Page 459 - It's Who You Know

26th Jun 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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It's Who You Know
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 26th Jun 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
I think we can all agree what a minor miracle it was that the Season Two finale and its new characters turned out as well as they did. That said, it's still fun to reminisce on how completely out of left field they seemed at the time.

Fallout is Dragons will up on Saturday, and for the foreseeable future will continue to go up on Saturday. Sorry for the consistent delays up to this point - promising a regular update during such a tumultuous time in my life might've been a little premature. But Saturday seems to be working well for me, so Saturday it is.

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



Batman 26th Jun 2014, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
It really is a wonderfully ridiculous think when new character come straight out of nowhere. Of course, usually they're comic relief or in this case, the new plot device.
Batman 26th Jun 2014, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
* thing
* characters
* relief,

... Also, I guess I'm first? Tell a story about a shoehorned in character that was important to the plot.
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
The surprise twist with the changelings was pretty awesome though. I think season 2's finale was my favorite overall.

I've never had a shoehorned character that was important to the plot. Story-relevant NPCs usually get the proper time for introductions.

Now as a player, I remember one campaign where the GM shoehorned a BBEG just for me-- a T-800ish professor/programmer who wanted to kill all organic life. His motivations to bother me were kind of weak and say nothing about the left field he came out of. I think this NPC started in the parking lot. O_o`
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Yeah, that's still my favorite finale... Though Sombra's creepy practicality takes 2nd. Granted, I'm one of those guys that dances with joy whenever the Mane 6 get to hit something, and IIRC, the Changeling invasion the first time since the manticore that they fought as a group, but even that was the icing on the cake compared to the loathing that Chrysalis' machinations inspired; that was well-plotted.

Edit: oh, right; storytime. In My Little Inferno: Evil is Magic, we've lost a lot of PCs to scheduling and the like, and replacements often get contrived entrances - which is actually really fun. My favorite has to be when Chaos (Laughter ported to the updated system - for those unfamiliar w/ AoH, it's like a Rod of Wonder) triggered a high-stakes game of Cards Against Equinity against a demon who leapt through a portal... And brought our new healer. Iirc, our boss (also a demon) called in a favor with the guy.
Raxon 26th Jun 2014, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
I suppose I should post a story here.

So, I had snuck a peek at the DM's notes, and caught a name. Cryanthis. Apparently she was a blind seer, and a goddess in disguise. I went and wrote in my backstory that she had sworn on her soul to be my bride, and we were betrothed. The DM, naturally, only glanced at my backstory. So when he introduced her out of the blue, my noble paladin rushed forward and lifted her in a gentle hug.

My Paladin: "My darling! How I have missed you so! I had feared you lost! I have been searching for you for a year!"

DM: "What the hell are you doing?"

Me: "It's in my backstory. We are betrothed to wed. There were three pages dedicated to it. You signed off on it."

DM: "Fine. You're betrothed."

Crysanthis: "My love! I thought you would never find me! Now we can go home and play! Oh, I cannot wait until I am old enough for us to be wed!"

What wasn't in the DM's notes was her age. She was eight.

She was a good DMPC, though. Her visions were useful, and she didn't try to enter combat. My paladin didn't have much trouble protecting her.

Kinda like Ashley from Resident Evil 4. When I needed to leave her alone for a bit, She knew to stay where I put her.

And that is how I married the virgin goddess of visions.

And before anyone asks, the virgin goddess thing is complicated. The way it works is that her virginity... grew back every time. The DM thought that would be a turn off. Poor guy had no clue.

A couple sessions later, there was a new guy. My paladin marched into the room, a grin on his face. "I just deflowered a blind maiden! You know the best thing about blind maidens? They never know where your hands will go!"

And then we spent ten minutes discussing our reasons for liking women with disabilities. My paladin and the new guy, that is. Turns out he's a devotee. My paladin, on the other hand, had developed a taste for blind virgins...
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
A taste for... well okay then. :)

I've played a 16-year old in an X-Files game. She was a consultant for magical research and boy did her skills get a lot of work. The Jersey Devil case turned out to involve a doomsday cult summoning those creatures to kill certain people for the blood ritual to summon a demon. Whoa...

But the other players liked to joke about my character's age. I joked too, like this exchange:

PC: "The security chief is going to look at you the same way I do."
Me: "What, that he wishes I was two years older?"

Raxon 26th Jun 2014, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Blind virgin goddess. The girl was the mortal incarnation, and eventually shed her mortality. Not sure how that differs from ascending to godhood, but it was not a guise she was aware of.

When the DM said she was eight, my response was, "Well, she did fall in love with him for his noble heart, not his sexy bod, so no reason why he can't wait for her to grow up."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh, totally! He can personally teach her to be a splendid wife."

