Page 480 - Vulnerability: Love

14th Aug 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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Vulnerability: Love
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Aug 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Behind the DM screen (and, to a small degree, in contemporary writing), I find monologues to be kind of a risky venture. It's the sort of thing where you'd better make sure the subject matter is really interesting (or the delivery method is really compelling) (or there's really no better way in the given format), or else you risk your audience tuning out or interrupting. In those cases, it's probably best to have a backup version handy.

Anyway, it looks like my birthday's tomorrow. So there's that.

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



Masterweaver 14th Aug 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday! I'll draw something, but I don't know if I can get to a scanner in time.
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
That's just my kind of typical luck. You find a nice stallion that would make a great NPC love interest for your character, and he's already taken. Phooey!

Also, Happy Pre-Birthday Spud!
Draxynnic 14th Aug 2014, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Plenty of people would say that's art imitating life, possibly with the genders transposed.
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
I'm sure both genders know it well. I've got two sisters who would vouch. RPGs at least give more control over that, assuming you have a GM that even cares for romantic sub-plots. I find them rather fun to play around with.

One of the better ones was a D&D campaign that I ran and my wife played a noble cleric champion of Bahamut. The group ran afoul of some pirates, but they managed to get the upper hand. The pirate captain was smitten with my wife's character and proved to make for some interesting role playing. Eventually her character grew to like him and they had an interesting relationship for quite a long time.
smashbro 14th Aug 2014, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
On the topic of NPCS as love interests (warning, long story), there was one campaign I ran that started with a custom deck of many things. Three of my players all drew the same card (2 of hearts? idr). By picking that card, they each gained a spouse. The rogue and cleric both picked the corresponding race, the human level 14 commoner (everyone was level 14) chose to marry a half-orc half-gnome woman. So yeah.

They start the first adventure, get attacked by winged creatures carrying letters. The creatures were defeated, and it turns out that two of the three letters are mimics, the actual letter invites them to a festival celebrating impressive adventurers.

Soon after this, each married played gets an actual letter from their spouse, asking for 10,000 gold. The cleric decides to send a little bit of gold, but not the full 10,000. The rogue has the gold and doesn't really need it, so sends it to her husband. The commoner sends a mimic.

Fastforward to after the festival. They are walking past the town where all of them got married, and decide to stop in to meet with their spouses. The cleric walks in and his wife yells at him for not sending the money, and in the end, tries to "kiss" her husband. By "kiss" I mean bestow a negative level on the cleric by using Energy Drain. It doesn't work and frowns as she realizes that he is a freaking cleric and one shots her.

The commoner walks into his house to find his wife crying. Over a cradle. And says the mimic ate their daughter (the wife had not previously mentioned a daughter to the player). She then tries to attack him. Cue the cleric walking in and killing the wife.

Now, when the rogue enters her house and meets her husband. He reveals the truth: that he was an incubus, and his original goal was to just take her stuff and kill her, the letter was just to get her to come back here and ask about it... but he was really surprised when she actually sent him the gold. So he told her everything was good, and he'd help her in any way he could. She asked him to start setting up a network of information in the town, so that they would be able to know what was going on.

The rogue leaves the house to see the cleric and commoner standing outside. The conversation went something like:

"You good?"


"Not hurt? No one attacked you?"


"Cause our wives tried to kill us."

"Nope, all good."

"... You're working with him."

*evil grin*

The campaign ended before everything panned out, but to make a long story slightly shorter, half the party joined the mafia family that our rogue's husband created, the other half created their own. Also, the half human half succubus daughter was not actually dead, but would have come back aged up and dual wielding scythes (her father's weapon of choice).

tl;dr: love interests are fun, even if the players didn't originally intend to have one.
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
Wow, awkward... and I think we all learned never to send mimics through the post.
Derpmind 14th Aug 2014, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
That gives me an idea of an unusual curse: Everyone the curse-ee becomes infatuated with inexplicably has "been taken" for some weeks/months/years now. Even though, when you just met then an hour ago, they were single.

