Page 45 - Bright Shiny Things

19th Nov 2011, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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Bright Shiny Things
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 19th Nov 2011, 5:00 AM edit delete
Alternate title: Starts With M, Ends With TVTropes.

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



Snowy 19th Nov 2011, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
It always comes back to the royalty.
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
Yup! But I find it helps to make them either a noticeable or likeable figure (in other words, make them display human emotion).

Example: Very recently in my campaign, some bounty hunters snuck into the army camp they've been kicking around in for a few sessions. One of the PCs uses a power to push one of them over near the command tent and loudly yells "Get him!" The king commanding the army hears it, walks outside, and guts the one that just got flung over. Then, seeing some of his most decorated soldiers in trouble, he jumps into the fray himself. He even personally helped up a teammate that had been revived from unconsciousness, who was going to have to blow a move action to stand next round otherwise. That one went over very well.
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
I'm a big fan of villains that aren't card carrying villains. Even my most despicable villains have good points.

In my current campaign, the leader of a cult has his ritual interrupted by the party. He responds by joining the front line of the fight (not common cultist leader behavior) and, even though he does fire off an attack that hit his allies (it was more of a 'rage fueled limit break' type of thing) he stayed behind to give the injured a chance to escape and was the LAST member of the cult to retreat.

And yeah, NPCs that express emotions and work together really help flesh out the world.
Colin 13th Oct 2013, 1:35 AM Royalty edit delete reply
Rational, or at least nuanced, cults make for awesome antagonists.
Though I do have a soft spot for courtly intrigue. The looks on players' faces when they learn the princess they just 'rescued' invited the 'invaders' (her betrohed's army) to depose her parents... and later, that she still loves them, but has to place the country first & can't allow their weak rule to persist - those looks are as tasty as chocolate and steak at once.
Oh hey it's 1:30 AM. Padon my incoherence.
Guest 19th Nov 2011, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Wasn't that last bubble meant to be for Twi?
Torg 19th Nov 2011, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
RG mentioned the Princess, and then thought to ask how she was doing. Why would it be Twilight's line?
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Nope, looks to me like the really old, rarely read magical book is asking a question. "How is she?" And Twilight has to figure out how to explain "Disappeared somewhere because Nightmare Moon got out." Very awkward.
AstroTrain 19th Nov 2011, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
Darn it. Why am I back on TV Tropes again?
DorianCreed 19th Nov 2011, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
Everything ends with TV Tropes. No matter what, you will end up on it.
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
Because Spud wants us to waste our entire day?
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Thankfully, I've read so many of the articles on there that I more often than not come across nothing I haven't seen before when I just hit the random button for something to read. What I haven't read tends to have a self-explanatory title, too. So I usually only go on there for periods of 30 minutes at a time at most.

Sometimes having nothing to do has its advantages.
Colin 13th Oct 2013, 1:37 AM TV Tropes edit delete reply
Verily! My situation is much the same, though a series of exceptions brought me to this delightful comic.
Torg 19th Nov 2011, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
So, how are the Elements going to work here? A rogue isn't exactly the picture of generosity.
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Rarity has a selfish streak, but is still Generosity. And not all rogues are loot stealing jerks. Since she's apparently a good SOCIAL rogue, she probably realizes the value of giving and how it can pay off in the long run?
swenson 19th Nov 2011, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Giving with ulterior motives may still count as giving, I guess?
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
Or it's a case of being generous to close friends and possible allies. She seems too smart to fall into the 'I'll steal from EVERYBODY!' fallacy of most Evil (and Neutral) rogues.
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
I think it would be interesting if the Elements got moved around to people who don't normally get them. What Rarity would be post-switch... well I've got no idea. She's not really one for jokes or very playful so no laughter, she's a rogue so to quote TF2 is a "backstabbing, dime-a-dozen scumbag" which rules out honesty or loyalty... maybe kindness? She is pretty nice both in and out of character, and her political ambitions aren't particularly evil. She wants to be royalty. What kid doesn't? She hasn't even expressed any will to kill people that stand in her way, and has to at least maintain a facade of being nice if she wants to be accepted into the elite of the nation and the entire world.
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Wait, how does it rule out loyalty? Just because she's an evil rogue doesn't mean she'll betray her allies. See my previous comment about her being smart enough to NOT tick off her meat shields/friends/compatriots.
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Call it prejudice, but I can't in good conscious say a Rogue is a good fit for being the embodiment of loyalty. Maybe Rarity's an exception here, but she seems capable of giving up on (not outright betraying, just abandoning dealings with) people that were previously allies but no longer wish to help her along the road to royalty. Or have found out they were helping her along at all and aren't going to anymore. To me, part of loyalty is sticking by someone even if they aren't useful to you, which Rarity doesn't seem likely to do.
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
It's prejudice, alright. Probably brought on by Celestia only knows how many idiots that played Rogues as chronic betrayers.

