Page 659 - Hippo Crate

13th Oct 2015, 6:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Hippo Crate
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 13th Oct 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
Character-based irony is an astonishingly common occurrence in tabletop roleplaying. We've been over this once before in the A.N., I think - characters get known for a certain set of traits that stick to them as jokes, which makes it surprising when they buck the trend.

In writing, I don't consider it a bad thing when a character breaks their own mold. I've spoken previously about "character dimensions," where a character portrays two opposing but natural traits (greed/generosity, fear/confidence) and thus reveals a spectrum of deep character. When it's done well, it belies a consistent internal logic of the character. And in roleplaying, where everything is an improvisation, it makes such revelations all the more surprising for how organic they are.

But that's not really the intent of this page. I like to be a writing nerd and take things way too seriously. On today's comic, I'm actually just making fun of people.

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



Crisis21 13th Oct 2015, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Story time! Tell about a time when one of your characters (or another players') bucked their own well-known trends.
Digo 13th Oct 2015, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Doc Wagon has always been known as the nicest character in the party, to the point of a fault. However, he did reveal once he had actually come up with a detailed assassination plan to kill a town's sheriff. AND he planned out alibis and procedures on destroying forensic evidence so that it would look like an accident.

The plan was never... executed (haha) but it did show that even a nice guy like Doc can come up with interesting plans for getting away with murder.
Nixitur 13th Oct 2015, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, coming up with the perfect crime is something lots of people do just for fun. Not to mention people who write crime novels.
Digo 13th Oct 2015, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
For fun yes, but Doc was seriously going to go through with the assassination had the sheriff not been killed first by another PC.

Doc didn't mind that he didn't get to use the plan, but I think the real point was lost-- The nicest guy on the team is capable of premeditated murder.

Recently a new opportunity has come up-- "Murderhobo Murdering".
Disloyal Subject 13th Oct 2015, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
More of a public service than murder, really; killing monsters is in adventurers' job descriptions anyway.

As for me... I'm bad at playing quiet characters; I feel left out or like I'm not contributing any roleplay, which makes sense if the character in question is somewhat dead inside - the party brought out the best in her - or actively suppressing a curse of bloodlust. I am concerned for this guy's fate away from the watchful eye of his Chapter, in the company of a Space Wolf who keeps encouraging him to loosen up. He's already proving to have anger issues when he started off as a consummately professional "in, out, get the job done" guy.
Digo 13th Oct 2015, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
I'm bad at quiet characters too. I as a player am too hammy to just be low-key. I make too many puns, I like big speeches, I'll chew the scenery in big heroic fashion. I love Roleplaying and I have a good bit of energy for it wen I got a workable character.

I think once I had a fairly quiet character, a professional bounty hunter. I kept myself distracted so that it would appear that my character was quiet. Even then, that character did arm a group of homeless people to take on a local gang in Miami...
Ishidan 13th Oct 2015, 9:02 PM Docwagon edit delete reply
Doc Wagon? Was he the team White Mage, alongside the cleric Crash Cart?
Digo 14th Oct 2015, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
I wish he had white mage abilities. My character is so dependent on having medical equipment to do things that he's constantly trying to improvise tools. Hes got a bottle of hard bourbon for anesthetic. XD

(but yes, his name is an obvious reference)
Specter 13th Oct 2015, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
A roommate of mine once played a murderhobo, named Stabby. His plan for everything was murder.

Anyway, we had just completed an assassination contract in, what was supposed to be Las Vegas (Las Zebas I think), and we were out that night to celebrate our success. That is, until we got a text stating that there was someone who saw what happened, and we had to go and clean up that loose end.

Almost everyone wanted to just go and skip town while we could (which they did, with the "meet us at 'X'" note), leaving our technician, I, and our wonderful little murderhobo. From there, the game split into two different perspectives (games), and we continued that way until we had regrouped.

