Page 610 - Backseat Gaming

20th Jun 2015, 6:00 AM in Fall Weather Friends
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Backseat Gaming
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Jun 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
As promised, all bets are off moving forward regarding Episode 100 discussion in the comments below. Hopefully the hype has dwindled down enough that people won't be discussing it in excess anyway. (Haha! My master plan all along! Not really though.)

My thoughts on it? I'm the wrong person to ask. When I like a show, I tend to accept every episode positively, even the episodes the majority doesn't like so much. I'm satisfied by a few cool moments, some worldbuilding, and the continued exploration of characters I've come to like. I recognize and appreciate a good story well told, being a scholar of storycraft as I am, but I also have a lot of patience for a show's low points.

Not that any of that applies to my opinion of Episode 100. Suffice to say I loved the episode and how utterly insane it was, and how it still tied all the crazy plot threads into a narrative with a satisfying conclusion. I didn't have any major headcanons at risk here (not that I have many period, just interesting campaign ideas), but I figure that if you've ever been concerned about how the show handled the precious background ensemble, well, that was probably the worst we'll ever get. I think we'll survive.

In other news, we've got a side-series for Fallout is Dragons on the way called Mawlers Take Manehattan, an AU slice-of-life thing we're doing to pad out the time one of our players is gone for the summer. It'd normally be going up in the regular FiD slot today, but this week was insane. Probably tomorrow.

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



Flamming Bunny 20th Jun 2015, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Umm, first?

Hello, longtime lurker. Did you ever had a case where players basically took over from the GM?
Masterweaver 20th Jun 2015, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
That's basically what role-playing is.
Draxynnic 20th Jun 2015, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Pretty much. My best experiences GMing is when I can just sit back, let the players bounce off one another, and occasionally let them know what the world is doing in response to them.
XandZero2 20th Jun 2015, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
One of my highest (and lowest) points as a GM was actually when I was running a Dark Side Campaign in the Star Wars universe. I've mentioned it before in earlier threads, but it was glorious - and disastrous - all at the same time.

The original idea had been that in the wake of Darth Vader & the Emperor's deaths in Episode 6, there was a power vacuum left open for new Sith to rise to power. Two of the players in the party were Dark Jedi - who I assumed would eventually work together to become the new Dark Master and apprentice.

However, what actually happened was the quote-unquote "Master" of the two went power-mad and tried to kill off everyone else in the party in order to prove himself to an NPC Dark Jedi Master.

The whole campaign lasted 6 sessions while I acted as judge and intermediary during the scheming and inter-party combats. We had lightsaber duels, a starship that got sabotaged, a gunfight in a nose-diving starship (same ship I mentioned earlier), an epic crash scene, a hunt through the city, and a chase where the parties involved leapt from speeder to speeder. Of course, there was plenty of backstabbing and subterfuge involved as well - and all in all, I felt that I had very little control as a GM.

That typed though, my experiences in that game, they make for one heck of a story.
Winged Cat 20th Jun 2015, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
When I RP, that is what I aim for. Both when I am the GM (sit back and provide background as needed - one of my campaigns is essentially this, and the players just keep driving it on) and when I am a player (because the story should be about the PCs; I try to get the others to participate and have fun too).

The campaign I am currently running has evolved into a 4.5-way philosophical duel among 4 PCs (the .5 being a player's allied character, who the player plays and does not always agree with the main PC; think of it as if Twilight's player played Spike too).

A recently ended campaign I was a player in, went off the rails in the first arc and the GM repeatedly said after that he was just providing plot in reaction to what we did. He had intended us to visit Zebrica on a field trip to get established and maybe have an excuse to learn Alchemy, not to start off unleashing a Zebrica-consuming spirit who, in the end, we would turn into a giant tree charged with restoring all that it destroyed and then some.

And those are just the strongest examples from this year so far.
ANW 20th Jun 2015, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Time to reveal the winner.
The winner is the planet pinball.
Congratulations to Someone. (No that's the name he used)
I'm also giving the prize to Specter. First time I heard of sugar used as a non posion weapon.
To both of you I'm giving you both a shard of the Elemental crystal mountain.
Inbred it into the weapon of your choice, and it will be powered with your inner element.
Good job to both of you.
Someone 20th Jun 2015, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Woo hoo! I actually won something!
Specter 20th Jun 2015, 9:52 AM edit delete reply

Now my darkness will rain upon the heads of my enemies, as I become the death incarnate.