Not so creepy in a world where arranged marriages are common.
ViktorSabrian 27th Jun 2014, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Christ. Reaaaaaaaally didn't want to know about the virginity thing. What you do with eight year old girls is between you, your group and the FBI.
Esc 27th Jun 2014, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
I think she had grown up before there was any deflowering.
Specter 26th Jun 2014, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
1st, I completely agree with you Digo (my preferred avatar is a give away).

2nd, I have shoehorned a lot of characters because we tend to do or go through things quicker or play through the plot longer then I anticipated. My ultimate favorite was from my first time DMing, where I created an NPC (later a based off of characters). His name was Popsicle Bacon, and he was a 1083 year old human wizard on the search for immortality.
Demonu 27th Jun 2014, 5:14 AM edit delete reply
It happened to me in reverse.

I inserted a one-off character but the group liked said character so much, I had to write more plot around it in future sessions.

The NPC was later named Sarah. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Midnight Blaze 28th Jun 2014, 5:39 AM edit delete reply
Actually, you spelled "relief" correctly.
kriss1989 28th Jun 2014, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
I do things differently. I throw out a bunch of NPCs, see which ones stick, and then have those "just so happen" to be the plot relevant ones.
Guest 26th Jun 2014, 6:08 AM CrowMagnon edit delete reply
"When and how did I get babysat by a PRINCESS??"

I think we're all looking forward to seeing how the GM explains that one. Especially if (s)he goes with the idea that Cadance was her foalsitter BEFORE Twi became Celestia's student.
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
This is why fleshing out one's backstory is a wise investment. Keeps the GM from throwing too much personal weirdness at you. :D
Crystalite 26th Jun 2014, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Even within the show. Why DID they decide that Twilight needed a friggin' ALICORN to babysit her?
FanOfMostEverything 26th Jun 2014, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
The same reason why Twilight had to ascend and why the library had to die: so they could sell more toys.
aqua 27th Jun 2014, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
wait wait wait, library dies?
The MunchKING 26th Jun 2014, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Probably going to go with Celestia saw her potential and set the whole thing up in advance.
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Having been around over a thousand years must have made Celestia savvy to long-term plotting like that.
Toric 26th Jun 2014, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
A common thought is that Cadence was using it as an excuse to get to know Shining Armor and his family better before actually starting their relationship.

Also, I tend to think that Sparkle's parents were at least minor players in the rich power elite of Canterlot and thus were a bit more likely to afford or have connections to someone like Cadence. Especially given the number of books they bought Twilight so she could attempt her entrance exam.
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I (of course) tend to default to 'Celestina's machinations' explanations, but I hadn't previously considered that Cadence could've been motivated in part by getting to know Shining Armor... Makes sense, I guess. Twilight's parents are obviously some kind of nobility, given their closeness to the throne, and that can't hurt, but given the events of Cutie Mark Chronicles I always suspected that having somepony with the raw deific power to counterspell an uncontrolled breakthrough of Twi's was a major reason Celestia arranged it.
Jorlem 27th Jun 2014, 3:32 AM edit delete reply
On the nobility thing, take a look at the coats of arms scattered around the house that presumably belongs to Shining Armor.
Specter 26th Jun 2014, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
... I kind of want to know what Cadences parents were up to. I still think that her parents were having a private conversation with the princess at the time, and didn't want Cadence to over hear them, so they let her go and do whatever (within a certain boundary of the castle, I assume there are still foal nappers). Add any reason for next piece of plot (how met Twilight, Shining, etc.) and why she liked being there (friends with Twilight, fell in love with Shining, etc.) then you have answer (or at least one that fits).
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
...Cadence has parents?
Well, that could be fatal to my present headcanon (that she's the last surviving heir to the Crystal Empire. Methodical overlords like Sombra do seem to have a predilection for executing threats, but missing just enough to have one come back to dethrone them.)
NR 26th Jun 2014, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
@Disloyal Subject: Well, there was a backstory for her presented in Twilight and the Crystal Heart Spell. If you accept that, then no, Cadance really is an orphan. She was a very young pegasus found alone in the middle of a forest, and was adopted into a village of Earth ponies.
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
My daughter has that book. I've read it and find that "being the last heir to the Crystal Empire" could still fit nicely with the orphan thing. :3 Really, those two plot elements love getting paired together.
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Aye, orphan heir is a classic. Anyone here read the Deltora books?
I was just worried new canon might be conflicting with that - I tend to be a bit orphan-happy with back stories, so I'm used to integrating previously unknown parents.
NR 26th Jun 2014, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
If you accept IDW canon, Cadance pretty much wants to be treated like any other pony (attending what I'm assuming is a public high school in Canterlot and such), and also runs a babysitting service that Twilight's parents hired her for. (It was orchestrated, but by Shining Armor because he really wanted to talk to her)
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
@NR; Digo: yeah, I'd heard that about her being an orphan & last heir, & incorporated it with Sombra's takeover to basically have her be the decendant of escaped royals. Makes sense to me, though I've yet to actually read the source books, so it may need tweaking.
...hmm, helping Cadence's ancestors escape the Empire's sealing could be an interesting, if slightly textbook, one-shot campaign. I wonder if pre- gen4 ponies lived in such high fantasy worlds.
The bit about the foalsitting service is new to me, but unsurprising. Gotta start going to the comic shop again.
NR 26th Jun 2014, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
That's pretty much my headcanon too, and I've read all the chapter books, so you're all good!