Our perspective led us to find the person who had spotted our assassination. We did eventually find them, at the local police precinct being arrested for burglary. Turns out they were out the same night doing there own nefarious deeds. So plan to get in there and at our new target went with myself going in, drunker then the sand is dry, and making a distraction. Our technician broke into the police's mainframe and lighting via magical hacking, and just start making everything go haywire. This left our psychotic friend to go in and deal with the loose end.

For some reason, he had an epiphany of the biggest picture he could come up with, and that led him to saving her from the police, and them hightailing it out of there (with our technician and myself close behind). One can only imagine our surprise and confusion when the murder hobo fell in love with thief (and him succeeding in the love story based opportunities, making the feeling mutual for both of them).

... It was kind of good for our semi-morally bankrupt group to have this small candle of hope (for one of us), and the love story bit went fairly well in the end, but the game ended up with some of us wondering about the player in question, as they don't really ever think about things beyond themselves. It was a little weird and unnerving.
Azaph 13th Oct 2015, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
So, I come from a background of roleplaying that includes quite a lot of Crisis MUN. As a result, I am not known for self-preservation. At all. The hideous cyborg-monster thing is moving away from me, an unarmed young woman with almost no combat skills, into the haunted forest? I chase it! (In accordance with eternal laws governing chases involving young women and crimes against the natural order, I promptly fell over and twisted my ankle, but fortunately the monster stopped to dismember a passing Jeep, and I was able to keep up). I'm in a car-park separated from hordes of the restless dead, former victims of the villain, only by a fence? I drive a car through the fence, and attempt to befriend their leader! (after an inspiring speech, I led my new undead horde against the villain). We're in combat against the ancient bodysnatcher with supernatural powers (y'know, beyond the obvious 'bodysnatching')? I stop to look for treasure. Then I found the control panel, and started flicking random switches until stuff started breaking, and everyone had to flee for their lives. Finally, with all the rest of the party out, I decided that staying to try and hold the door shut and trap the villain couldn't possibly go wrong.
I'm still not entirely sure that that was the intended tone of the WoD game I was playing.
But the point is that the above was all one session. I'm not someone who normally worries about the fact that what I am doing is kinda suicidal.
Which means that sometimes it's fun to buck the trend. Another session, the party is defending a city. Our most powerful commander has defected. Two nations with armies each about four times as large as ours were fighting over us. On the other side of the kingdom, invaders from across the sea are ravaging the countryside, since the commander we sent to deal with them had decided he wanted the country for himself, and had turned on us. Also, the peasants were about to revolt, but this was pretty far down the priority list.
So yeah, I took one look at the situation, decided 'we're screwed', and defected. A lot. I sent letters to every major party telling them all the military secrets I knew and offering to get them past the walls, ordered some mercenaries I'd hired to kill the defenders and let in the first army that came knocking, and took the fastest ship I could find out of there. And that was how I ended up being the only player who didn't need a new character!
I should point out that that game explicitly included PvP, I didn't just randomly turn on the party in the middle of a D&D game.
BrownDog77 13th Oct 2015, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
My Halfling Rogue Philipe was quite literally, dumber than a rock. His intelligence was lower than the Rock Golem Fighter we had in the group. The thing is though, he was high in charisma and dexterity, and somehow he was a womanizer.

After saving the Emperor's life from an Assassin, Philipe was given a big cash reward, and met the lady of the coin, who was an important NPC, and described as Goddess Levels of beauty.

So on a whim, my 3 foot tall Halfling decided to charm her. Now he's dating the lady of the coin in a completely monogamous relationship having given up his womanizing ways, and nobody knows how he pulled it off. The DM meant for her to be unseducable, but Philipe's charisma rolls were godlike.

So from womanizer, to dating the leader of the banking system, it was a change for the better.
Wyvern 13th Oct 2015, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
I was playing a character who displayed a lot of character dimension on the loving & caring / determined and forceful axis, but that's not where this story takes place.

