Page 50 - Flirting with Death

1st Dec 2011, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
<<First Latest>>
Flirting with Death
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 1st Dec 2011, 5:00 AM edit delete
Wait, what? 50 comics? That means you get a triple-length page!

As you can probably tell, for this scene I was mostly wondering how it would play out mechanically. Like many bronies, there's a part of me that loves to analyze and deconstruct systems.

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



hrwilliams 1st Dec 2011, 5:14 AM edit delete reply
So at 100 comics, do we get a sextuple-length page?
chinlamp 1st Dec 2011, 5:17 AM edit delete reply
7d10 falling damage for Rarity. I like it. This played out rather well mechanic wise.

Ha, I actually have a story that is tangentially relateable to this page.

The first happened in Shadowrun. We were stealing a Van Gogh from a museum. Unfortunately for us, the elevators were out at night and guarded by top of the line blimp drones and the security was top notch. The party consisted of two trolls, an elf and myself, a dwarf rigger. While the rest of the party hauled the Van Gogh (which was part of some elaborate setup involving a fish tank, don't ask me why) down the stairs, one of the trolls kept security busy, then yanked open the elevator door and jumped. Down 13 stories. Taking about three times his body points in fall damage.

He walked away from it with two boxes of health left. Thank god for blessed dice and Edge.
PikalaxALT 1st Dec 2011, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
*roll* 7
*roll* 10. Ooh...
*roll* 6
*roll* 3
*roll* 6
Ummm... How many was that now? Oh, it doesn't matter, I'm dead.
Ranubis 1st Dec 2011, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: "AH! Where's Derpy when you need herrrrrrrr..."
Vegetalss4 1st Dec 2011, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
7d10 falling damage to Rarity, that's an average of 71.5 damage, compared to her hit points of 24.
I must agree with her, she is basically already dead, well depending on how the ¤e rules are for reducing falling damage.
Namagomi 1st Dec 2011, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Hate to nitpick, but you're way off on the average. 7d10 averages to 38.5...which means it'd put Rarity in a Dying state but she wouldn't be dead instantly. (she'd need to be put to -14, for a total of 42 damage, to be killed)

Of course, that's just 3.5 points off, so more than a slight upward deviation would end up hitting that limit, barring fudging.
Enchanter Tim 1st Dec 2011, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
uh, the _maximum_ roll for 7D10 is 70. how did you come up with 71.5 as an average? o_O
MirrorImage 1st Dec 2011, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
The average roll for a given die is equivalent to it's Max Number + Min Number, halved (assuming it's an even die). On a D10, that's 5.5, so average on 7D10 would be 38.5.

In 4th Edition, fall damage is 1d10 per 10 feet. Negating Fall Damage can be done by a character trained in Acrobatics, which results in half of the total check being negated (or full amount, with certain feats).

Though I must ask... what the heck are you doing putting first level characters anywhere NEAR a 70-foot cliff? My first level group had to deal with a rockslide trap that only did 3d8 damage, and even that was just about a TPK on the first hit. (Course, the conversation then went "Cleric, give me a religion check for giggles *Nat 20* errr... ok, so the lot of you witness time rewind, and instead of rocks following, a bunch of goblins fall to their death")
CocoaNutCakery 1st Dec 2011, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Because clearly the DM hates the players.

If she halfs damage, then we end up with a range of 3.5-35 damage, which means that the majority of the time, she won't even go unconscious.

Assuming she makes that check, that is.

By the way, kudos on having Fluttershy unable to catch Rarity.
MirrorImage 1st Dec 2011, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
To clarify, you negate damage equal to half the roll. If Rarity rolls a 5 and has an Acrobatics Score of 9, that's a total of 14, so she negates 14/2 = 7 points of damage.
CocoaNutCakery 3rd Dec 2011, 4:48 AM edit delete reply
Ah. My bad. It seems I screwed up a bit there. I'm used to 3rd Ed and 3.5.
Cinnamon 1st Dec 2011, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
I would assume the height of the cliff was related to how badly Fluttershy's skill challenge went. And that was awful.
xuincherguixe 2nd Dec 2011, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Awhile back, I'm not quite sure where, Spud said that the DM is new.