Of course, breaking the curse would be simple: Try your best Narcissus impression really, really hard. Or just clone yourself.
Derpmind 14th Aug 2014, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Let's pretend I worded that last one a bit better, please. (Oops.)
GrayGriffin 15th Aug 2014, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
This is why I make up all my NPC love interests myself. Actually, technically only one of my characters has an NPC love interest. Everyone else gets shipped with another PC (occasionally from another game, but hey, if it works, it works).
corntown 14th Aug 2014, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
Happy b-day
Tinker 14th Aug 2014, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
Is this plot copied from 'A Diary of an Evil Pony'? If not, here's a quote from the fanfic:
"I don't believe in evil ponies anymore. I think that at heart, you are truly a good pony. A wonderful, talented pony, who has used her talents in bad ways. I don't want you to leave, Fleur."
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
I've never heard of this fanfic. I take it Fleur is a criminal genius in that story too?
Vegetalss4 14th Aug 2014, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
She's a grifter who is running a long con on Fancy Pants but who accidentally falls in love with him during the course of the fanfic.

Fancy Pants being a former ruthless and cruel businesspony until he one day crossed a line, gave up his ill-gotten gains and started to focus on wealth of the soul instead of more material wealth.

Digo 14th Aug 2014, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
Ah. Yeah that is pretty much the same thing.
Faustenberger 14th Aug 2014, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
I was thinking the exact same thing. I wonder how many headcanons that particular fic has affected.
Derpmind 14th Aug 2014, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
Fimfiction Link. Assuming I got the bracket code right...
Clutched by an Angel 14th Aug 2014, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Actually, I've only heard of that fic because Spud linked it some time ago. Any reference is definitely intentional.
Newbiespud 14th Aug 2014, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Yep. I try to make a point not to hold tightly onto "headcanons," but that fic convinced me otherwise. I love it.

And considering what I've set up here with the Thieves Guild and all, applying that as backstory here was too perfect to pass up.
Disloyal Subject 14th Aug 2014, 3:48 PM Diary of an Evil Pony edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I recall Spud linked it a while ago; it was the first I'd heard of it, and it was quite good. I hoped/ suspected he'd apply it here; with the Thieves' Guild plaguing this version of Equestria, it fits nicely.
CharginChuck 14th Aug 2014, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
I would wish you a happy birthday, but it wouldn't technically be accurate would it?

I'll come back tomorrow.
Disloyal Subject 14th Aug 2014, 3:51 PM August: the Cakening edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
As will I. That makes three cakes this month: one for the comic's birthday, one to toast NPCs' failed Awareness checks, and one for Spud's birthday.
edit: Happy Birthday, Newbiespud!
CharginChuck 16th Aug 2014, 3:17 AM edit delete reply
Aand happy birthday!
Crap, now I'm late, aren't I? Sorry, I had kind of a messed up day.
Curb 14th Aug 2014, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday, have a great one.

Loving how this is going, nice to see a plot with a healthy amount of story and a bit of drama in it. Something lacking in most of the games I was a PC in. I do try my best to mix in some solid story and the like when I run a game, not always easy and a big risk if your players are murder hobos or just want to blow stuff up.
FanOfMostEverything 14th Aug 2014, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday eve, Spud.

And yeah, monologues can be tricky. Worst of all are villainous monologues, because there's always going to be at least one player who doesn't care about the information and just tries to shoot the villain mid-sentence.
Joe the Rat 14th Aug 2014, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Shhh! How am I supposed to get a surprise round on a villain who otherwise has us dead to rights if I can't get the GM monologuing?
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
Most of my former players shoot the villain if he tries to monologue. I got the PCs good one time when they killed the villain in mid sentence and then realized he was the only one who know where the bomb was planted in the office building.

I rolled a lot of damage dice that day.
Malroth 14th Aug 2014, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Villian: Not so fast, I actually surprised you so its still my turn and you're still flatfooted plus talking is a free action so I can keep this up all day. In fact I think I'll start reading the phone book out loud untill you surrender since i'm fairly certian that rouge of yours could move into a flanking position if he ever gets a turn.
Toric 14th Aug 2014, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
Technically, you can only get 6 seconds of talking on your turn in and around your actions.

Whimsically, I love this idea and even more if a villain actually broke it down like that in character...
Disloyal Subject 14th Aug 2014, 3:53 PM STOP. TALKING. edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I only let mildly mad/ reality warping villains pull that off; basically evil Pinkie Pie. Unless the players abuse free action talking enough to annoy me, in which case some anvils need to be dropped.
Quade 14th Aug 2014, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
Discord could totally pull that off, and it would be hilarious.
McBehrer 14th Aug 2014, 6:07 PM edit delete reply
Officially, no, it's just a free action. A lot of DMs like to enforce the 6-second rule, because, you know, LOGIC, but that only applies when the DM isn't the one talking. He can break the rules at will. He MAKES the rules. He IS the rules.
Randomperson 14th Aug 2014, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday, Spud! Hope it turns out amazing!
Mykin 14th Aug 2014, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday and congrats on being another year older Spud!

