Page 437 - Professional Curtsy

6th May 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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Professional Curtsy
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 6th May 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
It will probably surprise no one that The Diary Of An Evil Pony is one of my favorite MLP fanfics in recent memory.

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



Digo 6th May 2014, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
In all the years of playing a rogue in D&D any system, I have yet to find a GM who bothers to use thief-speak.
Coffeeincluded 6th May 2014, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Same there. Though in all fairness, it's tough to do when your rogue can't speak properly.
Digo 6th May 2014, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
My rogues were able to speak just fine. Trouble is the other rogues only know "backstabbing" and "running away". :)
T 6th May 2014, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
Is your rogue by any chance... A bear?
Limey Lassen 6th May 2014, 8:15 PM edit delete reply
Guest 6th May 2014, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
What is thief-speak?
ANW 6th May 2014, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
I've got to ask, what is thief speak?
Draxynnic 6th May 2014, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
It's not directly referenced in 3.5 or successors, but in 2nd edition, thieves had 'thieves cant', which was basically a set of codephrases thieves could use to a) recognise one another and b) plan illegal activities while appearing to be discussing something perfectly innocent to outside observers. In this case, the bolded phrases are probably a sign and countersign.
Digo 6th May 2014, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Right, as 'Elusive' was the name of the head guild thief for Rarity's group and the response of 'Scarce' is another word for Rarity. They basically coded their words to confirm each other's identities while others wouldn't think anything other than just compliments. :3

That's basically thief-speak/thieves cant
celestdaer 6th May 2014, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Thieves can't what?
kriss1989 6th May 2014, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Cant - n.- 1) An improvised or cobbled together language, usually from parts of multiple languages, that was common amongst Medieval trader groups and mercenary companies of mixed nationality. 2) Religious reference and parable, derived from the term canticle. 3) Code phrases designed so that they sound like normal speech between people.
Razomyure 6th May 2014, 12:47 PM edit delete reply
... Wait, seriously? I can't ever find any PLAYERS that want to use it, and as a DM who prefers Scoundrel-type stuff I'd like to.
seanpony renaud 6th May 2014, 1:07 PM Story and Game play Segregation edit delete reply
Most of my groups accept that thieves cant exists on their worlds it's just such a bitch to do on the fly. It's like finding words that rhyme when you didn't plan it out in advance.

We actually had one group that got fucking creative and it took most of our group forever to figure out that the those fuckers begging for coins while dancing had worked out some Bee Mojo where where the dance would tell how many guards where in the area. When we found out. . .well lets say the Paladin had to be killed. . .because he found out that the wizard and rogue had pooled their resources talked to the local Prince and found a Final Solution to the homeless problem in his kingdom.

It did not involve building more houses.

It did involve fewer homeless people, mandatory curfew and anti-loitering laws.
The MunchKING 6th May 2014, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
I've tried suggesting it before, but never really got any mileage out of my characters knowing it.
Digo 7th May 2014, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
Wish I had a DM like you on my side then. I would love to employ neat little things like this for Role Playing.
The Old One 6th May 2014, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
The "thieves cant" is all just nonsense anyway. It was replaced by a Bluff check in 3.5 and pathfinder, since all it requires is referring to one thing as another thing. As long as everybody involved has a common point of reference, it works, and anybody without that reference is left wondering what is so damned interesting about the local baker and their cakes
Digo 6th May 2014, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
Well, no more nonsense than something like the Druid's 'secret language'. with several rogues in a party, they could develop their own coded system so that even outside rogues won't have an easy time to decode it. :)
Newbiespud 6th May 2014, 3:29 PM edit delete reply
Let's get some educational links all up in this. Because I actually didn't know about any of this before this discussion started. Learn something new every day!

"Thieves' cant" is not missing an apostrophe - "cant" is a word that has a lot of meanings, but many of them have to do with unacceptable speech patterns: to speak in a whining or singsong manner, to speak insincerely or hypocritically, or to speak in jargon.

