Page 550 - Smoke and Mirror-Selves

31st Jan 2015, 5:00 AM in Luna Eclipsed
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Smoke and Mirror-Selves
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st Jan 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
Thus ends a glorious week of using images to cop out of writing words.

Speaking of not doing work, I'd like to announce that I'm opening submissions for guest comics once again. There's gonna be another small break at the end of this arc, because I kinda need a real one at this point, but that's not for another month, so there's plenty of warning this time. I don't have a set length for the break this time either, so I'll just work with whatever I get, no pressure.

No Fallout is Dragons this week, but I got a new headset, so we should be having a new session this weekend!

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



Raxon 31st Jan 2015, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
Story time is good time, yes? Tell story about good plans that took long time to enact.
Quin 31st Jan 2015, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Good plan that took a while to use...
I would have to fall back on my mage campaign.

Simple plan which involved moving a portal artifact to our house/base. The portal was linked to an artifact which could move, open, and close the portal, but the artifact had to be moved manually so no quick shortcuts.

My plan was to simply rent a moving truck and move the portal inside it. Drive slowly and bring it back to the house so we could keep the empty pocket dimension that it lead to... Well more like a room with a pool of water. (Great place to store things/prisoners since it had fancy spells cloaking it's presence.)

So we bought the truck and moved it over the sewer manhole (Yes that was where it was stored)

Then after fiddling around with the controller we managed to move it up into the back of the truck.... after slicing off a section of the road as it fell through the portal.

My character had to pull his only specialized talking skill BS and convince the public gathering we were doing a movie. Bluff worked and we drove out of there.

The next step was moving the portal with the truck to make sure the truck didn't leave the portal behind.

When we got to the house the problem became having to move the portal into the house and avoiding not only the neighbor, but also one of the mages in charge of the area.(We found magic portal so we claim looting rights!)

Thus another BS pull to the neighbor who was woundering what had happened at the house a few nights ago... (Vampire attack and ramming tactics with cars)

While our social mage tried to convince our superior that we weren't doing anything illegal and the purpose of the moving truck was to help move some items of our newer residents. (Difference between mine and the social mage is that her's had social skills while mine just had bluff. Nothing on negation, sympathy, or all those other emotions.)

Talking finished we moved the portal into the house taking a few pieces of a door or two and moved it into the basement where we then closed the portal and went to focus on repairing the house.

It was long and annoying but that portal was one of our favorite trophies and was used a lot for interrogations, hiding people, and storing certain items when guests visited.
Digo 31st Jan 2015, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
I can one-up that! Plans that ended up killing the campaign.

Our little D&D party needed to break into a wooden fort in order to grab some plans the the bad guys had on their various slave trade routes. Bonus was we could free a few slaves held at this fort. Exp and good karma for all!

So we sneak in from the nearby river toward the fort and begin a discussion on how to break into the fort. My plan was to take out the two guards along the west side by the river. The barbarian wanted to just charge in through the north gate. The archer thinks setting the wooden fort on fire first is the way to go. The paladin suggested we sneak in posing as another caravan of slave traders here to do business.

Two real hours later we still could not settle on a plan, constantly going over options and changing ideas. Eventually it broke down into arguments because the archer and paladin wanted their plan to be the right one. After the shouting match the GM walked away without trying to calm down group, leaving me to try and be the voice of reason. Instead the group disbanded and never came back together.

And that is how my very last experience with D&D was. Haven't played in a few years since, though I tried getting a new group together.
Winged Cat 31st Jan 2015, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Good plans that wound up killing a campaign? Well...if "ending" counts as a type of killing...

I once ran a Final Fantasy RP wherein the PCs were tasked with restoring elemental balance to the world, by defeating and imprisoning the sentient embodiments of the primal elements. (Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth, Wind, Water, Bio, Holy, and Shadow. Yes, Ice and Water were separate elements: that's how the system we were using listed them.) In this they were guided by Grav: the spirit of gravity, not one of the nine elements.

Naturally, Grav turned out to be the big villain: trying to weaken local magic so as to let the planet's physics come under the sway of gravity, electromagnetism, and the nuclear forces. The party did not realize this until most of the way through the campaign. The final chapter involved assaulting a moon that Grav had brought across the stars to be its base of operations, from the alien civilization that had awakened Grav in an attempt to escape their dying world.

This had been the plan since the beginning. While there had been slight changes to the plot in reaction to the party's actions, and a couple players joining mid-game (so we had 8 players at once, one of whom was playing two characters), the overall plot came out as planned. It took about two and a half years in real life for the party to finally reach the moon, and another half year to resolve the assault and its aftermath.

