. Or Steam!
Specter 1st May 2014, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Q1: Probably ketchup (unless they have it, then it would be video games, unless they had that, then it would be nothing)

Q2: I am the only one of 3 brothers NOT to go "Under the knife".
Artemis 1st May 2014, 4:34 PM Going to Equestria or not edit delete reply
Not everyone reading this is desperate to go to Equestria!
I'm not like the main character of Myou've gotta be kidding me, who ended up a near-sighted gender-swapped cow that loses sentience when magically exhausted ouside of Celestia's Principality.

If Celestia expended the energy to contact me, I'd settle for no less than being a male hippogriff spontaneus caster marty-stu with my knowledge of weapons technology, political philosophy, religion, and other technologies untouched.

If that doesn't work for her, she can go her way, and I can go on with my life.
Disloyal Subject 2nd May 2014, 12:31 PM ...wut edit delete reply
Who said anything about going there? I just wanna see how THEY react to Bioware's moral quandaries. Hmm... There's a fic idea.
Granted, visiting would be nice, but I imagine most of us are pretty invested in Earth.
Artemis 2nd May 2014, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
I usually introduce things in person, otherwise the sentence would instead read: What I'd like to see introduced by someone.

I just caught up the last couple dozen pages before posting last answer, and in several of them the same poster was doing polls about what you would be willing to give up to live in celestia, my post was just as much an answer to them as what technology I'd like to introduce. If I'm not even going to Celestia, then the answer would be "not a thing!"

If Celestia's expending the energy to contact people from our world to go live in Equestria and teach Ponies how to make and use technology, then I wouldn't want to tie my hands being unable to teach them ways to defend themselves, ways to peacefully let everyone have a say in their government, the values I live by and the worldview that leads to those virtues, and the history of the followers of that worldview as they developed those values.
Delta Pangaea 1st May 2014, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
Characters. Characters and the creation thereof.

Excluding my Fighter, my Sorcerer-Thief and my Gunslinger, I have lying around concepts for a brutal, brawling bandit, a sun-child Aasimar Oracle, A monk-like but not actually a monk Tengu, a Synthesist who never leaves his Eidolon...

I'm sure there's more, but I've lost my list.
Randomperson 1st May 2014, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I've been there. I have a binder in my pack full of silly PC concepts that we use as backups or when a new person joins without having their own. Just for fun, I rolled up the 6th gen Pokemon starter and the main characters for Mega man X(good guys only).
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:35 AM help edit delete reply
I just started my second binder...
kriss1989 1st May 2014, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Oooh, this looks like a chance for Rarity to hit my groups level of roleplay. Namely detailed and involved enough that we can spend almost an entire 9 hour session doing nothing but roleplay.
Digo 1st May 2014, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Wow, that's intense. My players had to have at least one combat to satisfy those killing urges XD
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:25 AM Puppy-Kicking Fun edit delete reply
I know how they feel. I actually made a character who carries around a sack of kittens to munch on when the killing urge comes up, since I was more interested in the roleplay but knew I couldn't focus without killing something. 'Course, I wound up going with an eviller character for that campaign.
Specter 1st May 2014, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
I have never been able to go an entire session without my group provoking at least 5 battles... Your group sounds awesome.
kriss1989 1st May 2014, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
That's nothing. In our Shadowrun campaign, we've had a grand total of five rounds of total across all sessions. That's not five fights, that's five rounds.
Digo 2nd May 2014, 4:41 AM edit delete reply
Wow, that's some restraint! How did you all manage that when the temptations of guns and explosives is so prevalent?
kriss1989 2nd May 2014, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
Three reaons.
1) Exploding dice inata-kill rules discourages random fighting.
2) The GM keeps offering the other runners porn/significant others.
3) We take stupidly safe jobs.
dracostarcloud 1st May 2014, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
Between sessions I always add a little to each character's backstory.