If you search for the whole phrase on Google, the first result is actually a Wikipedia article on Thieves' cant. The concept of criminals developing secret languages to discuss their jobs predates D&D by at least four centuries. Nowadays, criminals primarily use slang to discuss their work indirectly or in secret, but some of the words may have survived to this day.

Which brings us to the AD&D 2nd Edition Player's Handbook, which, within the Thief class features, reads thusly:
Thieves' Cant: Thieves' cant is a special form of communication known by all thieves and their associates. It is not a distinct language; it consists of slang words and implied meanings that can be worked into any language. The vocabulary of thieves' cant limits its use to discussing things that interest thieves: stolen loot, easy marks, breaking and entering, mugging, confidence games, and the like. It is not a language, however. Two thieves cannot communicate via thieves' cant unless they know a common language. The cant is useful, however, for identifying fellow cads and bounders by slipping a few tidbits of lingo into a normal conversation.

This feature didn't survive past 2nd edition, replaced by the Innuendo skill in 3rd and then by Bluff or Sense Motive checks in 3.5 and Pathfinder. But those looking for actual examples of Thieves' cant based on historical examples can find a good dictionary here.

This has been a long comment, and I apologize for anyone that has to scroll past this thread to get to other stories and conversations, but I hope you found something interesting here. I certainly did.
Specter 6th May 2014, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
Same here.
Scribejay 6th May 2014, 11:18 PM edit delete reply
So it's mob talk?

"'Ey, 'ow'd dat 'fishin' trip' with Vinny turn out."

"Not so good. Vinny forgot his coat and ain't feelin' too good naws. He might have caught his death. If ya knows what I mean."

DM's aren't even enthused by the chance to improvise mob talk? Bearing in mind that I've never actually played D&D.
Zuche 7th May 2014, 4:58 AM edit delete reply
Mob talk would qualify. From a certain point of view, so would legalese, corporate buzzwords, military jargon, and all of those phrases used by such groups as the CIA. Television and other media have done a wonderful job of pointing out how difficult it is to limit such things to a particular class. By the rules, a couple of average 1E Waterdhavian thieves' could pass a lot of secrets back and forth in front of their guild leader, a beholder, without him ever being the wiser.
Digo 7th May 2014, 4:47 AM edit delete reply

I certainly found it interesting. I've known bits of the subject since back in the days I played 2e D&D. Those were interesting times before the internet. :)
Summoned Singer 6th May 2014, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
Story time! Tell us about a time when the DM sent you a message scientifically using in game actions!
Digo 6th May 2014, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Scientifically? Um... never. Unless getting a sticky note with secret info counts?
Specter 6th May 2014, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
Texts, e-malis, note cards... the most creative I remember is having to get this ball completely covered in rubber bands, and I had to uncover it without snapping any of them, or I would either (A) lose the message from the trap, or (B) get severly maimed.
StarshineDash 6th May 2014, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
Well, there was this one time when the GM had one of those chinese puzzle boxes, inside which was the clue my rogue/wizard needed to rescue his "friends" (More... acquantences who happened to be going the same way...) He refused to let me take twenty on the roll and I had to solve the puzzle myself, each hour it taking costing one random party member two points in a random stat.

I never did solve the box.
Digo 6th May 2014, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
Wow, that's pretty hardcore. I can understand not allowing one to take 20, but the puzzle shouldn't be that grindingly difficult for the player unless it was a bonus thing without much consequence.
celestdaer 6th May 2014, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
Not the DM, but another player... all the players had access to elements in this campaign, and my character, a kitsune, during a ship to ship battle, had watched the other player using his water skills to tear a fleet of ships apart... whereas my fire skills had been used to light every single cannon on the ship at once, rocking the ship in the same way Captain Jack Sparrow had in Pirates 3... and my character, in character, said, "I should learn how to use water, too..." the player gave me a thumb drive with a note to me the next game, because we all had laptops at hand, and I plugged it in and opened the note, which said, "I use my imagination." And that was literally all of it. And I was just sitting there remembering the time I scared off an entire regiment of soldiers by creating miniature earthquakes off in the distance to mimic massive footfalls with my earth... might as well call it 'bending'...well, plus some illusion skill to create a towering monstrous thing...
Codeman 6th May 2014, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
I never did it, but a player we had in our group back home did once. He made up a set of codes for different things so the players wouldn't know. Like if he scratched his nose while talking to someone or mentioning them, he was going to pickpocket them; if he pulled on his ear he was going to swipe something he talked about in the room.