This was all on IRC, and the logs are still out there if you want to read them. Search on "electric chocobo storagebin" and you'll find them.
JSchunx 31st Jan 2015, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
Are we talking in-game long time or out-of-game long time?

If it's the former, there's the one time our group spent about a year of game time working their professions to amass 10000 gold to get me resurrected because they didn't want to have to spend their own gold. Jerks. And that's AFTER I'd willingly taken a disintegrate to the face for them.
Digo 31st Jan 2015, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
That's a long time for the villain to be getting away with stuff o.o
Specter 31st Jan 2015, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
I remember a plan we tried to accomplish one time, that involved probably one of the worst things my team ever attempted.

Set in "future" Equestria (not fallout, but all of the original ponies (princess' included) are gone), our group of rag-tag criminals had to make the current ruling family (pretty much a dictatorship, like Tropico) look bad. Now, we had few plans on how to do this; plant drugs, falsify a news report, spread rumors. Nothing really helped with actually making them look bad... until our klepto-journalist said we should get a member of the family to kill someone, and get it on camera.

Now, we had no idea how to do that, without getting close to them, so we kind of went and got a few jobs at and around their manor. The GM actually had us move to separate rooms for this, so I don't know what the rest did (he was surprisingly efficient at this), but when I went and got an interview for a job... I (the Zebra who does the dirty work for the group) was hired as the daughter's emotional/stress councilor.

We spent about four sessions trying to slowly corrupt a member of the family to do something, and they were resilient. Eventually, the daughter (I think her name was Falcata, I thought it was a type of flower... nope.) had to have a double session of counseling after her supposed "special somepony" broke her heart. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, and I did not try to break her that way (I am supposedly Chaotic Evil, my only quirk is I like doing things myself), in fact, my character actually broke a little when I heard the news, so after my shift, I went and killed him myself, which resulted in the rest of the team worrying about me going rogue, again.

Falcata's heart broke even more after hearing that he died, and came to me to grieve for her loss. Throwing the plan out the window and trying to save my own rear, I told her I would try to go and find who did this, and take care of them for her (GM rolls for response). "No, I want to make them pay."

Cue me "looking" for the killers (for two whole sessions), and telling the team we should probably have her kill our rivals (I was worried she would die, I was actually starting to like her), so we set them up and planted a LOT of evidence that it was them all along. When I went to work the next day, I was greeted by what was a small army of gangsters, and Falcata looking for me. I told her that a group ponies who had a little too much pride said they were going to take down "the family", one body at a time.

I went along for the ride, and showed her the one responsible (taking a smoke outside of a warehouse, alone), and she just charged and gutted him like a fish. On top of that, she just ran into the warehouse and started hacking away at everyone she came across (our journalist was thankfully on the roof, and out of harms way).

(The next sessions) I was promptly let go from employment the next day when front page news got a clear image of Falcata becoming a psychopath, and murdering about twenty or so ponies/zebras/griffons in an unmarked warehouse. The job in general was a success (add 10,000 bits to my account), and I rolled up a new trait for totally losing my cool, when it wasn't even me who had a reason to lose it. I kept visiting Falcata while she was in a prison mental hospital (and I gained the best apprentice ever when she was released). It took for ever to do much, and I loved every second of it... I also learned that a lot of our GM's homebrew mechanics revolving around inherited genetics were awesome.
Evilbob 1st Feb 2015, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
LOL. That's one awesome GM that let you do that. Now then... I hoped y'all actually broke her outta jail as decent criminals would?
Specter 1st Feb 2015, 4:13 AM edit delete reply
If by "broke out of jail" you mean "bribing-every-official-we-could-and-dealt-with-the-rest-in-an-orderly-manner-that-would-eventually-lead-to-her-release", then no. We actually just waited until her father paid her bail and let her grab her belongings as a final favor before disowning her. She only went to us because I might have given her a little card thingy with our groups address and stuff cause our financial expert said we needed them to get out of some taxes or something.

... Decent criminals? I broke a pony's heart (and mind?), and I'm still at the bottom of the police's watch list (in terms of my fellow team members).
terrycloth 31st Jan 2015, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
Well, there was one GURPS campaign where we discovered our world was really a space ship, and broke out of our habitat to find the abandoned but still functional magi-tech factories, which we were tasked with developing into a defense against another world-ship that was going to approach us in less than a week.

We needed longer than that for our plans, but fortunately GURPS has time travel.

I decided I needed an army of spellcasting squirrels. Unfortunately, they rebelled, and I had to clone another army of spellcasting squirrels to fight them. They rebelled too. I was working on the third army when I accidentally got a papercut from a were-book and spent the rest of the campaign trapped on a library shelf.

