Page 603 - Shrubbery Sidequest

4th Jun 2015, 6:00 AM in Fall Weather Friends
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Shrubbery Sidequest
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 4th Jun 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
Well, this week isn't going so great life-wise, but at least I've got you guys.

If you wanted to see the slideshow material I used (but didn't actually get to show!) at the Everfree Northwest panel, here you go!

Any stories about outright rejecting a given quest?

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



Boris Carlot 4th Jun 2015, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Hope things get better, Spud!

Only ever rejected a "quest" in Shadowrun. Mr Johnson wanted us to infiltrate a facility and steal some data. We were told we couldn't leave evidence were even there. None of us were particularly stealth focussed characters, the decker's quick data recce suggested that their Matrix defences were tight and we didn't have a face type to talk our way in.

We ended up just going "no thanks". The DM didn't mind too much, though - with that system you pretty much have to have a back-up plan for every run you want to offer the players in case they say no.
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Condolences on life suckin'. :/
You do indeed have us to talk to. *hug*

So, outright rejecting quests? Easy! Fallout Equestria: the party is in a town that is faced with starvation for the winter. I talk it up with some of the residents and make friends with the tavern owner. She knows there's an old canned food factory north of town that is said to be haunted (according to some local tribes).

We take this to mean the place still has active security. And any factory that is still able to protect itself is a factory that is likely not yet looted! Unfortunately other party members didn't really feel up to helping the town. They figured some other group would take care of it. Eventually another group did show up with food, but that group took over the town in exchange of feeding the town.

Not my idea of a fair exchange.
Specter 4th Jun 2015, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
*Hug* I would say something about not letting life get to you, but I am not one for inspirational words. I sort of just... do things, and hope for the best about it.

Saying no to a quest;

Well, a group I was in had a habit of just refusing quests as if they had a right to do so. Granted, they technically did, as for free will, but they refused every single quest unless the client was of some sort of female with a charisma of 17 or higher... let it be said that the majority who refused quests always went around a town losing money like it were water, and the few of us (three of us) who took our own small adventures doing actual things got rather shiny equipment.

To the actual story, the group finally found a client who fit all of the "prerequisites", and she wanted us to go and kill a priest in town. She didn't say why he had to die, simply he had to. The "majority" accepted the mission as if she were their idol, while the "few" of us refused it.

The majority had some trouble as to why we said no, and that we really couldn't because this a "democratic" team, while we (the few) said that we should not trust her. This eventually led to us being threatened for "treason" against the group, and was "punishable by death"... which in turn led to a, not to a brawl, but to a pvp to the death.

Suffice to say, the few won because we did something for our levels and gear, and the majority had no casualties, cause we had the morals to use non-lethal force in the end to knock them out. In the end, the game broke down, and the girl was reveled to be someone trying to manipulate us into helping her criminal organization. ... Yeah, not a good story, but it was the best one I could remember.
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
I can understand that first part really well. In the FOE game, it was because my character Doc decided to take a wander through the slums outside one town that the party ended up making some decent cash off the loot we discovered. We'd all be dirt poor otherwise. :)
Guest 4th Jun 2015, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Well, my easily distract-able brother and his friends used to pretty much ignore my plot and focus on, say, killing the bartender and looting the tavern rather than following the rumors about the curiously orc-loaded dungeon nearby. Which I usually allowed, leading to a massive fight with the town guard and ruination of the town just as the completely unhalted orc tribe appeared over the horizon.
Jennifer 4th Jun 2015, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Whoops, that was me. Awesome screencap choices for this strip, by the way!
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
I particularly like that comment Fluttershy makes about keeping the armor as loot. XD
Toric 4th Jun 2015, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, usually I'm that guy in our party, but it's mostly because A) I'm presently in charge of recording loot and B) we have a group of 8 people which is still fun, but means the loot can run a little thin at times.
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
I usually expect some amount of looting from my players, but I do push common sense that carting off several suits of armor isn't going to be easy unless they have a Bag of Holding available. :3

Disloyal Subject 5th Jun 2015, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
And that's why bags of holding are my favorite magic item. If I'm already in hostile territory, I may as well loot everything that is or isn't nailed down.
MWS 4th Jun 2015, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
My players would quickly learn that leaves you with nobody willing to buy the loot from you.
Nope 4th Jun 2015, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
My players would quickly learn that they were about to be replaced with better players, little brother or not.
FanOfMostEverything 4th Jun 2015, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
My players did something similar, taking quests and forgetting about them halfway through. And I also take great joy in applying consequences. Still have two thirds of that infernal artifact on your person? Well that's going to make you popular with all kinds of unpleasant folks, not least the aasimar antipaladin who asked you to find them in the first place...