It was my turn as rotating GM and the party had just had a nonviolent but stressful and scary encounter. As they talk it over one of the players declared his character was lighting a cigarette and smoking nervously, while the player pantomimed this. I said, "Give me one of those," and reached for the imaginary pack; another player asked who'd said that and I told them the PC. TWO players' hands shot out to cover the imaginary cigarettes as they shouted "NO!" The players KNEW the other character didn't smoke!

I felt so validated. *grin*
Freemage 14th Oct 2015, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
OWoD Mage game. Michael is the most serene, level-headed character in the game. An Akashic Brother (basically, Shao-lin monk), he tries, as best he can at his young age, to be wise, thoughtful and deliberate.

So when the party set up a trap to expose a Technocrat (autocratic society of techno-mages) as a Nephandus (nihilistic servant of Oblivion and Cthonic forces), everyone was quite surprised when Michael altered the plan mid-encounter to "I punch him in the skull until it cracks, then I punch him in the cerebellum."

In his defense, the original plan wasn't working, anyway--the Nephandus wasn't summoning his demonic allies, preferring to try to mind-control his way out of it using 'accepted' Technocratic techniques.
Digo 13th Oct 2015, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Rarity comes off as a bit jealous to me in the last two panels. You know, being that AJ seems to have a plot going that's farther along than some of Rarity's ideas. Hee.
Luna 13th Oct 2015, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Well, saw that coming, but from a rpg point of view, that's a combination of bad move from the GM (should have written "everything's fine, will be back soon enough" or something like that) and still dick move from the players that keep proding the session toward a player that is absent.

I can see why Twi or Fluttershy make that kinda mistake, being rather new to those kind of game, but the rest of the party are supposed to be seasoned gamers, they should know that when a players absent, you don't go after their characters unless that's exactly what the GM decided upon (and "absent player is not there, so this session her char is hostage and you go on a rescue mission" is among the worse way to deal with absence, as it has a good chance to take much more time that one session to solve depending on how it goes)
sun tzu 13th Oct 2015, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
Exalted game. Playing a Solar Dawn warrior. Enthusiastic fighter, but very charismatic, asks questions first and stabs later. Tries to avoid violence despite enjoying it.

Had a diplomatic encounter with a Storm Mother (unpleasant local deity/elemental). Before going in, told the rest of the party "she's probably gonna be very insulting and hostile, but try to ignore that".

Then the Storm Mother makes insults of a sexual nature against the party's Twilight sorceress, who is like 14. Cue my character immediately pulling out his giant sword and going to town on the Storm Mother.
Tatsurou 13th Oct 2015, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
"Will have ticket soon"...

Did she wager her ticket home on the outcome of the rodeo or something?
Someone 13th Oct 2015, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
I think she's talking about Gala ticket
j-eagle12212012 13th Oct 2015, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
If you haven't seen the new episode of MLP yet, watch it as soon as you can to avoid spoilers.
I will have a spoiler free review on Thursday