~Until further notice, at least >D ~
Raxon 26th Jun 2014, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
Even princesses gotta have hobbies, man.
Luna 26th Jun 2014, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Twilight's upbrigging is quite surprising, when you think about it. Foalsitted by a princess, became the protégée of another one (and the actual ruler of Equestria of all thing)...

And the few times we actually saw Twi's parents, they never seemed to be anything much, just some regular ponies. Though we hardly saw them and never heard their voice. I was kind of disappointed when, after Twilight's coronation, they didn't even came to congratulate their daughter, like Shining armor did. Dunno, it would seemed only natural, given how they were there and seemed proud during the ceremony.

Anyway, still hoping we might get to actually know them at some point. And maybe get a few answers while we're at it. Like how the hell did Twi got Cadenza as a foalsitter ? Oo

Also, DM not doing anything with Princess Luna ! Bad DM !
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
The IDW Pony comics offered one explanation on how Cadance becomes Twilight's foalsitter. Not sure if spoiler, so I'll just say that it was not an accident.
Disloyal Subject 26th Jun 2014, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Considering that upon her Ascension, Celly practically admitted to smoothing the way for her... It stands to reason she'd been planning/ hoping for Twilight to accomplish all she did for a very long time. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
As for Luna... Yeah, it's a slip-up, but the DM's been busy trying to keep the game from getting derailed too badly again, & balance all the characters' development. With this, or... well, ANY party, that can't be easy.
Luna 26th Jun 2014, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
IDW ? What's that ? And is their work considered canon ?

As for Cellestia smoothing things out for Twilight, yeah, but I always thought that she took notice of Twilight's potential after her exam. And I'd guess that Cadenza was foalsitting her way before that.

Unless there was some prophecy of some sort...
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
IDW, the comic book publisher. They release the My Little Pony comic series which has been quite good. how much of it is canon is debated, but on it's own it stands up pretty well.

As for Cadance becoming Twilight's foal sitter, the comic book shows that it had nothing to do with Celestia. Shining Armor had a hoof in that set up.
Adser 26th Jun 2014, 12:28 PM edit delete reply
The expanded universe (main comics, Ministories, Friends Forever and the books) are officially on a "I don't care" canon consideration, that means they dont check each other and pretty much do what they want.
So in the end its up to you if you consider them canon or not. I personally love them and add almost all of it to my own headcannon, as they add a lot more details to the story (The nightmare forces and Cadence life as prime examples) and even prefer their canon to the main series canon in some points (Cheerilee being the same age as the mane six in the series while in the comics she has shining armor and Mayor Mare age)
Guest 26th Jun 2014, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
IDW is the company producing the official comics. And of course they're canon; they're official. Also awesome.
guy 26th Jun 2014, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
Cannon can be a difficult thing to deal with, as it occasionally goes off at you.
Digo 26th Jun 2014, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, such as is with Star Trek.
Luna 27th Jun 2014, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
From what Adser and Digo says, Star wars expanded universe comes to mind : "official", but not really "canon".

Anyway, thanks for the various answers. Might try and give those comics a try sometime.
Sunbeam 26th Jun 2014, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
This is a very accurate rendition of the confusion around a table. Nicely done.
Grant 26th Jun 2014, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Things like that are weird, and reminders that it's intended to be a children's show. What you can do in a kid's show sometimes just gets to be too much in a story made for an older audience, at least if it isn't given any kind of justification.
Jennifer 26th Jun 2014, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
My headcanon is that Twilight's family is nobility of some sort. They are Canterlot unicorns, after all. They're just... modest. And Twilight, being the youngest and quite sheltered, never really noticed.
Grant 26th Jun 2014, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
I didn't follow the series in detail, just funny or interesting episodes, so maybe fans could argue it was because of Twilight's powers or something? I don't know, it's got a big brother who was a major influence on her life and captain of a royal guard just introduced out of nowhere, you've got to be generous to the writers and accept these things to keep the story going.
Disloyal Subject 27th Jun 2014, 9:27 PM Noble Privilege edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
She started studying magic with her parents' help... Granted, we don't know what in all Celestia's capable of, so it's within the realm of possibility that she ennobled or arranged the ennobling of an ancestor of Twi's to make sure in advance she'd have the resources as a filly to become the Element of Magic. Or it could be chance, or anything in between; take your pick. Either way, the family were most likely already modest nobility - at least a minor family.
Vittorio 26th Jun 2014, 3:45 PM Time skyp edit delete reply
Yes, sorry, not a story about one of the many shenanigans of just doing the tabletop but a doubt about the comic.

