Page 63 - Begrudging Success

31st Dec 2011, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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Begrudging Success
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st Dec 2011, 5:00 AM edit delete
Have a Happy New Year! I cannot express my gratitude enough to Umiyuri Papaeyra, who made this holiday image:


As far as pony goes, she runs a Tumblr called Needs Moar G4, so check that out immediately!

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



kriss1989 31st Dec 2011, 7:05 AM kriss1989 edit delete reply
Ah yes, the classic "it's not crazy if it works" argument. Every player has a few tales about that one.
Gyrwulf 31st Dec 2011, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
and dont forget the "It worked but that was still crazy as hell
Matthias von Schwarzwald 10th Dec 2020, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
"Maxim 43: If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky."
Wobniar 31st Dec 2011, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
Here's one for you. Our group was going up against a White Dragon at the end of a dungeon after rescuing one of our party members. In the previous session we picked up a Bard who, for the most part, had NOT been very useful. Earlier in the dungeon, he had gotten the idea to skin a violet fungus and to make it into a costume. When the dragon dropped down from the ceiling, he immediately shouted "I intimidate the dragon with my fungus suit." The rest of us roll our eyes and facepalm as he rolls an intimidate check. To our eternal astonishment, he rolls a natural 20. Our DM then rolls the save, puts his head in his hands, sighs, and reveals a natural 1. The dragon crapped itself in horror, as the party got an extra attack of opportunity. it worked, but it was still crazy.
Wobniar 2nd Jan 2012, 2:59 PM edit delete reply
Although, to much chagrin, the same Bard used his Summon Monster to make a distracting snack for the next dragon. He summoned Justin Beiber and used it as a decoy. The Cleric rolled a Knowledge check to see if he knew who Justin Beiber was. When his natural 20 popped up, the DM said, "You're his biggest fan and #1 stalker." Out of pure spite, because it was Beiber, our Rogue sneak attacked him and killed him in one shot. The Cleric, being the world's biggest Beiber fan, started to attack the Rogue while the Bard tried to Resurrect Beiber. This all left our poor Fighter to fend off four enemies on his own.
KoshLovesYou 1st Jan 2012, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty proud of distracting (and thus allowing us to escape from) an insane Werewolf 'she-god' by tossing a smoke bomb and yelling "FETCH!" very, very encouragingly.
kriss1989 2nd Jan 2012, 10:37 PM kriss1989 edit delete reply
Thermite grenade for my werewolf. Natural 1 on Will save by the DM. Boom.
kriss1989 2nd Jan 2012, 11:19 PM kriss1989 edit delete reply
Best one anyone in any of my groups ever had: "I throw the portable hole onto the dragon's chest. There is now a thirty foot hole through its chest." We were never allowed to have a portable hole ever again.
Snowy 31st Dec 2011, 7:42 AM Yep edit delete reply
This is why I love Pinkie Pies they wrap your thinking so well
Anthonox 31st Dec 2011, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Hurrah! Let's drink like ponies!
gindranis 1st Jan 2012, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
But then how will we get drunk?
SMXsonic 31st Dec 2011, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
In a session I was in, My character was running away from gaurds. I killed a minion and Jacked his keys. The DM had me roll a d12 for each of the Keys. I had to roll a 1. All of this while my character was in drag.
Shining 31st Dec 2011, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
I consider this a so crazy this works situation.
MirrorImage 31st Dec 2011, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
Yes, because if the DM can't think of a reason why it SHOULDN'T work, then obviously it must work, failing horrible rolls.

One of the players in my campaign plays a Deva Avenger - Deva are what you could call a "fallen angel" kind of race, and Avengers are essentially Assassins of their god, in this case, the Raven Queen (god of Death). This gave me a perfect way to integrate some kind of prophecy into my storyline.

The character doesn't actively know the contents of this prophecy, but he's been told that "The Prophecy must not be fulfilled." He goes to the local, non-Raven Queen churches in town and decides to peruse their libraries for hints on this prophecy. I had no intention of him finding anything of use, except that he checks 2 different libraries and, at level 1, gets checks of 28 and 29, respectively (his check is +10). Kind of hard to give a level 1 character a flat "You find nothing" with those kind of checks.
David 31st Dec 2011, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
Speaking as someone whose DM puts storyline and common sense far, far ahead of rolls: no, it's pretty easy to give a flat "you find nothing" if there's no reason for the information to be there in the first place. You could have modifiers up the ass and end up rolling a 100, but you're still not gonna be able to learn the information you need if you're trying to find it by reading "Fun with Dick and Jane".
terrycloth 31st Dec 2011, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
One thing you can do is make sure he knows in character that he got as good as he could have gotten from the rolls. "Despite a thorough search, you find nothing... except for a few references to a work which no longer exists in the library. It looks like the Raven Queen expunged all knowledge of this prophecy centuries ago."