Also, here's hoping life picks up soon, Spud.
Ace Jackson 4th Jun 2015, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Ace Jackson
Sorry to hear the week's not going well, hope it's the kind of stuff you can expect to pick up again in a week or less.

Well, I'm not sure this qualifies but...

Just last week, the party (sans dragonborn fighter) found themselves on the roof, staring at a dragon as it tore the defensive archer's formation apart. The sorcerer, who was still cleaning himself off from the last adventure where he greased himself with his wild magic table when poking the warlock's great old one patron, ran up to the keep's roof hastily and tried to break the archer's morale to run away. On my character's first turn, I tried to shoot the dragon in the eye. The warlock just said “Nope,” and left. The wizard had decided to poke the warlock as well, and was currently having an existential crisis, so he said something to the dragon in draconic, and left. The gnomish rogue tried to talk him down, but this didn't work, so he left. Eventually, only my cleric and the archers were still on the roof. And so I pulled a hail-mary clerical insight check to get a hint. My character was told, "The disinterested are easily distracted." Looking back, I think the GM expected me to question the wizard on the stairs, but in the moment, I got a different idea, not a good idea mind you, but an idea.

“I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want, but this is a pure military facility, hosting the town's civilian population, we have no wealth or treasure, we have nothing that could interest you!”

First nat 20 of the night, on a night where nobody rolled higher then an 11, and that only once thus far.

The GM asked for a little more, which I choose to interpret as the dragon hesitating.

“I don't know what you're goals are, but I'm willing to wager you aren't achieving them just frying us on the roof.”

The dragon declared that yes, he was a little bored of this simple fight, we could have this night, he'd most likely kill us in the morning.

Whether you count this as the party abandoning the quest, as they left the roof, or the dragon, as he left the roof. Someone rejected a quest that night.
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Well it seems like most of the party walked out of the quest, if the quest was about slaying that dragon.
Ace Jackson 4th Jun 2015, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Ace Jackson
Funny thing about it though. We're playing through the module Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and haven't actually earned a quest proper yet, beyond surviving. We were hired as caravan guards and surprise, 6 level one pc's in the middle of a dragon raid. Our next destination is the town mill, we're trying to keep it standing and take it back from the raiders.

Slaying the dragon was never really an option or possibility. Not yet anyway.
Cass 4th Jun 2015, 9:30 PM edit delete reply
And after a year or two of flapping around daily only to end up leaving with a promise to likely kill you in the morning it will take you aside one day and confide that it feels like retiring, and wants you to take up its name. The real dragon has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.
j-eagle12212012 4th Jun 2015, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Sorry to here things aren't going well Spudd *hugs*

So who would they get as a cleric? what random charecter would just happen to be a cleric?
Grannysmith? Big Mac? Cheerilee?
Ace Jackson 4th Jun 2015, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Ace Jackson
I hear Cranky knows lady luck. They do hate each other after he met that girl at the gala of course.

Or perhaps Gilda worships a griffon god of war.

Then again, Braeburn does love his home town, and they seem to love him, even if his wisdom (perception) needs work.


We never specified who the cleric had to revere after all.
The One One 4th Jun 2015, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
I will squee if it's iron will. I would also say i would pay cash money to see it if i wasn't recovering from paying the bills
Toric 4th Jun 2015, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
Depending, they could call the big cheese herself and get Celestia...potentially important enough to be on her radar. And Twilight's brother is a paladin.

Still, I'll put my money on Mayor Mare.
Winged Cat 4th Jun 2015, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
Sweetie Belle or Apple Bloom believes in her big sister that much?