Applejack say that it has been years in the table but that does mean the time that the mane party has been playing the setting or about the combined experienced in different adventures as a meta example?

Also, what is the longest one single party has managed to stay united in one of your settings? The longest for me was for 8 consecutive months (+ 2 months hiatus) in a Werewolf the apocalypse/Magic the gathering/ all flesh must be eaten pandemonium when I was in highschool.
Newbiespud 26th Jun 2014, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
A subset of this current group has been gaming together longer than the rest.
Draxynnic 27th Jun 2014, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
IIRc, Twilight and Fluttershy's players are new to the hobby, while Rarity, Dash and Applejack knew each other's styles beforehand. Pinkie I'm not sure of off the top of my head.
kriss1989 28th Jun 2014, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
I managed a 4 year run with a party, broken up by moving away.
Malroth 26th Jun 2014, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Can't think of what Luna has been up too? Just make her a Hikkomori like they did with Tohou's Kaguya.
jdb1984 26th Jun 2014, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
Well, Faust fought to have Cadance be a unicorn rather than an alicorn. Hasbro won out on that one, obviously. But it gave them a pink alicorn princess that they could use and be able to bring out a white Celestia.
Night Sage 27th Jun 2014, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
Actually she fought to have Cadance be a Pegasus, not a unicorn.
jdb1984 27th Jun 2014, 9:22 PM edit delete reply
Are you sure? I always read unicorn, and looking at the canon pairings (and ignoring fanon ones), they have all been between the same species of pony, with Candace and Shining being the only exception. I know that she was originally a Pegasus in the book, but Faust, Hasbro, and the rest of the team had no involvement in that. So I consider them fan-fiction at best.
Raxon 26th Jun 2014, 9:21 PM edit delete reply
Sorry, Twi. Cadence grew to like you eventually, and you two eventually became very close, but she started foalsitting you to get with your brother.
Newbiespud 27th Jun 2014, 1:51 PM edit delete reply
Pretend this comment's from Digo, since his accidentally messed up the link:

"There's a comic like that. Cadance makes a deal with Shining's dad to babysit for like... two oatsicles and marriage to Shining. It's hilarious.

CrowMagnon 27th Jun 2014, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
Oh, that Lionel Hutz reference. XD Phil Hartman was taken from us far, far too soon.

Shining was probably a little ticked about finding out he's only worth as much as an old birdcage, but it seems to be working out for him in the long run.
Fury of the Tempest 27th Jun 2014, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
Personally. I prefer the idea that Cadance just loves kids and babysitting.
Raxon 27th Jun 2014, 2:02 AM edit delete reply
Ease up on the submit button. One click is enough.
Night Sage 27th Jun 2014, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
An out of no where character important to the plot? Haven't had one of those in any of my Shadowrun sessions yet, and I hope to not have one. Though a character I've recently introduced to the group, may throw them into shock when they find out that said character is important to the plot, and that they killed him... So yeah, no out of no where characters, but out of no where plot development, maybe.

I can't wait to see my players' reaction to finding this out.
Xzienne 27th Jun 2014, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
I frequently shoe-horn in characters but it never looks that way; largely because I pepper the story with so many loose ends and random crap that I can pick and choose a pre-forewarned backstory as I choose.

It's more fun when the players guess at it first...
Guest 27th Jun 2014, 9:58 AM edit delete reply

I know that the focus is still on Twilight and her family/foal sitter, but I still think were forgetting something... what was it?... oh yeah, PRINCESS LUNA LIVES... and is probably good aligned now.
Specter 27th Jun 2014, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
Oops, forgot to re-upload my file after having to restart my computer, my bad.
SSky 27th Jun 2014, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
Wow. A party member remembering something in your plot you didn't.
How come they retain only the info that ends up making a fool of you?

"I think we can all agree what a minor miracle it was that the Season Two finale and its new characters turned out as well as they did."

Oh there's PLENTY of room to disagree there.