This was also the same player who while playing another rogue, swapped my healing potion for acid... I never really did like him XP
Specter 6th May 2014, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
With what is to be said, Codeman, you seem to remind me of Pinkie and her Pinkie Sense. (*Twitch*Twitch*)
The Angry Vegan 7th May 2014, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
The closest I've got is, "You hear an explosion off in the distance." That was his way of telling us that his DMPC bounty hunter had decided to blow up a ship we had just spent half an hour planning to heist.

If we hadn't ended up in an alternate universe my character and one of the fighters were going to kill her in her sleep.
Cygnia 6th May 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Sad/annoying thing is, the one time I tried to have my character speak in code for a 7th Sea pbp, the GM refused to keep secrets from the other players, so it was rather annoying.
Digo 6th May 2014, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Unless the players are really good at not metagaming, yeah that is very annoying.
Cygnia 6th May 2014, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
None of us knew each other in game OR out of game and it was supposed to be an Explorers Society set-up.

I was the ONLY one playing an Explorer and we were in Castille. With the Inquisition nearby. I had no reason to trust ANYONE, especially these PCs who kept blabbing everything to everyone!

And the GM found nothing wrong with this and made me out to be the "bad guy" for not being more "accepting".

Yeah, that game didn't last long.
Specter 6th May 2014, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Thief-speak, how to seem awesome to others while remaining comlpetely innocent.

My thoughts on the matter, Why?

Everyone else's thoughts? ...
kriss1989 6th May 2014, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
Why? So you don't get arrested talking about all the times you took Ben angling.
Specter 7th May 2014, 7:23 AM edit delete reply

and no, I am more of the "why discuss buisness in public anyway".
kriss1989 7th May 2014, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Alibi establishment and so there aren't "secret meetings" or "long periods of isolation" for investigators to note, as both are highly suspicious. Going out with a friend and discussing a fishing trip is perfectly normal.

Ben is someone who's "ben' had" and angling is "luring in a mark", meaning if you often go fishing with your friend Ben, you're a skilled confidence artist. And I have this friend who'd probably love to go fishing with you. And hey, if you go this weekend, I might be able to get away from work long enough to help reel some of the catch in, I'll even help clean it.
Specter 7th May 2014, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Kind of like last session when we had to go down stream because that's where all of the big fish were biting?
Specter 7th May 2014, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
ClosetBrony?! 6th May 2014, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
In dnd 3.5 there is a system for thief-speak, sorta. It's a bluff check to pass a secret message along.. That reminds me, I introduced someone's new cohort into by having him give a piece of candy to semi random people....That was highly toxic and effectively caused insanity to those who failed the hefty fort save. This was all done at the "City of Dreams", where tourists or residents go to escape reality... Just let that sink in...
Anyways, he was looking for one of the PCs who happened to be immune to poison and regularly eats said candy...
Anvildude 6th May 2014, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Amuzingly, that's actually the entire reason for the "innuendo" Skill. Everyone seems to think it's for something else, though...
Digo 6th May 2014, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Well, given what innuendo is usually used for... :3
Sometimes it's just the name of it that holds the idea back.
FanOfMostEverything 7th May 2014, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
It was consolidated into Bluff for the same reason Pathfinder lumped Listen and Spot into Perception: the more skills in the system, the less skilled characters are, because their skill points don't stretch as far. If you put a point into Stealth rather than both Hide and Move Silently, you've got another skill point to put elsewhere.
Evilbob 6th May 2014, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
That GM's got a pretty quick wit. A better world indeed.
Raxon 6th May 2014, 9:39 AM edit delete reply

Once upon a time, there was a low int rogue. Yeah.