Tengu sorcerer: exiled snack food mogul...or so he thinks. He calls himself Lord Kobsworthington the Third, Great Popcorn Baron, has his sewer-dwelling Kobold girlfriend, and turned his Pesh addiction into a new career.

Tengu bard: Ever since he found a working Clockwork Spy on a mission, he's been using its recording device to make albums and that's how he gets his Day Job money.

Tengu druid: he rescued/stole his animal companion, Allison the Allosaurus, from the Pathfinder equivalent of Jurassic Park.

And I've come up with a big Tengu family tree of potential Tengu characters, each with a "zany" quirk.
Srgt. Grif 3rd May 2014, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
That sounds sorta like one of the local gamers i play with. he has a whole family tree of gnomes, most all of them named "Tobin Wimbleton". I think he got to Tobin the ninth recently. all diferent classes, and all kind of insane.
Space Jawa 1st May 2014, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes, I feel like that makes up every other week or so between the Fallout is Dragons sessions.
Arania 1st May 2014, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
'spending more time thinking about the campaign than was absolutely necessary'

Oh boy, am I badly guilty of that...

Last year, was in a GURPS campaign that had... a very strange plot. All the PCs were variously superpowered, and we were currently trapped on a medieval-era world and needed to get to an interdimensional gate across the pacific ocean. My character in this mess was a polymath scientist with technomancy.

In the interim between sessions, I was struck with the idea to use the high-TL APC we had arrived with (long story) to build an... alternative method of transportation.

When the next session started, the first thing I said was 'I'm stripping the APC for parts to build a jet'.
I had two highly-detailed blueprints of both the aircraft itself and the instrument panel to back up my plan, along with a few pages worth of construction plans, scavenging instructions, and projected performance statistics that I'd spent the entirety of the previous week putting together.

You'd better believe we made it across that ocean. I ended up lugging that APC-turned-transoceanic aircraft through 5 more parallel worlds before it was eventually destroyed.
I regret nothing.
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:33 AM Priorities edit delete reply
Eeyup, I constantly do this. I've built 5 campaigns from low level to epic, complete with sidequests, branching paths, and complex NPCs - and never use them. And as for the games I play in, I plot and scheme all the time. I can be somewhat obsessive...
Tinker 1st May 2014, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
I am dungeon master, so that probably has a higher impact on thinking about the game 'more than necessary.'
I have a map of the continent (the world is 5 continents) and on the continent there are 5 kingdoms each with different governmental systems. There is a war going on that the players know nothing about, each kingdom has different tax rates and/or tithes for the national church, different ways of doing business, and basically big plots are happening everywhere and the players have gotten to level 10 without hearing anything about the world other than their particular kingdom.
Jungle Fury 1st May 2014, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
As the DM, I spend hours and hours of work on a specific part of the campaign.I add more monsters, vehicles, guns, etc. only for my players to not care about those, gloss over the plot I spent most of my waking hours making, and it still ends up more fun when I dont have anything but the storyline in mind for them. Go figure...
XandZero2 1st May 2014, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
I've got a group that I recently started playing with in Pathfinder. The game's premise is that we've all been press-ganged onto an evil pirate ship against our wills.

Well, that's all fine and good - but the issue we're seeming to have right now is that, when we were preparing for the first session of this campaign, our GM agreed to allow evil PCs (since the campaign, as he put it, is going to be "morally questionable").

Now, I've never had good experiences with allowing evil PCs into a game (ever since this one dark side campaign that went off the rails - and FAST), and once again it looks like we're having issues because of letting evil people into the party.

We've only been on this pirate ship for 3 days in-game (that's one play session). We also have this one evil Hobgoblin Fighter, and well, in the first session he didn't act overly aggressive or anything, but after the session we were passing e-mails back and forth between members of the party, and guess what?

(Here's were we reach the reason why this post is a response to the day's Newbie comment)

Come to find out, our Fighter seems dead-set on murdering everyone on board the pirate ship other than the party (even though a number of the people on this ship seem like decent people - or were press-ganged against their will too).