I kind of feel bad for bringing it up all the time, like it might hurt his feelings or something....

But yeah, it's a pretty bad DM. Let's see if they get better over the course of the story!
Vegetalss4 1st Dec 2011, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
Doh! I have no idea how I botched my math that badly.
Namagomi 1st Dec 2011, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
Oh god, I'm all too familiar with the kind of luck these players are having. Bad rolls everywhere, and it seems like almost nobody can catch a break. Almost as if there's some entity (air bubbles or bad dicebot seeding for those online players aside) that want you to fail in the most demeaning and pathetic manner possible.

Then there are the moments where everyone and their mom is rolling high and every other attack is a crit.

Really, if anything, the appearance of competence comes and goes at the whim of the dice. Who often apply a trickster god's sense of humor to dramatic timing.
Trivial 1st Dec 2011, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Metapsionic 1st Dec 2011, 7:00 AM Glee edit delete reply
I love this comic and everything it's about. Keep up the good work :-D
Forderz 1st Dec 2011, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Not rarity!

One time I was playing a rogue and we were attack by a drake or a dragon, I can't remember. He wasn't the wisest of fellows, and decided to try and pin its wings to its flanks with pitons so it couldn't fly away. One flubbed acrobatics later, he's tangled up in the climbing gear 300 feet in the air. A godly acrobatics to reduce falling and clever use of a clerics temporary HP powers kept me alive with 2 hp to spare.

He developed a fear of flying after that, and never left home without a parachute.
NekoLLX 1st Dec 2011, 11:43 AM those wacky dice edit delete reply
In a online game i played the dace hated me, our opening was a fight vs goblins and i missed everysingle swing of my sword,, i was a Paladin, the Cleric had to save me.
Julia 1st Dec 2011, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Am I the only one who thinks this is better than the actual moment in MLP XD? IT FEELS LIKE IT SHOWS EVEN MORE HONESTY IN A WEIRD WAY I LOVE THIS PAGE SO BAD
123notit 1st Dec 2011, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Events like this in games leave a bad taste in my mouth. I always run skill challenges such that they reach an appropriate destination either way, but failure weakens them a bit (-1 to saves, health surge loss, etc.).

The adventure's barely started (beyond the RP) and already players could be dead? And it's not a situation they chose to go into? I'd lose half of my gaming group with something like that.
Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi 1st Dec 2011, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Hehe, you just inspired a wild meta guess from me about the comic:

In her younger, teenage years, Lauren Faust was a killer DM and the comic is a recount (updated to 4e for the convenience of the newer crowd) of how her pony themed campaign went down. The show itself is the cleaned up, kid friendly version she put together years later (in honour of her players somehow surviving said campaign). :P
Shikome Kido Mi 1st Dec 2011, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
That's so sad. I always say, if someone isn't bleeding to death on the ground at one point, the encounter clearly wasn't hard enough.

On the plus side, groups I DM level up like mad.
Akouma 2nd Dec 2011, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
It actually took me a moment to understand that comment about your groups leveling up quickly, because I tend to forget how the XP system works.

...Because I don't even pretend to use it. A trick I learned from my sister was to not hand out XP, ever, and instead just whenever they've reached an important point in the journey go "hey guys take a level."
Shikome Kido Mi 3rd Dec 2011, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
I think my players OCD tendencies would spin out of control if they didn't have experience to track.
Well, OCPD if I want to be literal.

Funny thing is they've all gotten so used to me they tend to find 'standard' encounters a bit dull now.
Colin 13th Oct 2013, 11:10 AM harsh DMing edit delete reply
My 5th level party was upset that I threw 6 level 2 Hobgoblin Fighter 1/Warrior 1 with a 6th level captain, a 3rd level Sorcerer, a 4th level bugbear barbarian, and and around 3 dozen exhausted goblin slaves at them. Less so when they tallied up the loot! Their tank was a half-gold dragon ogre with Knight's Challenge who projected difficult terrain 10 feet (his reach with a large-sized greatsword) in every direction, they were fine.
Snowy 1st Dec 2011, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
I hope Rarity get herself a heal soon,she won't look good with wounds
Essex 1st Dec 2011, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Given that Rarity cannot possibly get lower than a 10 on her Acrobatics roll, it would take a freakishly bad roll for damage to kill her, and there is even a good chance that she'll stay above zero hp.
MirrorImage 1st Dec 2011, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
It may not kill her, but it's still a nice way to make the Rogue burn 4 of her 7 Healing Surges before they even got into combat. Something tells me this is going to quickly devolve into a game of Pony Tomb of Horrors.