This very dumb rogue was so stupid that everyone completely ignored him. Then they got caught and put in jail. He earned his way by getting them out, and revealing that he was only pretending to be stupid. They were out of there, and had city guard uniforms within the hour, allowing them to move freely about the city without suspicion.
Digo 6th May 2014, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
You mean playing a Roger Kint type? I've done that. My strangest was a character who was a princess that decided to become a spy and go overseas to an enemy nation and uncover the identity of the BBEG (And this plan was totally funded by the PC's mother, the queen). My PC (as far as the other players knew) was a quiet cleric of a peaceful religion. She traveled with the party for the safety of numbers. As the campaign progressed, she showed she could fight decently, but always held back those roguish levels.

Campaign ended too soon before my character's true identity or motives were ever found. Would have made a nice Söze moment though.
Raxon 6th May 2014, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
My experiment with this was to make a female drow rogue.

She was an airheaded bimbo who would sleep with anyone, and was super bubbly and perky.

Yeah. All that was a cover, because that's how she saw the forest elves. Turns out she was actually vicious, cruel, and extremely dangerous. She was a fantastic character to play. Nobody ever suspected she was anything but an ideal sexual fantasy until they needed her too much to replace her.

Then it was too late. Success of the party was in her best interests, thus she was loyal to the group. That reveal was soooo much fun!
Digo 6th May 2014, 1:04 PM edit delete reply
And I bet you knew a lot of personal secrets by then :3
Raxon 6th May 2014, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Indeed! Just for the hell of it, I had her blackmail the Paladin into helping her slay the forces of evil.

He was going to help anyway, I just felt like messing with him. "Help me save the world and protect all these innocent people, or I will tell everyone all about how you let your guard down and allowed yourself to be seduced by a lowly criminal like myself."
NOTDilbert 6th May 2014, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
That kind of reminds me of the Eastwood movie "Two Mules for Sister Sarah" - practically a training film for rogues....(c8
NOTDilbert 6th May 2014, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
Drat. Actually a reply to Digo two posts above (grumble)
Digo 7th May 2014, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
Ooh, I heard of that movie. I should check it out if it's got good rogue ideas. Recently I've gotten into Burn Notice, which will throw a few little narration quips about how to be a spy/rogue.
kriss1989 7th May 2014, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
I love Burn Notice, it gives you such great lessons. Such as: How to do the "fake prisoner" ploy to get information out of the one important prisoner you do have.

1) Have the fake prisoner in there first.
2) Interogate the fake prisoner first. Interrogations happen out of sight/earshot of the cell/s.
3) Actually beat up the spy. Fake injuries don't last long under close watch.
4) Return spy, who "said nothing".
5) Interogate the actual prisoners as "you're next".
6) When you get to the actually important/ranking prisoner, don't hurt them while you question them.
7) When they return, the spy accuses them of squeeling as they aren't touched unlike the rest of the prisoners.
8) To prove their innocence, the important prisoner will usually wind up spilling important info.
kriss1989 6th May 2014, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Okay, prediction building on the last one: Fleur is the rogue and Fancypants is a mark, but Rarity thinks due to FP's behavior that he's a rogue too. And then it turns out he actually is a NG noble who's a master of social grace.
Derpmind 6th May 2014, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
I think that Fancy Pants is the actual head of the Rouge's guild, and Fleur is secretly just his front-mare.
Malroth 6th May 2014, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
Yeah but if thats true Rarity will never find out
FanOfMostEverything 7th May 2014, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to say that Fancy Pants's monocle is intelligent and the true leader of the guild. Assuming intelligent magical items are still a thing in 4E.
Destrustor 7th May 2014, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Obviously his mustache is a mind-controlling parasite, a sort of ultra-pigmy mind flayer whose tentacles imitate hair in order to inconspicuously seize an influential member of society for their nefarious plots.

Just by being famous and handsome he's spreading the idea that facial hair is desirable, allowing the miniflayers to blend into society much more easily once they take more thralls.

The thief stuff is to have easy access to a vast underground network of contacts and resources, and to obfuscate their true purpose even if they ever get exposed. After all, who would believe the ridiculous idea of a lilliputian mind flayer conspiracy when they are obviously dealing with nothing more than a plain old thieves' guild?