Or something like that. There's always 'you're *very sure* there's nothing to find' if you don't want to be creative.
MirrorImage 31st Dec 2011, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
Oh that's effectively what I did anyways. I just didn't expect him to roll that high. I could tell him flatly he finds nothing, but with checks like that, he at least finds *something,* though the relevance of it is questionable (@David - he still didn't find relevant information, I was more referring to fluff than I was content).

The first church was of suspect legitimacy (I'm using the Fallcrest setting - it was the House of the Sun for those of you who recognize that), so the excuse was your standard "prophecy of doom" stuff that the character could recognize as questionable due to his own divine connections, and the second one (Temple of Erathis) seemed to have information more on prophecies already come to pass rather than any due to play out.

(Which still leaves me time to think of WHAT the prophecy is - without telling my players, I'm planning something vaguely similar to the Elements of Harmony, minus the "froo-froo friendship" stuff. Still need to work on those specifics)
Anvildude 11th Jan 2012, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
What's the issue with the 'Frou frou Freindship stuff"? Plenty of prophecies espouse someone creating a close bond with 'destined others' before whatever happens can happen. Maybe the prophecy requires that that character become friends with one of the others, who then dies, causing the character to become angry; especially since it was an assassin of the Churche of the Raven who killed them, in an attempt to keep the two from becoming friends, leading the Deva to cause the downfall of the Churche of the Raven.
Akouma 31st Dec 2011, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
I remember once, my players were in a rarely-used war room in a monastery, getting ready to break a siege on it. One of them decided that CLEARLY the only logical thing to do is to check for hidden doors. With no training in Thievery AND an armor penalty, he pulls a 21. I decided to give him a secret door cleverly hidden in a wall, behind which is an armor stand with crazy-powerful enchantments on the armor. It wound up being the basis for my next session, where they tried to figure out what it was. Turns out it was the armor of one of the monastery's greatest members, and the enchantments are ones that bring back the owner from the dead in times of need. They activate the armor, bring the guy back, and now the spirit in the armor is travelling with their army, ready to wreck some stuff. Said spirit was also a legendary demon hunter in life, and is probably going to help save the players save the world six or seven times over a little further on. And all of this because one silly Paladin rolled a useless Thievery check.
Dragonflight 31st Dec 2011, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
*Always* count on the players coming up with stuff you never thought of. If you're quick enough on the ball, you can use that to create plot hooks that in the long run, make it easier to run the game, and come up with fresh content. Congrats on the plotline! Sounds like a lot of fun.

I'd recommend that at a significant moment in that campaign, the spirit has a "you don't need me anymore" moment and leaves, with the armor left in the possession of the person who can use it to continue the legend of the former owner. That's got a very epic feel to it as stories go. :)
Akouma 31st Dec 2011, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
Well, my plot for after the PCs finish their current mission is demons take over and ransack a massive portion of the country, pretty much overnight. McSpirit there's a demon hunter, and can set the PCs on the right path to fixing the problem. He's kind of my NPC for when I need the Worf Effect to kick in. To quote 8-Bit Theater (and TVTropes), this guy is:

"He's the guy who's here to act tough so new characters can wreck him when they're introduced thus proving to the rest of us how amazing they are! Like Wolverine or Worf."
FoxyMayhem 31st Dec 2011, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
Gotta love TVTropes.

That sounds like fun. I wish I had a good DM in this little town. Good story line man, have fun!
Rugsrat 1st Jan 2012, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
In a similar vein, I have a nautical Pathfinder game, and one of my players decided he was going to spam "detect alignment" on everything aboard for some reason. So I on the spot invented a girl that 'pinged' evil because of an amulet she was wearing (which in reality did virtually nothing except grant the wearing +1 AC, and needed a DC 10 will save to avoid wanting to cause as much mischief and chaos as possible).

The players have now spent the majority of their play time trying to get rid of this thing, in fear that it's somehow the 'one amulet to rule them all' I guess.

They actually made the mistake of giving the amulet to their captain, who promptly rolled a natural 1 on his save. Good times abounded, for me anyway.

All because one player just wanted to spam a cantrip all day.
Chakat Firepaw 2nd Jan 2012, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
In 3.x, (including 3.P), Detect Evil isn't as useful as you might think. Even ignoring the possibility of items/spells that cause false readings, you have to figure that something like 20% of the population is going to read as evil simply because they are.