Wait. You said good plans. Nevermind.
jherazob 1st Feb 2015, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
Okay, i just broke into full-on laughter that hasn't quite stopped yet
LegendofMoriad 2nd Feb 2015, 4:13 PM Only in GURPS edit delete reply
This is a wonderfully mad tale. Only in GURPS could this kind of madcap fantasy happen. Great story.

...Great, now I've got ideas...
Mykin 1st Feb 2015, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
This story isn't as awesome as Specter's, but it might be somewhere around the same level as far as doing horrible things is concerned. It's also the longest I've ever spent planning anything so let us return back to my Tuesday's group for a little bit of screwing over star wars lore.

So after blowing up a fortress using the equivalent of paper clips and shoe strings, my character gets a nice personal letter requesting his presence to Grand Moff Tarkin's office. After a lengthy secret meeting, he gathers his crew around and casually asks if anyone wanted to make a million credits. He did a double take when his crew somehow tripled in number after saying that. After making sure everyone agreed to see the job to the end (making it very clear that desertion equaled death here), we were to travel to Alderaan, kill off Lady Organa, kidnap Leia, drop off a ransom note pinning the blame on someone else, and a sizable bonus was waiting if we could knock off Senator Organa along the way. So we were doing murder, kidnapping, and aiding in brainwashing (the Empire wants to "reform" her once we turn her over) all because there are rumors that they "might" be trying to start a rebellion. Oh and for around 1.5 million credits. So this is what being evil feels like.

So, cue the several hours we spent trying to figure out how we wanted to accomplish it, complete with figuring out what the new guys could do and if we wanted explosives or not (the choices were "yes!", "heck yes!", and "why are you even asking?!" if you were curious). Eventually we found out that the assassin droid had some kind of experimental hologram disguise and we quickly made him the center point of our plan...after the wookie was done "upgrading" him against his will.

So the plan was this: I wrote a long winded ransom note...then threw that away, got drunk, and then wrote a proper one to give to our wookie. He then would sneak inside, kidnap the child, drop a "present" for Senator Organa when he got home, and leave the ransom note on the way out. Our reasoning was that it was silly to expect a wookie to be working for the Empire so if he got caught, the rest of us would be safe. Our sniper's job was to make sure that didn't happen, however. Meanwhile, we sent a fake message telling Lady Organa to meet her "husband" at their personal hanger bay, where our assassin droid was waiting disguised as Senator Organa. Again, our mandalorian was on hand to make sure he wasn't found out.

It surprisingly worked. Not flawlessly, mind you: Our droid has a nasty habit of scenery chewing along with the fascination of stabbing everything in sight after its target was flawlessly executed...which it was cured by our mandalorian deciding that grenades were an excellent answer to taking out the two guards that were five levels higher than them. Our sniper took care of the only witnesses that saw our wookie kidnapping the child and our ransom note took care of the rest. We all laughed and gave each other high fives that this actually worked...then we realized that he had no clue how we were going to get off the planet without anyone suspecting us. Cue another hour of us trying to figure this out.

Since I was the only one that wasn't physically present for the entire thing, I just pretended to be a merchant, bought a few odd things (why no one ever questioned me for buying scrap metal, droid parts, armor paint, and precious jewels I will never know) and, after a week, we left. The scrap metal and droid parts were used to create a brain washing machine, since our wookie figured that, if we started the process early for the Empire, they would pay us more credits. So with my blessing (my character is a greedy son of a gun), we left Leia in a smuggling compartment, while knocked out for the three weeks it took us to get back, with the brain washing device teaching her that both the Empire and wookies are awesome. We knew it worked when she wouldn't stop hugging our wookie, which made him question doing the whole thing. It was when we turned her over that we found out that our "present" was found, so no bonus. Senator Organa did step down after this and the Empire made sure to run his name through the mud by using the money transfer to the "kidnappers" on the ransom note as evidence of corruption or something like that. Either way, mission accomplished.

So yea, we became filthy rich after that along with a favor from the Empire and whatever our characters wanted. Granted, three-fourths of the session was spent with us just talking back and forth on what we wanted to do but it was fun and it all worked out in the end...though, surprisingly, we didn't use any of the copious amounts of explosives we had bought specifically for the mission...
terrycloth 2nd Feb 2015, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
... how were you planning to use explosives in a kidnapping?
Mykin 12th Feb 2015, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
The explosives were for the murder. I really really wanted us to use a car bomb, but using the assassin droid was smarter and better in the end.