Anyway, I honestly couldn't stop laughing after reading what was on Rainbow Dash's note. Classic! But yea, I've never really been with anyone that does monologues so I wouldn't know really....Actually I take that back, there was one monologue I had to listen too and I only did because I was so oblivious to the game world I was playing in that any bit of info about it helped. I'll probably get another one soon now that 5th edition is coming out next week and my gaming group (or league, whatever Wizard is trying to call us now) is pretty psyched about the rp possibilities that the new adventure represents. Hopefully the speech giver won't get assassinate just when he gets to the good part like last time.
XandZero2 14th Aug 2014, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Allow me to join the bandwagon - HAPPY B-DAY SPUD!

I hope this past year was a good one for you overall, and that you have a lot to look forward to going forward as well.

Take it easy man (:
Destrustor 14th Aug 2014, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Come back tomorrow to read this comment:

Happy birthday from the past!
Raxon 14th Aug 2014, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
When I write a monologue, I try to make sure it's either extremely interesting, or extremely silly.

Everyone loves a ridiculous monologue.
Digo 14th Aug 2014, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
You know what would be an awesome spell for a villain to use against the PCs? A compulsion that forces the players to monologue before they can fight. Now THAT is evil. :D
terrycloth 14th Aug 2014, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
I suggest that you explain exactly what you're doing here, before we move on to uncouth physical violence.
Raxon 14th Aug 2014, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Heh heh heh... You haven't figured it out yet, have you? Poor thing, and to think I considered you my rival. We've spent so many years together, I was hoping you would know me better by now. We were friends once, you know. Do you remember how we laughed and played? Such wonderful times, we had. It's not too late, you know. You can still join me, and when I overthrow the dictator Spud, you can rule by my side.

Yes, picture it now. We could force Umicross to cosplay as John Wayne wielding a lightsaber and riding a bullsquid, and Spud would have no choice but to agree to our demands, and Discord will be the DM for all time! Yes! Join me, and the future will be glorious! We shall all live like jesters, our every ridiculous whim sated! Join me, brother, and together, we can make this splendid vision a glorious utopian reality!
Toric 14th Aug 2014, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
What my...colleague here fails to realize is that despite his altruistic desire to "join forces" with you for mutual gain, I have taken steps to ensure that no one leaves this lair alive. Oh, I know that you all thought I was just another crazed alchemist high on his own potions and tagging along for the spoils of a conflict that just happened to be righteous. You pitiful fools.

For the last month, I've been steadily dosing your rations with a virulent toxin that slowly converts every cell in your body to a highly combustive catalyst. With the proper atmospheric conditions: say several hundred degrees and a high sulfur concentration, all of you will detonate more violently than a sundered Staff of Power. Should any of you manage to survive, the explosions will trigger an immediate collapse of the entire dungeon right on top of us.

And if you're thinking 'Oh, he would never do that to us! He'd be killed too!' well, that's what the clone was REALLY for in that last town. Any last words?
terrycloth 15th Aug 2014, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Super Kami Guru 15th Aug 2014, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
Don't mind me. Just a henchman arbitrarily turning knobs making it look like I'm doing something....
Specter 14th Aug 2014, 10:49 AM edit delete reply

Yeah... just, take this song as you will, I don't want to mess with the topic this time.
Freemage 14th Aug 2014, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
I play in a few "Living" Campaigns--convention-based play, often with random people (sometimes you go with one or more other folks, but unless you travel with a group of 6, you'll probably end up with new folks sitting in). Typically, modules are designed for a four-hour time-slot, and at the end of it, you get a certificate showing you played it, and what results you got (which can include anything from loot to favors owed to curses); you carry the book of certs from one table to the next, letting you advance.

Since you have to fit the adventure into a specific time, generally, there's parts that are pre-written to be read aloud, typically highlighted and put into a on the page, so the GM can read straight from the page. It usually is just descriptions, but sometimes it's also monologues and events being described. Since this is stuff that just happens, it is not meant for the PCs to actually DO anything until the box-text is done with.

Hence, it's a common joke that it is impossible to 'save vs. box-text'.