... I mean, I'll use this power with responsibility and care...
ANW 20th Jun 2015, 3:06 PM edit delete reply
Go on ahead.
Become the new grim reaper.
Raxon 20th Jun 2015, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Bombom 21st Jun 2015, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
Inbred? Or imbued. If it the former, I doubt they really want your prize.
ANW 21st Jun 2015, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for catching that.
Even with a tablet, I still miss things.
ANW 20th Jun 2015, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Story time.
This guy has been taunting you since you met him, always one step ahead of you, and the one time you beat him, it turns out that he is not left handed.
The moment comes. The DM says the word that strikes either fear or excitement.
No overkill that hurts you or your comrades, or for the other side, they get caught in it as well. (How can you enjoy the victory if your dead as well)
Boris Carlot 20th Jun 2015, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Um, mind unpacking that one from the flavour text a little?
Digo 20th Jun 2015, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
And the question is...? What, name a time the PCs used Overkill to get back at an NPC that was always a step ahead of them?

I remember an old adventure long ago where the players were fighting off one of the head leaders of the Illuminati. They managed to smuggle a small tactical nuke into his office. And set it off.

Never. Saw. It. Coming. :D

The insult to injury is that the players calculated the damage: 6.5 million points. I think there isn't a system where that kind of damage isn't pretty much overkill.
The MunchKING 20th Jun 2015, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Disgaea that kind of damage can be dialed down to merely "adequate" or even so far as "trivial".

That's part of what makes Disgaea awesome.
Digo 20th Jun 2015, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
I've heard of Disgaea the video game, but is it also a table-top RPG?
The MunchKING 20th Jun 2015, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Well, no... But it was the only system I could think of (aside from other Nippon Ichi games in the same verse) where doing 6.5 million damage could actually not even be noticed by a dude because he's just that tough.
Specter 20th Jun 2015, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
Overkill (in a nutshell): The over use of force.

What did the "Holy Paladin" Blood Moon do before they were shunned by their deity?

Flood a small hamlet village (and everything else down the path for fifty miles).
daftdeafdave 20th Jun 2015, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Killing Mr Jackal, head of pyramid Inc - plan A:

Betty Smith puts in place a legal framework for dealing with otherworldly beings. Briggs re-engineers the financial flows ready for conversion into soul-backed exchange units. Pat Lyman constructs a subtle X out of treacle toffee somewhere near Sicily and summons Mr Jackal there to file his counter suit against a trumped up claim against pyramid inc. Dr Von Steel fires his orbital laser/Anti-Business metal rail gun HAMMER.

Result: Failure. Smith's and Von Steel's hearts are ripped out and they are consumed by otherworldly fire. Pat is coerced into signing a contract allowing Mr Jackal to posses his body whenever he feels like it.

Killing Mr Jackal, head of pyramid Inc - plan B:

Mr Jackal is lured into Pat's body with the offer of tasty souls. Pat is moved to a robot body constructed by Baron Aegis von Eisenhower for the duration of the encounter. Caracal pumps the Pat-Husk full of drugs so that Jackal is tripping balls when he turns up. Dr Steel and his team ANVIL pump him full of several rounds of anti-business metal bullets with toxic debt payload. Caracal punches him in the nose.

While this is happening Pat and Von Eisenhower draw upon the power of business, crackling arcs of synergy boiling around them. Pat casts Dressed for Success - ensuring he looks the part for the fight with Mr Jackal. Von Eisenhower casts Function Follows Form - which makes anything perform the task it looks like it ought to. Mecha-Scarab Pat combines all six limbs into a synergy cannon which he levels at Mr Jackal. At this stage Mick Fig turns up driving a stolen company car which he ramps into Mr Jackal at the same moment Pat unleashes his synergy blast.