The other idea was to use them as a distraction in case things went south for our wookie friend, but that ended up not being necessary.
j-eagle12212012 31st Jan 2015, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
To pull off the look of the evil nightmare moon just add fake teeth... wait what?
FanOfMostEverything 31st Jan 2015, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
And illusions. Illusions help a lot.
GothPoet 31st Jan 2015, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
Haven't you ever heard of Clark Kenting?
Digo 31st Jan 2015, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Yeah. Totally a thing. :D
dracostarcloud 31st Jan 2015, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Now the question is, is Newbiespud going to handwave the entire sequence so he doesn't have to do this comic all over again but with dialogue? ;p
Mykin 31st Jan 2015, 5:46 PM edit delete reply
I'm kind of hoping for a montage at this point, really. Complete with some epic song playing in the background while it happens.
Boris Carlot 31st Jan 2015, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
Got nothing for story time. Never had a campaign last long enough. Level five, I will meet you one day ;_;
Digo 31st Jan 2015, 2:52 PM edit delete reply
Totally know that feeling. I haven't had a 3.5 character get passed 4th either. Campaigns just fall apart to quickly. :c
Mykin 31st Jan 2015, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
Took me 14 years before I actually had a character live long enough to actually go through the leveling up process. So yea, been there, done that, got several variations of the T-shirt. But just stick with it guys, eventually we'll get there!

...I mean the whole getting a character above level 4, not the experiencing the whole leveling up process thing. You know what I mean....
Malroth 1st Feb 2015, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
I fail to see the point of pre lv 4 gameplay as that really only models Todlers and the mentally handicaped, Lv 4 should be where you start as a moderately competent professional not as a warrior who has a 25% chance of dying to an Irate Housecat.
Digo 1st Feb 2015, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
It's hard for me to find a group to begin with. If the GM says '1st Level' then dang it, I gotta make a 1st level character. Beggars can't be choosers. :D
Disloyal Subject 1st Feb 2015, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
When I DM, I pick starting level based on system, setting, player experience, and my plans for the campaign. 4 is my baseline for 3.5 - for NPCs and PCs alike, and NPCs with class levels are more common than not - but for child players making teenage characters I go lower, and PCs who start off a cut above can be as high as 12th level.
I threw all that out the window when I recently started running Only War, though. None of us really knew what we were doing, so I made everyone start with no XP and gain a few hundred per fight survived; I expected everyone to die at least once during the tutorial battle. I neglected to consider just how terrible a shot Orks are - not one of them had to switch to one of their 3 backups I had them roll, and only one or two even suffered damage.

As a player? I love starting off powerful enough to have a little impact on the world, but it's cheesy fun starting off as fragile novices beating rats to death with rusted equipment to earn that first level up.
Mace Direwolf 4th Feb 2015, 3:12 AM edit delete reply
Mace Direwolf
Hehe, "beating rats to death with rusted equipment". 'Can't say I know how that is. In my first campaign, I was fighting things like packs of wolves, a monstrously large spider that I discovered was luring hapless, good Samaritans into a cave by mimicking a call of distress, a gang of bandits trying to ambush us (I nearly got dragged into the cave saving my partner), a ridiculously high leveled bard assassin who managed to escape Moon-Blood's wrath after nearly killing him by diving into an underground river, and small army of territorial Gnolls! Although we did manage to get close enough to the edge of a city on high alert with archers at ready. It's a shame the Gnolls didn't have a proper hierarchy, because I wanted to challenge them to champion-to-champion combat...then later I discovered the room of tavern inn the devil was staying at, amist that desert city on the other side of the mountain from where we last fought, only have him drug and spell-bind me into hallucinating upon entering and try to kill me again! He functioned as a reoccurring villain and I hated his guts! I was so glad I managed a parting critical on his hide, while still hallucinating! Ha!

Now, granted, our DM needed to amp things up to eleven, sometimes, due to the fact that I had homebrew albino werewolf character (War-Paint/Moon-Blood) for the campaign, but occasionally, he'd overestimate our capabilities, somewhat (still, that simply made it more of a thrilling run!). Our second major boss fight was against a giant Gnoll golem (basically, he was a golem in the form of a Gnoll that was preserved and controlled via magic to protect the antechamber of a desert temple) that nearly killed us both, even though Moon-Blood had bitten one of it's ARMS off in a were-berserker rampage! Did it stop 'im? No--he grew his arm back two turns later and compared to my Regen, his health could also regenerate like Wolverine! Turns out he was a puzzle boss and we had failed some checks to pick up on clues that would let us know that all we had to do was fend him off while tossing coins into the fires lighting the antechamber. Fortunately, we figured it out in time to save my tail.
Mace Direwolf 4th Feb 2015, 2:44 AM edit delete reply
Mace Direwolf
I must say...I think that comment was brilliant, Malroth! It's funny and it makes so much sense! (--to me, at least)
Spiffy aka crazyredemu 2nd Feb 2015, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
Guest comics!?! OH BOY! Time to get out my mini ponies!