Man, that was a lot of description to get to the meat of the comment.
Calypso 14th Aug 2014, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
:0 birthday buddies! I think I must say this every year.
bikerscum 14th Aug 2014, 1:01 PM OK, I give up.... edit delete reply
What does "TL;DR:" mean?
Malroth 14th Aug 2014, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
according to google its "too long diddn't Read" But I cannot be sure. Man I hate Abbreviations.
Anon 14th Aug 2014, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
"too long; didn't read"
It is a common response to walls of text.
Raxon 14th Aug 2014, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
Totally lame, don't read.

It is a warning that something is highly verbose and mostly inconsequential, with a brief summary included.
Rokas 14th Aug 2014, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
It means "too long; didn't read", a common response of people who have the attention span of a gnat.

Don't get me wrong, some people can be way too verbose and ramble, but the majority of tl;dr usage is in response to comments that just cannot be summarized without losing coherence or meaning, and it's a dismissal of someone who can't condense a multifaceted argument down into a sound bite.
Newbiespud 14th Aug 2014, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
"Too long; didn't read." It's also a semi-common practice to, when intentionally posting large walls of text, to put a TL;DR version at the bottom to catch the people who skimmed through it.
Elacular 14th Aug 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Hey Spud. Awesome comic as always. Leaving this here because I've lost my pathway to skype.

Happy birthday man. I hope your next spin around the sun is even awesomer. You've earned it.
HappyGlass 14th Aug 2014, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday Spud.
DragonTrainer 14th Aug 2014, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
Happy B-Day. ^_^
GothPoet 15th Aug 2014, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday
Disloyal Subject 15th Aug 2014, 1:22 AM Happy Birthday to You edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Now that today's the day, anyone wanna try organizing a song?
Toric 15th Aug 2014, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Happy birthday...It's your birthday...Not our birthday
Blues 15th Aug 2014, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
Hey man, it's your birthday. Happy Birthday.
Specter 15th Aug 2014, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989 15th Aug 2014, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Happy B Day!
kriss1989 15th Aug 2014, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
I'm now imagining a meetup between the Pony PCs and my PCs. I'll just use my guys classes as short hand.

Cleric: Huh, nice. His backstory is almost half the size of the Warlock's raven familiar. Fun little minor NPC.

AJ: What.

Rainbow: You expect me to believe that a bird has more backstory?

Barbarian: You think that's something, you should hear our back stories.

Twilight: I'm just surprised that you gave your familiar that much backstory.

Warlock: Oh, I didn't do so fully, it's just that he's tied into the inter dimensional time travel war of souls metaplot, so he tended to just kind of gain backstory.

Lauren (Piny DM in my mind): Wait what?

Me as Raven: Alright, the brief version. It all began either five hundred years or two months ago, depending on how you look at time loops, when my master accidentally mortally insulted his future patron Mab by implying that her sweater made her look fat. At the parallel time I was a muse of poetry and affiliated with the Spring Court, which in two hundred years Mab would come to rule. It was around this time she manipulated events to ensure I would come into debt, and then bind me to serve as a familiar centuries in the future, leaving me locked up with her newborn child, Mernlak the Face Eater, as his teething toy while explaining to me how this was all the fault of a warlock who wasn't even born yet. Centuries later after making the contract that she knew would be asked for in a general plea in the future, she later gifted me to the warlock on the pretense that he was "making too much progress". Having spent centuries suffering because of him, I did my best to inflict emberrassment and suffering upon him while being magically bound to serve his every whim, but only to the letter of his words. And to make things worse, I got raven instincts on top of everything else so I keep getting distracted by shiny things and eyeballs.

Lauren, AJ, Rainbow, Fluttershy, Twilight: ....

Pinkie: Wow, that was the shirt version?

Me: Well the rest would require understanding the entire campaign's narrative and meta plot.

Rarity: Why did nobody tell me this game existed?
super_big_mac 15th Aug 2014, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Hey hey, it's your birthday! And people say we birthday around! But we're too busy RPin' to put anybody down!
redwings1340 15th Aug 2014, 5:00 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! You are awesome!
Lyntermas 15th Aug 2014, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
Happy Birthday, Spud!
Raxon 15th Aug 2014, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Happy birthday!

Now where's my free taco?
DragonTrainer 15th Aug 2014, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
It's included in the cake.
Anyone remember to go and get it?
Super Kami Guru 15th Aug 2014, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
Got it right here!.... Huh sorry guess Pinkie got it first. (Sorry didn't know how to post an image =/