To make matters even more awkward, we've got a neutral good Druid who's the exact opposite of the Fighter. He doesn't want to kill ANYONE AT ALL!

Those two have been going back and forth over e-mail arguing for why we should or shouldn't commit ship-wide genocide, and meanwhile we've got four other members of the party. We've got one guy who doesn't care what we do either way, two of us who are trying to calm down the Fighter and the Druid (I'm one of those two), and one guy who thinks we should just wait and roleplay everything out...

What did I get myself into?

-Well, at least this pirate campaign is shaping up to be quite interesting...
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 10:37 AM Character Archetypes edit delete reply
At least they're presenting reasoned arguments?
Specter 1st May 2014, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
Pull off a Sparrow
GrayGriffin 1st May 2014, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
I am currently playing in one weekly PTU game on roll20, a PBP forum PTU game in the same 'verse as the weekly one, and five other PBP PTU games, all in different settings. And, naturally, it still isn't enough. I keep fantasizing about various crossover scenarios, including ones where the characters from different games meet. As well as the more classic term for crossover. Also, thinking of new ship names for the characters in our weekly game.
Codeman 1st May 2014, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
I've only been absorbed into two campaigns really. One was a steampunk fantasy setting (Iron Kingdoms if you've heard of it) that I didn't get to play in, but I made a couple characters and thought about the setting and scenarios a lot. The other is the FiD campaign, that's actually the first time I've really got to roleplay my character and personality, and have a background that actually MATTERED to the campaign and the other players.
T.J. 1st May 2014, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
Hold on, who's Esmerelda? The only I can up of at the moment is Granny Weatherwax from the Discworld series.
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 12:02 PM Esme edit delete reply
I was thinking Hunchback of Notre Dame. I clearly need to read more Pratchett...
LilyK 1st May 2014, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
Does this make Dash Vimes? Because if so I may channel Daniel Bryan.
Malroth 1st May 2014, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Applejack is Vimes RainbowDash is Cohen the barbarian
LilyK 1st May 2014, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
Nah, Cohen's so min-maxed, he's got to be one of the Grand Liners.
FanOfMostEverything 2nd May 2014, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
And Twilight is Carrot.
"But he's a thief! The book specifically said that's against the law!"
Disloyal Subject 2nd May 2014, 12:55 PM Who plays who? edit delete reply
So Detritus would be... Pinkie?
If Twilight's Carrot, then who's Angua?
LilyK 2nd May 2014, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
Let's not stick everyone in the Watch yet, it's a big Disc after all. Besides, to round out Rarity's team, Nanny and Magrat work as Pinkie and Shy.
Eyepoppee 1st May 2014, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
The "DM is Celestia" implications have convinced me that the players live in the WH40K 'verse and the DM is the emprah.
Wyvern 1st May 2014, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Be nice to the Empress; she CAN banish you to the moon...if you're lucky.
OreoGolem 1st May 2014, 1:03 PM Absorbed edit delete reply
So for a Roleplaying is Magic game the GM asked me "hey can you make a diagram of your character's apartment". Never really thought about it so I did.

So I put more than sufficient effort into it, tried to make it smaller and more cramped, the few personal possessions that had come up in game where do they live..... The I did more. I started to describe the contents of every desk and drawer. Created a family Heirloom. She has a dead potted plant (dehydrated).

It didn't stop there. I then created a family tree up 2 generations. I made short bios for most of them. Later I sketched out their Cutie Marks and tried to develop a "voice" for the major family members during a long car drive to Seattle.

I sent these documents to the GM. His main response was, "um thanks?".

Very little of this information has ever come into play.
Evilbob 1st May 2014, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
Understand how you feel, dude! The thing is, he's probably not very comfortable with the lore you sent him. It's really easy to mess up somebody else's lore; doesn't help when that person is sitting there able to call out your every BS.