Evil and 'hostile to the good guys' are not the same thing, it's quite easy to have all kinds of friendly NPCs who are evil. The two obvious ones for a ship's complement are 'lawful evil but loyal' and 'non-violent to allies, but don't play cards with him'. It is also important to remember that Detect <alignment> treats the alignment/trait as binary question, it can't tell the difference between a mass murderer who rapes babies and the guy who would become neutral by giving just 1cp to a random beggar.

Further, in the Pathfinder setting, there are many areas where bumping into LN Clerics/Inquisitors of Asmodeus is a not uncommon thing. (It's the state church of one of the major nations.)
darkwulf23 12th Feb 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Actually, to stop players from becoming "evil radar detectors" the detect evil spell was redesigned to read the current intent of a target. Under the detect evil retcon, your chaotic good thief who just wants to steel an apple to munch on would currently register as a minor evil while a evil cultist leader who is out doing his shopping would not scan.
Jason Shadow 31st Dec 2011, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
My DM encourages the creative use of spells. For instance, one of my favorite tactics is for one spellcaster to cast Fireball, and then have another immediately cast Animate Fire on the fireball. This combo results in doing normal fireball damage, followed by controlling what is essentially a Huge fire elemental for several more rounds.
InvisibleDale 1st Jan 2012, 4:18 AM edit delete reply
Way back in olden days (2nd ed. AD&D), I had a group that featured kits, similar to prestige classes.
The group was faced with a flock of harpies after they had a long, extended battle. the arcane spellcaster, a witch, was down to cantrips, so she pulls a Pinky Pie.
"I cast Prestidigitation and use it to pluck the feathers off the largest one." The leader, of course.
Even though I gave the harpy a +4 on the save, I rolled a 1. The harpy was plucked bald and suffer 1/4 total hit points damage. Since that was the leader going down, I checked moral. Failed it. The others had the fight scared out of them, and the player got some well-deserved kudos for thinking outside the box.
CharginChuck 31st Dec 2011, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Loving it so far. Can't wait to see how they handle Mr Magnet.
legomaster00156 31st Dec 2011, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
I had a character named Vasylay, a Drow Rogue/Sorcerer Hybrid. He was notable for greed, chaos, and Crazy Awesome stunts. Oh, and daggers. Always, always daggers.
My favorite stunt was when the party was battling a Harpy inside a pit. When Vasylay successfully grappled, it took to the air, carrying him with it. His response was to pull out a dagger and cut off it's wings.
Now, of course, this was a problem. We were now about 70 feet above the ground, and I had just sliced off my ride's wings. However, I wasn't done. Since I was already grappling it, I maneuvered the Harpy so that it would take the brunt of the damage, while at the same time rolling Acrobatics to halve the falling damage. The Harpy died from the crash. Vasylay got off without a scratch.
anon 31st Dec 2011, 3:47 PM edit delete reply
"It's not the fall that gets you..."


"It's the sudden stop at the bottom."
Destrustor 24th Jan 2013, 3:00 AM edit delete reply
I use my shield to block the ground's attack!
magewolf 31st Dec 2011, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
it is 7:40 new years eve, ah am at the office working and any time ah need a break ah re-read this comic and it allways makes me smile or laugh.
magewolf 31st Dec 2011, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
u draw amazing umiyuri papaeyra.
newbiespud ah look forward 2 all your strips in the new year and 2 getting all mah friends adicted 2 it.

happy new year everyponie!
xuincherguixe 31st Dec 2011, 9:23 PM edit delete reply

Great stuff.
Jade Eye 31st Dec 2011, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
So cray it works is all my players seem to do.

Between neutralizing an enemy spell caster with a silenced, invisible, gnomish ninja and successfully converting a large fire elemental with diplomacy we had an AWESOME first game...
Suika 31st Dec 2011, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
So we were playing a D&D game with the whole party as Kobalds with level 1 in a class. We were off on a quest to find 'Kobald Paradise'. On the way, we ended up in a cave, with a red dragon. A rather annoyed red dragon.
Did we do the sensible thing, and run away?
No, we tried to trip it up by holding a piece of rope across the cave a la Star Wars. The dragon rolled a natural 1 on its reflex save.
We ended up gaining the dragon as an ally, out of sheer WTF~ness on its part.
Grrys 1st Jan 2012, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
I had to give my party a similar experience. They had gotten into a nest of a group of dragons, and decided to talk to them. Given that they were black dragons, which don't take to kindly to anything other than combat. So, they somehow start rolling high 30s with low Charisma scores somehow. I didn't double check their bonuses because when someone gets a stupid crazy idea in that group everyone jumps on the bandwagon. With nothing to do, the party got 4 dragons with which to guard their pyramid, one of which they relegated to guarding the boat.