(For the uninitiated: All classes have Healing Surges, which act as a reservoir of Healing a character can do naturally equal to 1/4 their Max HP. Clerics typically trigger these surges now, as opposed to healing them directly. # of surges per day is based on your Class and your Constitution Score. Rogues start with 6, and all classes gain 1 for every 2 Points of Constitution over 10.)
Myrei 1st Dec 2011, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
7D10 what system is being used here i play 3.5 and its a d/6 per 10 feet
MirrorImage 1st Dec 2011, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
4th Edition. It's a lot more generous on HP than other editions. (Rarity is Level 1 and has 24 HP - Twilight is the Wizard, and she has the lowest at 20).
Akouma 2nd Dec 2011, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. In 4e, falling damage is 1d10 per 10 feet fallen. Not that you see fall damage a lot in 4e, because you can make a saving throw to avoid forced movement off of dangerous heights, so all the FUN times you would see fall damage it has a 50/50 (or lower) chance of actually working. That rule kind of actually bugs me. Just imagine this famous scene from 300, but in the 4e engine.

Messenger: ...This is madness!
Leonidas: Madness?
Leonidas's player: I signal my men into position to kick them all into the well behind them, on my battle cry.
Leonidas: This... IS... SPARTAAAAAA!
DM: Okay, the messenger and all of his friends made the saving throws to avoid being knocked in. Roll initiative, combat's starting now.
Lyntermas 1st Dec 2011, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
Actually, the character I feel the worst for is Fluttershy. Her first game and she feels like she's failing everyone. I hope her confidence is restored when she deals with the manticore.
Mecryte 1st Dec 2011, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
On the other hand, the more despair that your adventurers encounter, the more satisfying it is to make the BBEG choke on his own intestines.
HopeFox 2nd Dec 2011, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
I actually suspect that Applejack's player is thinking about this when she tells Twilight to let go. She knows that Rainbow Dash, with her +9 to Acrobatics, is highly unlikely to drop Twilight, but if Fluttershy catches her (with or without Rainbow's help), that will help her player regain her confidence.
Draco 1st Dec 2011, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
Consistently poor rolling was half the reason I never got into playing DnD seriously. The other half was the DM frequently had to cancel or leave so in about three months we had maybe four sessions of two hours each.
CocoaNutCakery 1st Dec 2011, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Did anypony else notice in this scene that Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack all rescued their future best friends?

RD and Pinkie Pie as well as Fluttershy and Rarity are kind of obvious (more obvious if you pay close attention), but you have to pay attention to get AJ and TS. It's there, though.
Holygriever 1st Dec 2011, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Debatable. They do not come in pairs. Dash and Pinkie like to play pranks together, and Pinkie has more of a childish admiration for Dash, but... that's it.
CocoaNutCakery 3rd Dec 2011, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
As I said before, you have to pay attention, but there are some pretty obvious signs in regards to who is best friends with whom in the series.

Not all of the RD/PP friendshipping is to be found in Griffon the Brush Off. As an example (not the only one, mind you), in Over a Barrel, Rainbow Dash calls out to Pinkie Pie to talk to her in the middle of the night, as opposed to the other ponies.

With AJ and TS, it's even more subtle, but still there. The example that is probably most notable is the fact that AJ had no purpose in Rarity's shop at the beginning of Suited for Success, other than just hanging around Twilight.
StarStep 1st Dec 2011, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
I've always thought that Rarity and Fluttershy were already good friends like with AJ and RD. Plus I dont think Twilight really has a best friend, she has best friends.
Rookiehistorian 1st Dec 2011, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
I'm sure rarity's going to make it. For one thing, I think we're forgetting that she has magic. Its possible she could decide to use it to slow her fall. At the same time, Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy could get a natural 20 and be able to save her in time.