Also, that's a lot of info. I wouldn't expect him to use any of that info unless he was looking for some way to screw with you :P
Lyntermas 1st May 2014, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
DM: Actually, 39 pages is what I managed to edit it down to. The original notes were much longer, in fact.
Rarity: So, what motivated you to edit it down?
DM: Well, the first part was establishing the setting and history. Next was setting up the backstories and motivations of different NPCs. The third part was creating quests and figuring out what had changed due to …certain circumstances, which no longer apply.
Rarity: What certain circumstances, and why don’t the quests and changes still apply?
DM: Oh, nothing major. It’s just a bit hard to justify rallying the army, uncovering traitors, and researching forbidden magic when the tyrant who kidnapped the sovereign ruler and threatened to cover the land in eternal night is BEATEN IN ONE SESSSION.
Rarity: …Still a bit bitter about that?
DM: …Maybe.
kriss1989 1st May 2014, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Rarity: least you still have the NPCs?

DM: Yes, with no idea how to use their motivations, or what those even are, as the situation you would have met them in that informed all their decisions doesn't exist!
Bombom13 1st May 2014, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Uh... Where is Raxon?
Disloyal Subject 1st May 2014, 8:08 PM Captain Raxon edit delete reply
As near as I can tell, he mostly sails the Grand Line these days. He still pops in when he has something to say, but I suspect he feels that his particular brand of madness fits a touch better there.
kriss1989 1st May 2014, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
He has been missing for several days. We suspect faulty time travel. He'll show up eventually.
Super Kami Guru 2nd May 2014, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
I was starting to wonder the same thing. As for Raxon's brand of madness, well, that honestly doesn't fit in anywhere. But you gotta admit, the guy's a genius. A mad genius perhaps, but a genius none the less.
Crazy Tom 1st May 2014, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
I play Pathfinder a lot, and ever since I've started GMing I made a conscious decision to use the same world for all my pathfinder games, just in different places or times. Over the several years I've been playing with my local group, we've established a very extensive map, as well as a solid timeline that stretches thousands of years and encompasses all sorts of notable events. I even had two of my players demand that I run a private game with just the two of them because they loved the setting so much.

So yeah, waaaaay too much downtime spent on that one.
Blues 1st May 2014, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
As a player, the only obsessing I do is getting really excited about playing the next session. Or occasionally building a new power or something. Although occasionally I'll do a cartoon of a scene that I thought was really cool from one of the sessions. The first campaign I ever finished, I did a comic a session, except for the last one, where my character sacrificed himself to save the girl (dragoness) he had fallen in love with. That was too dark and sad, even if in the prologue the GM told me she revived my character and they lived happily ever after.

As a GM, I either think way too much about the next session or not nearly enough. typically it's the latter. When I was in college, a lot of the sessions I ran, I would plan out day of. Now that I do an every-other-week schedule, I do a lot more thinking in advance. I'm not sure it makes the sessions any better, but at least I sort of know what I'm doing, usually about 10 days after the last session.
Euric 2nd May 2014, 7:24 AM edit delete reply
I know that this is far fetched, but do the names Ever Cleary, theaelnor and sokka ring any bells for you?
Jennifer 2nd May 2014, 5:19 AM edit delete reply
I cut my teeth on informal, diceless play-by-email-and-bulletin-board games. Since I could post at anytime but had committments that kept me away from my computer for, heck, hours at a time, I ended up allowing other players posts and plot points to percolate in my mind. Usually by the time I sat down to write a post about my character, I already knew roughly what I wanted to write, and all I had to do was make sure I didn't step on other players' toes in the process.
DeS_Tructive 2nd May 2014, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
My superhero group is all about getting too involved:
With five players, and running since mid 2010, the game's forum is rapidly approaching 5k posts. And now that we're in the final season of the game, I find myself putting the scheduling of new sessions on hold until the forum threads conclude, so that I can work the event there into the storyline easier.
This is from a group in their early 30s, all with jobs and family obligations.
MumaKirby 4th May 2014, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
... Wait, you're saying that not every person spends every minute they're not gaming -thinking- about gaming, their character's backstory, ways you want to expand your characters, and plots for future games?