And then they rolled to have a gold, silver, green, and black dragon instead of just 4 black. They got over 40 for that somehow.
InvisibleDale 1st Jan 2012, 4:24 AM edit delete reply
Time to break out the BS repellant, because it sounds to me like you are being BS'ed.
Epic Houseplant 1st Jan 2012, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
So, first campaign I ever ran had my PCs show up to this alien clocktower that just sort appeared by the riverside. Goblins had taken up residence, Kobolds were trying to break through, and there was a soul doll holed up on the top floors.

So, first thing the party leader does is talk to the goblins. Then they ignore searching for other entrances and jump up into a window a story and half up. Didn't expect that, decided to roll with it.

Then they get to the soul doll, and the duel was talked down from "to the death" to "to the wound".

Then the kobolds ran up. They trap the stairs with caltrops, killing one from the sucess. Then they kill the kobold that tried to run up the stairs and the socerer casted grease. The engagement just sort of froze, but they killed the leader with crossbows (while not damaging his pimp hat) and eventually I decided to wrap things up with the other three kobolds finding out that they were in a love quadrangle with the leader, at which point they were talked into leaving peacefully.

And then the party claimed the clocktower as their own. At which point the rest of the campaign was spent trying to get the gold to pay for renovation and permits.
Kaleopolitus 1st Jan 2012, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
Your username seems to be VERY relevant to that story ^_^'
Epic Houseplant 1st Jan 2012, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
Yes, it kind of is. But it's mostly based on my nickname.
druid24 3rd Jan 2012, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
let me guess.. your nickname is "houseplant"?
daemosblack 1st Jan 2012, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Ok, the players in my campaign had such a moment... In spades. In the main chamber of a very large evil temple, they found around half a dozen portals to various locations housing more of the badguys. at this point one of the players stops and asks me if their instant portal stone to hell they loted off of a previous foe (not something they planned on using) would react 'violently' the same way a bag of holding and portable hole do when shoved through each other. I say yes, but warn them that the other portals are so close that they could chain react. their answer use a ritual to allow them to pull the activated stone into a portal on the floor from a distance with rope.

After the roles were done, they essentually nuked the damn thing. which by the way was the entry to the TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL (not the temple itself though - a staging area if you will)
I just love this comic, you do such an amazing job with it. Now for the topic at hand, my rogue had been captured by a group of mercenary's who had taken over an old fort. I managed to smuggle one lockpick in the cell on me after they searched me, trust me you don't want to know how, and I used to escape the cell. I now had nothing but a lockpick and the leather armor that I had equipped on me and I had two choices of route. I could either go down the stairs or jump out the hole in the wall. Naturally, I chose the later and jumped down a 70 foot fall. Luckily the guard athe broke my fall, unluckily (for him at least) my impact broke his back instantly killing him. I then took his supplies and weapons and went on my merry way. Now for something else MLP FiM related here is what I imagine players of Friendship is Dragons look like:
Hal 4th Jan 2012, 9:30 AM Derper of Wolves edit delete reply
We had a red dragon attack us a while back in a 3.5 game. The party response ended up being: Storm the dragon! The rogue was thrown down its throat, and carved his way out of the stomach, the cleric climbed up its back and took out an eye with a critical hit called shot, and the wizard/warlock TELEPORTED INTO ITS LUNGS and cast sandblast!
I'm and engineer 21st Sep 2013, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
Buggy 7th Jun 2021, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
With this topic I have many stories, all from the same campaign. At one point in the campaign we had to find out what was terrorizing a town and stealing it's sheep. We followed the tracks and ended up behind a Bush looking at an Ettin. An Egg in is a two headed giant, if you didn't know, and this one's heads spoke giant and orcish. They started to argue about what sheep to kill and ended up killing both and tossing them over to our bush. Our resident elf princess, who had a cursed staff of the God of Death and could make zombies, zombified the sheep and then she and out dwarf ranger rolled two higher than twenty rolls to use ventriloquist and managed to convince the ettin that the sheep was an avatar of its God and that it should become a vegetarian.
Another fun story happened after we were caught by a dragon while trying to save our resident dwarves family. (They were siblings named Hansel and Gretel, really) My gnome bard, who had been basically useless the entire time, Gretel, the dwarf ranger, and our elf princess, made up a song and played to the dragons vanity. We ended up with a kobold kickline and a full musical number ending with us killing the dragon. (Though she came back with help from the War God Trogdor)