(Scootaloo might have the belief, but is more likely paladin than cleric. Unless a paladin will suffice here.)
Toric 4th Jun 2015, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Can't Channel as much, but Lay on Hands is still positive energy.
Disloyal Subject 4th Jun 2015, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Well, when I rolled Peter Straussberg, peasant extraordinaire, I figured that I should roleplay him as what he was: a Commoner with stats ranging from 8 to 11. (DM found this hilarious, which is why I didn't reroll and make something in a proper class.) When he ran into the party in market square after selling his village's produce and a passing familiar gave them a quest, he slipped away after noticing how blatantly dysfunctional the group is, chiefly the sociopathic warlock and the overly cheerful elf in the creepy comedia mask... But I soon realized that sitting in market square eating steamed potatoes is no fun, so the DM let me eavesdrop on another group getting the same quest. So I hatched a plot, starting with Pete's motivation for voluntarily attending a gathering of dangerous nutjobs being offered employment by a wizard: I bought about a hundred more potatoes, a spare ten-foot pole, and stole the lid to am empty whiskey crate on my way past a pub, then very conspicuously followed some adventurers to the meeting. Then I got out my hammer & nails, and built a stall to sell potatoes to hungry adventurers waiting for the wizard to give us his job offer.
I made back about 5 times the cost of materials, though that's chump change for adventurers.
ShadowDragon8685 4th Jun 2015, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
Much like Boris's example, my story WRT outright rejecting a quest is Shadowrun based.

The GM was starting up a new game, and he explicitly told us that our characters were all unknown to one another, gathered by a Fixer. Our first time meeting each other was over the negotiating table with Mr. Johnson. 4th Edition, I was a hacker-gunbunny type. All my best hacking tricks involved taking my time. The rest of the group was a very mixed bag, but almost nobody was a front-line beat-stick.

Johnson's job? He wanted to fly us out - his transpo - to some secret black facillity in the middle of nowhere, where we were to "kill everything moving that isn't yourselves." And the money was good. TOO good. "I can promise them whatever they want because I don't intend to pay them" good.

I established private lines with the rest of the prospective Runners and sought their opinions on the matter, whilst offering my own - that this was exactly the kind of double-cross you hear about in the Shadows and it was so patently obvious as to be insulting. And worse, if it wasn't a double-cross and the offer was legit, that was because it was an outright suicide mission.

We stood up and left. The GM was very upset. For some reason he thought we were all being unreasonable, and then dropped off the face of the earth, never to be seen from again. I was not sad.
Raxon 4th Jun 2015, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Silly Fluttershy. You're a dirt witch. Dirt witches don't wear armor. Dirt witches go naked and sing kumbaya and eat tofu gravel sandwiches, because they think they're part plant.

(Actual character I have seen in a game.)
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
What plant eats gravel?
Toric 4th Jun 2015, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
The ones who are too good to be carnivores
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
...well I guess makes them safe. Plenty of shoddy roads around here they can chew on.
JackobolTrades 4th Jun 2015, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
My example comes with a moral. Player characters with a stable home do not make good adventurers.

The party was a group of wards at a local temple, which they could buy upgrades for with gold. The party was primarily a bounty hunting group, and traveled around their kingdom meeting many colorful characters.

Some of these characters were plot hooks, some subtle, some very blatant. Every single one the players passed by without a second glance. Afterwards, I asked what their motivation, or lack thereof, for that reaction. Their response: "We didn't want to do anything too dangerous or with too much traveling because we wanted to stay close to home. Otherwise Mother Superior will get worried, and that's never good."
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
I can understand that. Though after watching Avengers 2, I want to make a character with a stable life like Hawkeye. :3

I guess PCs are reasonably (or not) paranoid that having a home/family makes it a target for villains to get at the PCs with. Gotta hide those things well from prying evil eyes.
Winged Cat 4th Jun 2015, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
I've found that a mobile home - sea ship or space ship, depending on campaign world - can provide both "stable home live" and "adventurers". Just don't casually threaten (or, worse, destroy) the party's home, and if you immobilize it (as in "crash", not "dock"), prepare for the party to stay in its vicinity until it can move again.

Also make sure your players are up for this. Some players view scenes aboard ship as playing out downtime that should be left offscreen, and thus as annoying pointless wastes of time. For others, scenes like that are the point of a role playing game. It's a divide faced in any party, but this tends to make said divide more readily apparent than usual.

One sign to watch for: a PC whose skills and equipment mean the PC is nothing but a passenger when aboard ship is probably the former, while PCs who explicitly list something on their sheet to help with shipboard logistics - such as cooking skill or a ship maintenance feat - lean toward the latter. In the former case, encourage them to have at least a bit of ship-relevant skill; gunnery is often useful (they tend to focus on combat anyway, so "can fire the ship's guns" is thematic), followed by piloting (be careful of overlap: most parties can use at most one pilot) or another vehicle-combat-applicable skill (such as whatever is used for emergency repairs). In the latter case, make sure the PC does not invest too much in skills useful only aboard ship, as most campaigns will spend many sessions away from ship; instead, encourage investment into broadly-applicable things (such as general technical skills in a modern or sci-fi world - being able to disassemble a door can be useful on ship and in a ruined temple - or merchant skills useful as both quartermaster and face).