Result: Success! Jackal is killed. Mick dies in the blast but with no afterlife to go to his soul possesses a hot rod. Pat takes over pyramid inc and becomes a robot god of death.
Dundee15 20th Jun 2015, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
It was 4e, I was playing a rogue that had a habbit of using one of his skills to hide under large sized enemies to get opp. attacks and advantage. I stealthed and got a very high roll while hiding under a golem. So high the only person who could see me was my dragon born ally with 30 passive perception. The golem also had an ability kinda like thorns. You take 10 damage every time you touch it.

Anyway, one of my party members was a gnome cleric who had just gotten an attack that 'forces the target to the ground' He used this attack on the golem and got a nat 20. The DM being a nice guy gave me a reflex save to get out from under it before I was crushed. I rolled a 1.

Then the following exchange happened;
I asked "How much damage?" thinking I'd be alright.
"Well, you'll take 1d4 for every 10 pounds."
"Ok, how much does it weigh?"
"9 tons... it's an obsidian golem."
"So that's... 1800d4..."
"But that attack was a crit so... 7200 damage."
another party member spoke up "7210, it has thorns." At this point the party scrambles to check their sheets to save me when the DM inturrupts them by asking me what my stealth roll was. As the Dragonborn was the only one who could see me, he was the only one who was allowed to check and see if he could.

He had nothing.

After the battle the DM awarded the rest of the party 7210 exp.

And that is how my rogue became the party tank. By taking more damage in one hit than the dragonborn ever did in his life.
Toric 22nd Jun 2015, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
In Pathfinder, Paladins have a nasty ability in which they can give their smite to everyone close to them. It lasts until the combat ends. So, when we entered the lair of an evil lvl 20 wizard who had been planning his own resurrection party to enslave the world and my paladin critted initiative...well that wizard suddenly had an impending sense of divine judgment. After trading a few blows and dealing with his flunkies, we had managed to stalemate him more or less and were moving into wizard destruction formation. Our other paladin, a smite archer, finally got a chance to full attack with her smite. Five hits, two of them crits with a comp. longbow, all adding her 17 levels to her static damage. The total damage was enough that it could have KO'd him in one shot at the very beginning of combat despite all his epic gear and bonuses. He went from an arcane master to a hole-y spirit.
Ref 20th Jun 2015, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
What are you talking about? Episode 100 airs today, in less than 60 minutes.
The MunchKING 20th Jun 2015, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
SO which one got discontinuitied for you?
Guest 20th Jun 2015, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
Slice of Life, actually.
Ref 20th Jun 2015, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
That was me. I don't know why it says "Guest".
Mykin 20th Jun 2015, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Suffice to say I loved the episode and how utterly insane it was, and how it still tied all the crazy plot threads into a narrative with a satisfying conclusion.

Pretty much my thoughts on the episode right there. It was just glorious to behold and it was the first episode in a while to actually make me laugh out loud the whole time. Clearly one of my favorites for this season, if not the whole series.
Digo 20th Jun 2015, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, definitely top 3 at minimum for my list of best episodes. It was like a grand love-letter to the fans. :D

My wife is a big Doctor Who fan, but not into Pony. She squee'd pretty hard at the doctor when he showed up with the scarf and shouted Allons-y!
Borg 20th Jun 2015, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
Analytically, I think it was solid pandering and pretty much gratuitous from start to finish. And I'm pretty sure I should mean that as a bad thing.

But I don't care what my analytical side says. I loved it and want them to go even bigger for episode 200. Or better yet, episode 150.
Dragonflight 20th Jun 2015, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Agreed. The princess sisters bickering at each other like any pair of sisters I've ever heard was priceless. :)
Digo 20th Jun 2015, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
That scene made me want an episode of the two sisters just being themselves EVEN MORE.
Mykin 20th Jun 2015, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
Same here, Digo. Same here.
NR 20th Jun 2015, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
"When I like a show, I tend to accept every episode positively, even the episodes the majority doesn't like so much. I'm satisfied by a few cool moments, some worldbuilding, and the continued exploration of characters I've come to like."

Me. Me all over. I especially enjoy the world-building and learning little things or backstory about a character.