Disloyal Subject 13th Oct 2015, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Even I watched it, and I hadn't seen any of Season 5 yet at the time.
I do most of my pony-watching once a year anyway in an anniversary stream. With more episodes to cram into next year's, it'll be longer than 48 hours... Dunno how the scheduling's gonna go for that.
j-eagle12212012 14th Oct 2015, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
116 episodes 22min each ... your looking at a little over 42hours 30 minutes. As for when this season ends... we just had episode #18 so if they skip two weekends due to holidays then the last 2 episodes of the season should air Dec 12th so I would guess you could marathon all 116 episodes by christmas break of this year
Disloyal Subject 14th Oct 2015, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
In addition to the leaked episode and the Equestria Girls movies, the folks running the stream added in PMVs, stupid meme videos, et cetera as filler for a full 48 hours, giving people time to get up for food and bathroom breaks.
EEK 14th Oct 2015, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
Is it even possible to do a Non- spoiler review for this ep, looking back I can't think of much you could talk about without being obvious
j-eagle12212012 15th Oct 2015, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Well I think I pulled it off. Check it out on the next page
remia1 13th Oct 2015, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
ok, this is a long one.
we were playing star wars, set in the knights of the old republic era, Revan was a Jedi master on the consul, and if the Jedi hadn't been horrifically short handed I'm positive that NONE of our characters would have been allowed within a planet's diameter of the Jedi temple.
Each of our characters had a parallel to an earth religion, for Jedi guardians we had a Methodist, a reformed satanist (used to be Sith), a member of the Spanish inquisition, and as the lone councilor, there was me, who was far more Buddhist then anything else.
well, we get sent on a diplomatic mission to investigate the Krath. who are dark side force users, and ruling the planet with an iron fist. we end up meeting with the planetary president and are asked to wait in the office. Everyone else starts ransacking the office, looking for proof that the Krath attacked our temple reciently, after finding it, the inquisition guy shits on the desk, and wipes his ass on the planetary flag.
sadly this behavior was completely in character for all of them. The president enters, sees the mess, turns walks out, and gas fills the room.
we wake up in an arena surrounded by battle droids, and have to fight our way out. I, seeing as I was the most diplomatic of the group, try to talk to the president (in the middle of battle, so it doesn't go well), and she gives us some demands, pay to have the office cleaned, give back the proof we stole, and an apology from whoever shit on her desk. And be torn apart by the droids.
we manage, with great difficulty, to fight off the droids, and escape into the nearby sewers, then we end up in the poorest area of town. all roads to the landing platform where our shuttle is parked are blocked. and the city is being searched.
we find an apartment to hide in, an area even the army isn't willing to go and search door by door.

the apartment is, to put it mildly, a mess. Shit encrusts the walls, is caked into the carpet, the smell is horrible, but it has power and a fresher. We pull up the carpet so we have a clean place to sit, and we hear an noise coming from the bedroom. We go in lightsabers drawn, and find a dog. The dog looks as bad off as the apartment.
Everyone goes back into the living room to plan the escape. I take the dog into the bathroom, and clean him. the dog is all skin and bones, so I give him what little food I had with me. basically a granola bar. clean and with a full belly, the dog licks my hand lays down, wags his tail once, closes his eyes and dies. In my arms.
I exit the bathroom, lightsaber drawn. Everyone is looking at me as my blade ignites. "Here is what we are going to do. We are going to sneak up on that squad outside, we are going to steal their war droids, we are going to ride like the wind for the fighters over on that landing field, we strafe the streets leading to our ship, we crash the fighters into the tower keeping our ship on the ground, we bail out of the fighters beforehand. We run for our ship, we leave this planet. You are all going to leave every credit you have on you here. YOU (pointing the tip of my blade at the inquisitior) are going to send a message before we jump to hyperspace apologizing to the president. It WILL be an honest and heartfelt apology. It will tell the president where she can find the money.
If there is ANY back talk. I will kill you. ALL of you. I will blame it on the Krath. the council will believe me. They know all of us. They know I couldn't possibly take any one of you on, much less all of you. Any questions? No? Good. Get up and get moving. NOW!"

and that is what we did.
once the GM stopped laughing.
after that they all got more then a little nervous around the diplomat.
Disloyal Subject 13th Oct 2015, 7:02 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I commend you for sparing them as long as you did. I don't think they'd last long even among the Sith with judgement like that.
DeltaPangaea 13th Oct 2015, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
This one time I was playing as a man called Ivan Hook. He was fairly standard mad-scientist. His active abilities were produced from an invention he only referred to as 'The Device'.

Anyway. The party was being hunted down by an ice dragon. While the dragon herself was kind of a bitch in general, she was being blackmailed or something into coming after us, otherwise she wouldn't care.

So Ivan Hook brewed up a poison. A nefarious, deadly poison designed to get this dragon off our asses.

We managed to nail her with it, and over the next few minutes (Most of which we spent running away) she slows down, and then collapses, unable to move.