You're forgetting that a Rogue is also (at least since 3e on, don't recall 2e at the moment) adept at social skills. Heck, they were the go-to class for any character that needed gobs of skill points.

Just because the rogue's class feature is a LITERAL backstab doesn't mean they're betrayers. At all. It's equally as plausible that they want to help their allies, but are physically weak... so they opt to make every attack count by going for the weak points.

I don't know. Every time I consider playing a rogue, they're generally 'neutral good' or there abouts (rather hate alignment systems, though) that are actually rather altruistic... if, you know, you aren't ruling the country side with an iron fist or unleashing hell beasts.
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
I'm not so much saying that it's totally unthinkable that Rarity could be the element of loyalty in this version of the story, just that based on what's been shown so far there seems like there are better fits.

And actually, I really like the alignment system. Sure in some ways it forces me to play one of 9 basic archetypes, but I usually make a concept then slap the closest alignment onto it afterwards. Plus, I really like the challenge of roleplaying as a character in a situation that doesn't gel with their alignment. Like one time I was lawful good, being held in jail without due process despite being of a much higher status (like, not-allowed-to-be-thrown-in-jail-at-all status) than my jailers. I argued with an NPC for roughly ten minutes before one of our superiors came in and forced the jailer to let us go.

On that note, I'd like to say this: DON'T make every single NPC in your campaign actively hostile to the PCs, because then you have one of your players argue with a jailer for ten minutes knowing full well he's not going to get anything out of it and really wants more to temporarily derail your campaign out of spite than actually make progress even though he's only getting more frustrated from being jerked around and thus needs more revenge and so argues some more and begins a VERY vicious cycle of hatred and stupidity.

Totally not bitter over that stupid jailer's stupid stupidness. Why would I be?
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
Personal preference, I guess. I prefer 'alignment' to be a few brief sentences about the character's desires and mental state, combined with (recently) this:

Just a brief overview of how your character thinks, not some arbitrary 'good' or 'evil', since there have been many, many, MANY debates I've had to listen to about what's 'good' and what's 'evil.'

And I'm fortunate that I've culled the herd in my games, throwing out the game-derailing jerks. We very rarely have someone really TRY to make an NPC hostile. Most fights devolve into moral and life choice debates with a few punches for emphasis.

Given how I'm currently running an MLP campaign, a willingness to TALK to your enemies and find non-violent solutions is encouraged, though it doesn't always work.

Just last session, the Sorcerer managed to convince an enemy to stand down through a Diplomacy skill challenge. It was only one enemy out of a dozen, but still, it's one less they had to fight.

Though it did derail the game briefly, from all our laughing. The enemy, after getting a face full of magic, declared that he just wanted to be an orthodontist (as a one-off joke). He later mentioned that he'd back down if the sorcerer went on a date with him (again, a one-off joke)... Said sorcerer is a lesbian. She makes a remark that she'd consider, if he wore a dress... And rolled diplomacy, fully expecting it to fail. My response? "Oh great. Just watch, she'll roll a nat 20."

Well, she didn't. She rolled a 19, with a +10 bonus. Then rolled 24. THEN the bard (who the sorcerer, in a drunken haze, had previously tried dressing up as a woman... character foibles, what can I say?) pitched in, pretty much under the pretext of "Thank Celestia, now she'll leave me alone!"