~And yeah, episode 100 was a blast from start to finish!~
j-eagle12212012 20th Jun 2015, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
my spoiler free review of "princess spike" will be on Tuesday

So followup to my post on Thursday

How many of us on hear have Aspergers syndrome ? ( I do )
EEK 20th Jun 2015, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
(Raises hand)
referee 20th Jun 2015, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
I do
Raises hand! 20th Jun 2015, 3:24 PM I do! edit delete reply
and I love it! Combined with the ADHD, it makes multitasking so easy!
Jennifer 22nd Jun 2015, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
Mister-Winter 22nd Jun 2015, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
My first comment on this comic, and it's a great big "OVER HERE!"
belmontzar 20th Jun 2015, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
hehe Watch them both be cheering for twilight, giving her plenty of bonuses to finish past the two XD THAT would be one hell of a take down for the 'stronger ponies'
Aj and RD: wont even be a contest.
twilight; -wearing first place medal- no kidding. So how was tieing for Last?
Digo 20th Jun 2015, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Heehee, I'm thinking that is going to happen too. XD
Evilbob 20th Jun 2015, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
It definitely felt a bit awkward at times because it almost felt like they were trying to squash way too many stories into only one episode...

I don't care. It's nice to be pandered to. Especially if it's only 1 or 2 episodes out of 100.
Digo 22nd Jun 2015, 5:15 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, once in a while it's a nice treat to get. Especially when the show has been on for this long.
Raxon 20th Jun 2015, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Now I'm picturing the two of them reaching the finish line, and Twilight saying, "well, it seems I was the only one without a bitter rival, so while everypony else was fighting, I made it to the finish line. Well, I've got my ticket."
Beaches 20th Jun 2015, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
Actually, I feel that the 100th episode was fine. I was let down by the hype of the commercials for it, but seeing how they apologized to the fans for Derpy hooves restored my faith in them. I did like the background characters but honestly, I didn't like how they just brushed off the main six. To me it felt like it doesn't matter what the main six do for them they are only viewed as having friendship problems or monster attack, nothing else. I thought they would have had more feelings or appreciation of them but I also understand it wasn't about them. The wedding story felt forced, and rushed so I just ignored it. I was wondering why Discord wasn't there even if they had no lines for him. Overall, it felt like a nice episode for the fans but not as big or grand as a 100 episode could have been. It should have been an hour long episode instead of half.
you know that guy 21st Jun 2015, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
It's only when the mane six are all "huddled up together" that the townsfolk expect a monster attack or a friendship problem that takes "half an hour to solve." After all, each of the mane six interacts with and has friends among the townsfolk.
Guest 15th Sep 2015, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
"I didn't like how they just brushed off the main six. To me it felt like it doesn't matter what the main six do for them they are only viewed as having friendship problems or monster attack, nothing else."

Uh, yeah dude, that's the whole fucking point! How obvious and telegraphed does a joke need to before nerds understand that's it's a joke?
Rokas 21st Jun 2015, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
I tend to agree with you, Novopotato, about how I view the show. There's been some real groan-worthy parts or even whole episodes here and there, but I don't have the giant disdain that a lot of people have. Mainly because I remember the core audience is still the group they have to entertain and surprise surprise, we ain't it. I judge it by the standards I found it, which is to say, not much more than "entertain and keep the depressing, paralyzing thoughts of my inevitable death at bay". For the most part, it seems to work.

Anyway, Freshchips, thanks for more fun comics and such.
Mister-Winter 22nd Jun 2015, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Hi, I've been a longtime reader and have read the entire comic start to finish and only now worked up the courage to comment.

So, yeah. Awesome comic, love them all. Stay awesome.
Penn Writer 24th Jun 2015, 7:43 PM so players taking over edit delete reply
I always encourage players to figure out ways to derail my intended path with a solution I overlooked. Recently in an Exalted game they found a demon that was imprisoned by a lunar that went missing and was assumed dead. The intent was for them to go on a quick adventure to find him. Then a player hit me with

"Hey, I can just summon his ghost"
He just got summon ghost spell so it completely slipped my mind. I flipped a coin to decide if he actually was dead, guy was summoned, questions answered.

I consider myself a good storyteller, but its much more rewarding when the players handle the actual approach to a problem