And then she starts crying.

And so, Dr Ivan Hook, the mad creepy scientist who never took off his plague doctor mask, crafted deadly traps and contraptions, and poisoned this very dragon with an agonizing toxin... Gave her the antidote.

And then upon discovering she was too close to death to recover, gave her the Frozen Heart, a furiously magic artifact we pulled from the chest of an ice demon.

With that, she managed to get away and apparently survive.

Saddest part is that the game ended shortly afterwards, so I never got to see any more of that icy she-dragon.
Raxon 13th Oct 2015, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I don't see anything out of character about this for Rarity.
Toric 13th Oct 2015, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Is always acceptable to be suspicious in the third person "Their behavior." It is only in the first person "MY behavior" where suspicion is unpleasant.
Raxon 13th Oct 2015, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm. There's a good idea. A completely unsuspicious character who is actually manipulating everyone subtly.

Then, when he starts acting suspiciously, they investigate, only to learn he's making legal investments, and donating a portion to orphanages anonymously.

After that, even when acting sketchy and suspicious, everybody stays willfully ignorant, because they think he's just doing some anonymous charity work.
Toric 14th Oct 2015, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
It's just like Poker. Every so often you show them that you had the cards so that they don't call your bluff about feeding the poor...
Akouma 13th Oct 2015, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
One of my characters has the reputation of being an exotic weapons collector. As an officer in a mercenary group and a military fanatic in general, he goes a lot of strange places and sees a lot of stuff that interests him. So whenever we beat an enemy with weapons that our characters have never seen before (even though out-of-game we know exactly what they are and how they work) he takes one. Thus far he's got his personal sword and pistol that he actually uses, plus a bizarrely shaped greatsword (think Uruk-hai sword but more unwieldy), a long rifle, a rifle that shoots bursts of needles, an ornate blessed crossbow, and an ornate blessed longsword.

The RPG we're playing is the RPG version of the wargame Warmachine, which means that all of this weapons exist on as part of models in that wargame. Privateer Press (the makers of both games) lets you buy individual pieces of any models that they have rendered in pewter. Which means that at some point, my character figure is going to actually have every single one of these weapons strapped to his back.
Lucky Dice 13th Oct 2015, 11:14 PM Spinning Moral Compass edit delete reply
So I was playing an oWoD (Old World Of Darkness) Accord game. I was a Vampire, my buddy was a Mage, my roommate a Werespider, and then there was a Demon and a Werewolf. The Werewolf played a Shadow Lord, the most manipulative and controlling tribe of werewolves in the system and he made a living by actively blackmailing people. However when the party wanted to break in somewhere, or steal something, or etc. he would always act as our moral compass. Not a great way to go against the character idea because he actively kept impeding us to the point we took turns distracting him so the rest of the party could advance the plot.
Edgewalker_001 14th Oct 2015, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
The last character I made for DnD is kind of an experiment in how different I would be as a person had I lived in a universe where magic is real. He is, like me a logical person, so naturally his stats reflect this, with a large amount of intelligence and points put into pretty much all relevant knowledge skills. And yet he, despite originally not qualifying as a cleric due to his low wisdom score, is probably the second (or even top) most devout character of the group. (As in, this guy actually tried to help the group paladin to get over a crisis of faith moment...).
And yet upon meeting his actual god (or an avatar thereof) and being given actual divine magic as a part of the story, his reaction was pretty much "Really nice to finally get to talk to you, don't let all the others put you down no matter what because I know you do your best, great fan of your work, keep being awesome kthxbye!" =p
HopeFox 14th Oct 2015, 5:06 AM edit delete reply
Stupid players! Just follow the damn rails for once!
Grant 14th Oct 2015, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
Not the best party. There's getting some more setup to what's going on, and there's openly messing with the DM's efforts just to get the game started.
Specter 14th Oct 2015, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
Is this a situation that could lead to a player to just leave? I am sure it can, I just don't know to what degree.