...And lo, did a Shadowbolt stallion agree to a crossdressing date. o.0
Kaleopolitus 19th Nov 2011, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
After asking my questions about tabletop rpg's a few pages back I decided to go on a little adventure spree...

I've now read the Lotro and the SW based comics and am almost done with the The Order of the Stick one. I have to admit, I want to try it.

I've now downloaded 'OpenRPG' which is apparently an online version of tabletop rpg's, have yet to try it though.
I sure hope it is though xD

Oh, btw Kiana, you have earned the best rpg story award from me. Have never read of a more hilarious situation.
xuincherguixe 19th Nov 2011, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Rogue is a set of abilities, not a personality.

It's probably the most diverse class in terms of who can be one.

Spies, Assassins, Ninjas, Masked vigilantes out for justice, rebels, government agents...

The list goes on and on like this. Thieves are just one kind of rogue. Even then, they don't all have to be back stabbers. Any PC that isn't loyal to the group isn't playing right.

Well... unless you're playing Paranoia.
terrycloth 19th Nov 2011, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
I expect they'll get shoehorned in somehow and not be all that appropriate. Since it's an RPG and the players are never going to act like you'd expect. How could you possibly plan out for each of them to actually embody one of the elements?

Maybe they don't need to embody them in this version, just accept them and get element-related powers? Then they can all fight over who gets to be generosity. n.n
Kiana 19th Nov 2011, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Am I the only one imagining them fighting over who gets Generosity by trying trick the element into choosing them?

"No, no, YOU deserve Generosity so much more than ME! Take it, take it!"
Shikome Kido Mi 19th Nov 2011, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
Speaking of shoe-horned in, if you ever watch Friendship is Witchcraft, they make a pretty good argument for Applejack being Loyalty and Rainbow Dash being honesty in their episode "Dragone Baby Gone".

You might want to start at the beginning of that series, though. It's pretty funny but definitely not for everyone.
It's not in the same order as Friendship is magic, so it goes "The Perfect Swarm", "Read It and Sleep", "Dragone Baby Gone", and then "Cute from the hip".
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
Well, they probably didn't know at the time how each character's personality would develop. That said, it's pretty silly to have someone be named the embodiment of loyalty, then have a DIFFERENT main character who represents honesty be openly named the most dependable person to ever exists ever by the town she lives in. Especially when the one who doesn't represent honesty almost never lies, and in fact is honest to the point where she's mean about it. It seems to me that it really came down to who was worse at lying, rather than who was more honest. Applejack has a very noticeable tell, so BAM she's honesty!
Shikome Kido Mi 20th Nov 2011, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
I know and the parody episode is great. And example joke: Applejack goes back down to carry Fluttershy when she won't climb up the mountain and Rainbow Dash says "Honestly, Applejack, you're the most loyal pony I know. That's why you're the element of [switches to a completely different voice badly dubbed over the top of what she's saying] Honesty."

Sure, it's probably just an artifact of the characters changing organically over time but it's still good parody.
Lyntermas 19th Nov 2011, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
They're not going to say it, are they? Oh, they'll be thinking it, but they won't say the "M" word, will they?

Twi: Um, the Princess has apparently been kidnapped by NNM.
RG: Oh, thus the interest in the Elements. Don't worry, though, Celestia planned for this eventuality. We just have to wait for Celestia's agent to show up, and she'll know exactly what to do.
Twi: Really? Oh that's great...
RG: Yeah, you just have to look for the pony who Celestia calls her "most faithful student". Celestia will have told her everything she needs to know about how to stop NMM.
Akouma 19th Nov 2011, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
What "M" word? Moon? Monty Python (considered a swear at many a gaming table because it sends people off on looooon tangents)? Macrocosm? Malicious? Malapropism? I'm literally just throwing out M words here, I honestly have no idea what word you mean unless it's moon. Seriously, is it moon?
Lyntermas 19th Nov 2011, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
I had predicted that the mane six would at some point explicitly refer to the Elements as "MacGuffins", the little collectible trinkets that get the plot going, like the Holy Grail for Indiana Jones, or the seven (insert noun here) in most video games.