If you have played or seen the Metroid Prime series, Samus's gunship is an excellent example of integrating PC ships into on-foot action. It also shows a common balance of screen time: it exists within the game world and is important, but over 90% of the time it is off screen and away from the party.
rem 4th Jun 2015, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Shadowrun, we were hired to recover a kidnapped girl. Only the girl it turned out had a direct targeting link to the Mjölnir satellite systems.
centered on her!
we were told all of this before hand, we had to get her back before the Mjölnir launched.
Mjölnir if you didn't know, is, in Shadowrun, a satellite weapon system that the corporate court has to keep the members from going too far out of line with one another. so they can drop a hardened carbon rod down from orbit on a target.
all of the destruction of a nuke, with none of the fallout either radiation wise or magical wise.

the girl's danger zone (if the hammer fell that was how much of the area would be leveled) was about half a dozen blocks. I said no thanks.
everyone else looked at me like I was crazy. She wasn't being held near where I, or anyone I cared about, lived, and I knew my Bullet Barrier spell wasn't THAT good...

so while everyone else was getting a little girl back from a kidnapper, who was delivering her to a rival corp, I helped a private military team prepare for their CEO to land in Seattle, got a job offer, and a date with the squad leader.
Disloyal Subject 5th Jun 2015, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
A job, a date, and a paycheck, all in relative safety from weapons of mass destruction? I'd call that a win.
ANW 4th Jun 2015, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
We got a couple of good plans, but best came from Specter!
As your reward, you get a cloak of invisibility.
You can scare a lot of beings by using it.
Ambushes, or just be Mr. Floating Head.
My plan, by the way, was to scare the heck out of them using illusions.
Specter 4th Jun 2015, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
*Holds up cloak*

This looks like green screen.

... I love it.
ANW 4th Jun 2015, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
By th
ANW 4th Jun 2015, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
Dang tablet.
What I was going to say was, has anyone seen our alt-script sneaky Spike, Lyntetmas?
It has been it has been a good while since we last heard from him.
Lyntermas 4th Jun 2015, 8:07 PM edit delete reply
Still alive, still watching, just waiting for the right opportunities.
terrycloth 4th Jun 2015, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
"There's a cave full of shadows, that are harassing the local villagers. They offer you --"

"Uh, no. No shadows. No."

"But people are dying!"

"Yes, and we don't want those people to be us."
Winged Cat 4th Jun 2015, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Wishalloy? Is that the type of unobtanium that is generally known not to exist (as opposed to being theoretically possible but no one knows how to make it)?
Digo 4th Jun 2015, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Metallic allow of wishes and miracles?
Winged Cat 4th Jun 2015, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Alloy equal parts phlebotinum and flangium, then use an eludium magnet to find and distill out the best of the mix. Given the proper ingredients, it's a simple process.
Duffman18 4th Jun 2015, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
While the party didn't reject the quest one of them did. We were playing a game of Shadowrun, and one of my friends was playing an insanely paranoid gnome hacker. The exact second that the GM mentioned the mission would be at an "underwater resort" he jumped up and started shouting in and out of character that there was no way he was doing this mission. His character walked out and hid in a bunker for the duration of the job. He was the smart one. The mission ended with an insect spirit infestation, an Insect Queen possessing one of the party members, and the army having to nuke a famous resort off the coast of California in broad daylight.
Someone 4th Jun 2015, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
=3 first entry
long time ago in a land that looks alot like new york we played some heroes..and after the i dont know seventh..ish try to do anything exept following breedcrumps from the gm we just sayed "hey speedster how is the weather on ...mount everest".

-long story short, best breakfast on a mountain ever...and sadly last time we played in that round
Talyn 4th Jun 2015, 1:17 PM Quest Rejection edit delete reply
I didn't exactly reject the quest per se, but after having a snooty annoying government NPC and his squad assigned to work with us, I got annoyed enough to attempt to execute the mission at a time of 'right now' instead of '0400 tomorrow'. My GM's eyes went wide and he literally begged me not to break his plotline. I ended up relenting, just to get betrayed and avenge myself on said NPC eventually, but there was definite potential to cause a lot of plot notes to go out the window... XD
The Only Joe 4th Jun 2015, 11:37 PM The Only Joe edit delete reply
Hmm, abandoning a Quest?