Of course, this is a Rogue we're dealing with. It wouldn't surprise me if Rarity has a few tricks up her...hooves.
natural 1 1st Dec 2011, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
i can only imagine rarity totally fails her acrobatics check, and then somehow gets lucky enough to roll only 1s and 2s on damage taken.
Guest 1st Dec 2011, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Why does RD ask if she's done hauling the pink pony?

Rarity hasn't actually hit the ground yet.
Kyronea 1st Dec 2011, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
So that Applejack's player knows that Twilight has a chance to be caught. In the show, Applejack probably saw that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were free to catch Twilight--here in a campaign version, Applejack's player is only aware of what the DM says she's aware of, so Rainbow Dash's question is needed to give her feelings validity.

Otherwise she'd be telling Twilight's player to fall without any real reason.
Guest 2nd Dec 2011, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
It was a rhetorical question. RD brags about saving Pinkie and Rarity just before they meet the manticore.
Aurabolt 1st Dec 2011, 3:38 PM edit delete reply
Wait a second...Isn't Rarity supposed to be caught. Tells the story better, but I don't recall.

Also, mechanically couldn't Applejack roll again to pull Twilight Sparkle up the hill, despite the Pegesi being open? I'm pretty sure she'd have to make a check to maintain the hold, but I think in 4e she could attempt again?
reynard61 1st Dec 2011, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
I don't know why Rarity's worried about falling. After all, she *is* a marshmallow...
Sjosten 1st Dec 2011, 8:36 PM edit delete reply
Yay! Rarity finally gets to roll dice!
Aegis Steadfast 1st Dec 2011, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
Okay even after that speech, were I in Applejacks place and had that face looking at me, I'd offer myself as a cushion or yank her right back up the whole cliff.
Beard 2nd Dec 2011, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Man, Fluttershy is having horrible luck. Counting the navigation fail that's five miserable rolls in a row! I'm almost wondering if she's forgetting to add her skill modifiers.
P0n3Swag 2nd Dec 2011, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
I'm sorry but how is dropping off now the only option (i know they did that in the show but still)? couldnt she at least hold on until the pegisai can grab her while she's not falling? that has to be a much easier check than a catch while falling check
NekoLLX 2nd Dec 2011, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
there's a out croppering of the cliff, as other bronies have explained Twilight needed to clear the overhang so the pegasi had room to get in and catch her
Yamazaki 2nd Dec 2011, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Falling damage story? I've got one - so my party (all of us level 15) were standing on top of a tower. Below we saw a small group of warriors coming up to the tower, which we had assumed wanted our heads. So 3 of us jumped off and onto their heads - myself, the monk with a custom PrC so I literally ran down the tower, the whip fighter, who's great idea was to land on their heads and start whipping, and the mage. Yes, you read that right, the MAGE JUMPED OFF THE TOWER WITH THE FIGHTERS. If it wasn't for the weird spell he had cast prior to this stupid stunt, he would've been dead when he hit the ground. Not the first time that player had done something stupid with our group. He was the first to be team-killed in the evil game the previous year...

Quote of that session was "People's Elbow from 500 feet."
legomaster00156 6th Dec 2011, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
Um, Feather Fall?
Sankuri 2nd Dec 2011, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Fluttershy must have what my group's dubbed the 'Paladin Dice'. Seems like whoever's playing a Paladin in my group is destined to have crappy rolls, no matter what. Though they do sometimes get blessed with a couple of epic crits and near-crits, most of them make it look like the poor holy warrior can't hit the broad side of a barn.
Kapten-N 29th Dec 2011, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
You pulled off Applejack's defining moment way better than the show did.
In the show she said nothing about being catched by the pegasi. Here she tells Twilight to trust in her friends and that is way more HONEST just telling her to let go.
Zucca 5th Aug 2013, 12:08 PM Falling damage! edit delete reply
Ahhh yes, falling damage... Even the mighty Space Marines can be felled by simple STAIRS!
GameZone 26th Feb 2021, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Where did you get the last panels face image.