However, due to Newbiespud's explicit reference to the trope in his comments, it seems unlikely that the word "MacGuffin" will be used within the comic.
Azureink 19th Nov 2011, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
MacGuffin is the "M" word.
Azureink 19th Nov 2011, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
I can't tell if that is a "worried" expression or a "distrustful/disappointed/angry about Celestia" expression on Twilight's face on that last panel.
HopeFox 19th Nov 2011, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
Are the Elements of Harmony really a MacGuffin? The defining characteristic of a MacGuffin is that the story would work just as well regardless of what the MacGuffin actually was. The precise nature of the Elements of Harmony is highly relevant to the cartoon, though - it defines much of the plot of the second episode, not to mention the opening episodes of Season 2. It parallels the most important personality traits of the mane characters, too. I think that disqualifies them from being MacGuffins.

On the other hand, in the context of this RPG, they might be. Or, at least, the players might assume they are, since "find the lost artifacts to save the world" is a trope as old as dirt.
Shikome Kido Mi 19th Nov 2011, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
I don't know. To some extent it feels like it since the actual journey to the castle is what caused them to realize how to beat the bad guy and the things found in it are pretty much irrelevant, but since it ties back into the true nature of the elements I'm not sure.
xuincherguixe 19th Nov 2011, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
This review seems relevant (sorry, youtube didn't get a hit of the specific segment)

Someways in there's a fight about what a Macguffin is. Short version if you don't want to see review (which is amusing) the definition may have changed.
Izandai 19th Nov 2011, 8:36 PM edit delete reply
Because you're both mares.

...You, brick, my face, now.
leafia6 20th Nov 2011, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
Would it be too much for this game to affect the players' alignment? Is it even possible to change one's alignment?
Azureink 21st Nov 2011, 10:11 AM edit delete reply

Though in 4e, they combined a lot of the alignments. So Neutral Good and Chaotic Good were combined into "Good." Lawful/True/Chaotic Neutral were combined to become "Unaligned." And Neutral Evil was combined with Lawful Evil to make "Evil."

Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil were not changed.

The alignments in 4e are thus: Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Chaotic Evil.

So it is possible to change your alignment. And DMs are encouraged to keep track of how someone reacts to the world and adjust their alignment accordingly.

The main difference between 4e and the earlier ones is that there are no official spells that target a particular alignment.
shikokme kido mi 21st Nov 2011, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
Well, 'they combined a lot of the alignments' is a pretty big difference in of itself.

Getting rid of spells based on alignment simplifies things but makes them more redundant.

But yeah, as you say alignment is a descriptor of how you generally act and feel about ethical and moral things, not a set of rules you have to follow (acting out of alignment just means you're prone to it changing).
leafia6 21st Nov 2011, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
But is the Mettalic dragons can become evil, couldn't Chromatic dragons become good? Expanding on that, couldn't rainbow Dash's test of loyalty later on make her consider picking at the very least chaotic Neutral?
Anonymous 21st Nov 2011, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
While reading the book's speech, I noticed that I was imagining it having Discord's voice. Which kind of makes sense in a weird way.
Kelvin360 29th Dec 2011, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
I was more imagining it to have that game-show announcer voice, and expecting it to randomly shout 'Congratulations Twilight Sparkle, you've won a BRAND NEW CAR!', personally. >_>
Doran 21st Nov 2011, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
Heh, in one campaign I was involved in, the DM made an NPC whom we dubbed AwesomeKing. Because he was awesome. Survived someone poisoning his food, knocked out his daughter when she was mind-controlled to attack him, and USED A POISONED DAGGER AN ASSASSIN ATTACKED HIM WITH TO KILL SAID ASSASSIN AFTER DRAWING IT FROM HIS GUT. He made his fort save for the poison. Again. And helped us fight off the crew of assassins sent after him. We did not have a lack of respect for AwesomeKing. :D
Guest 3rd Feb 2012, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Geez, it even said TVtropes. Why oh why did I click!?