Our GM spent weeks designing a custom Atlantis setting, that our group would travel to. He had a big long campaign for it, involving a invading spirit world, and a dying king. We were given the quest to stop the Spirt world's invasion of Atlantis.

I was a Gnome Illusionist at the time, and realized that the king of Atlantis had some awesome loot on him, that would augment my Illusions 5-fold. So I convinced the other players to help me assassinate him for the Invading Spirits, in exchange for right of first looting.

So, instead of accepting the quest to save Atlantis, we burned the city to the ground (Somehow), and looted all of it's inhabitants.
Doublecross 5th Jun 2015, 3:02 AM edit delete reply
Yaaaay, slides! It's almost like I was actually kinda not really there but had sneaked a peak at your laptoooop!
j-eagle12212012 5th Jun 2015, 3:11 AM edit delete reply
Wait did we all miss the Monty Pythons refrence? The title shrubbery sidequest...
Crunch-bite the Mighty 5th Jun 2015, 4:58 AM edit delete reply
Sort of a reverse scenario but I've had PCs reject a quest when I was DMing. I had introduced a, at the time, minor villain that was supposed to give the PCs clues to the BBEG. She was terrorizing this town and the villagers plead for their help. The PCs, upon seeing her said "Yea, no, she's way to scary. We go pirate hunting instead". It was an important lesson for me and helped teach me a great deal regarding improvisation as a DM.
Xanderfox 5th Jun 2015, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Does he also want it to breath fire and shout "REMEMBER ME!"?
XandZero2 5th Jun 2015, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Sorry to read that you're having a rough time Newbie. I'm not much for online hugs, but I do hope things get better for you.

BTW - I looked over your power point presentation and I had no idea there were that many Pony RPGs out nowadays! I remember actually searching the net for systems a few years back, and I believe there were only something like 4 to 6. I agree with you. The Pony RPG niche community has definitely been growing a lot, and your power point presentation is an excellent resource of collected links for all those different systems. Thanks for making it man.
Joural 5th Jun 2015, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
The closest I ever came to straight up denying a quest was when a vampire started talking about how he was the good guy. I'm going to assume there was some kind of hook by the end of the conversation, but the party included two characters beng played by me (our cleric was MiA, the DM really didn't want to have a DMPC, and we needed that extra player) and both of them rolled a 20 on the relevant knowledge checks for vampires. both IC and OOC I wanted those vampires dead, and, well, when the wizard and the cleric end up acting together...
Curb 5th Jun 2015, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
I don't know why, but that last bit reminds me abit of a set a scenes about shrubberies and herrings...maybe it's just me.

Oh, on a side note, I'm working with a friend who runs a gaming site (selling table top minis and RPG books). I'll be going to cons with him as his assistant and might even get more responsibilities over time. Still have to work a regular job, but who knows what the future holds.
Pandora's Homeobox 5th Jun 2015, 8:49 PM Pandora's Homeobox edit delete reply
I so have a story for this! We had a new player in our regular group who was a kind of steampunk Dorothy so the main story was about us going to Oz. Problem was, the only way to get to Oz was on a tornado from Kansas and we were nowhere near. The GM set up an entire quest to find four elemental which we could combine into a teleportation staff to get us to Kansas. We took the bus.
TokraZeno 5th Jun 2015, 11:30 PM Know your players! edit delete reply
One DM kept trying to help us smuggle some kind of magic crystal into a town but none of us would take it. His backstory for the campaign said that the city was corrupt as hell and the guys who controlled the stuff we were smuggling had stupidly high AC so our heavy hitters were pretty useless.

None of us felt that it was in character to actually take the quest and passed on it several times.
Sani2341 6th Jun 2015, 2:21 AM edit delete reply
I have one from the start of our groups Iron Kingdoms campaing:

We started out with each of us arriving in five fingers (think a steampunk version of moseisley just with normal ships) sepreatly and each getting a plot hook to bring the group together.
while your dwarfen trader mechanic and I as the Elvish Magehunter/arcane mechanic were hired to fix a pirates ship one way or another (I followed him and the employer because of her magical aura[Mage hunters believe taht human mages are killing the elves gods]) Our Gunmage went to see if his old house was still available, as he noticed that a gang moved in, he went to the next best tavern where he rented a room for the night, before eating and drnking something. He then wathced a barfight started by a crew of sailors, implied to be the pirates the rest of us were working for. As the captin tlked to him and offered him job as gurd for the ship, seeing how he was not even bothered by the fight(at that poitn he had manged to beat two guysup who disturbed him eating) the gunmage refused and went to bed.