Page 669 - Cherry Picking

5th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Cherry Picking
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
Any stories about a "change of scenery?" Prompt intentionally left vague.

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



Toric 5th Nov 2015, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
You have to admit, "snapped her up" is an ominously kidnapper-ish thing to say...
Digo 5th Nov 2015, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
But is it kidnapping if I willingly go along with a mare like cherry Jubilee?
Toric 5th Nov 2015, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
It depends on whether your suffering from a charm or compulsion effect, which Rangers are not especially resistant to...
Mykin 5th Nov 2015, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Clearly she used some kind of enchantment on you to make you willingly want to go along with her, Digo! Also an ominously kidnapper-ish thing to do.
Evilbob 5th Nov 2015, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Of course it's foalnapping if someone goes along with someone else you don't want them to go with!!! The appropriate solution?

"Don't worry, Senpai! This will hurt me more than it hurts you. We have to make sure you don't see or follow any pony other than me agaaaainnnnnnnnn

Oh wait. Halloween's over, darn. lol.
Greenhornet 5th Nov 2015, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
As in "save her from herself"? That always ends with either heartfelt thanks, or a punch in the nose.
Guest 24th Sep 2019, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
No, I think he means more like "break her kneecaps, and perhaps gouge out her eyes." Because Yandere.
Digo 5th Nov 2015, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
I did this with a character once. NPC was gonna attempt to use Charm on my character, but my character was willing to go with her. She was... confused.

PC: "Oh no, they charmed Digo!"
NPC: "No, I didn't cast it yet..." XD
Winged Cat 5th Nov 2015, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
You don't always need magic to create compulsion effects. In fact, if Spud keeps close to the original story line here, that's pretty much what happened.

Between that, Fluttershy's Stare, and other incidents there are quite a few in the series before you get into the outright magic. Of course, where exactly the line is, is muddled by the fact that friendship is magic...
Toric 5th Nov 2015, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
Looking at AJ's face in panel 3, I think it's fair to say she's "charmed."
Tatsurou 5th Nov 2015, 10:44 AM @Winged Cat edit delete reply
Speaking of, with the DM controlling AJ, I bet I know how Pinkie Pie is going to get him to agree to spill answers.

PP: If Applejack doesn't start talking, I'm going to start singing!
Specter 5th Nov 2015, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
I think I know what's going on.

... Changelings.

Evidence: No magical effects (such as charm) can be detected (and my thought on changeling shapeshiftig is science > magic), Applejack has no reason for a "change of scenery", and I can't help but feel that Ms. Jubilee is a bad guy this session (like the introduction of Zecora or something)

Likeliness of me being wrong, almost certain.
Digo 5th Nov 2015, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
And then Specter failed at being wrong, thus stuck with success.
Specter 5th Nov 2015, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Keep your hopes low, and you can't be disappointed.
Winged Cat 5th Nov 2015, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
No, no, like this:

Disloyal Subject 6th Nov 2015, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Actually made me chuckle out loud.
Digo 6th Nov 2015, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Haha, that's awesome.
ANW 5th Nov 2015, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
The mane 6 and the Princesses are in a teaching mood lately.
One pony, one skill.
Me: Twilight Sparkle teach how to be organized.
Toric 5th Nov 2015, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
Princess Luna, teaching public speaking including DICTION, ELOCUTION, and PROJECTION!
Raxon 5th Nov 2015, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
Cadence: Okay, today we're going to learn the art of fanshipping!
Toric 5th Nov 2015, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Same-sex shippers at 11:00, Harem Hunters at 1:00, and please attend our 4:00 session for the Lovecraftian Fetish lectures
█████ 6th Nov 2015, 7:45 AM All hail: Tentacle Rex! edit delete reply
In this afternoon's session we'll be focusing on how to put the love... into... Lovecraft.
Greenhornet 5th Nov 2015, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
PRINCESS LUNA: Long-term planning and being a good loser.
Winged Cat 5th Nov 2015, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
Celestia teaching diplomacy: the art of getting others to have your way. (Or: how to run a kingdom for over a thousand years and still be loved by your subjects.)
Digo 5th Nov 2015, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
Change of Scenery. I remember one D&D campaign where our party rogue found the Holy Avenger. It was meant for a side quest, but the rogue decided to keep it and start taking nothing but paladin levels from there on out. Since we were all about level 16 at the time, there wasn't much room to build up paladin abilities.

Also, the hoops he tried jumping through so he could go from a CN alignment to LG.

In the end, he managed it and took three levels of paladin... and then broke the Holy Avenger fighting an Abyssal Dragon. Way to go, sport. XD
Dragonflight 5th Nov 2015, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
An old D&D game I was running saw one of the players wanting to try a change of scenery. He decides on the most contrary class and species pick of the lot.

The party is adventuring in the Underdark, and he decides he'll play a Drow paladin. So the PC's find several likely choices, and manage to raid a vault for a Helm of Opposite Alignment. Then they start trying to set up possible Drow warriors for the treatment.

Eventually, they manage to blindside a young Drow warrior girl, and instantly, she switches from CE to LG. The player starts running the LG Drow Paladin from that moment onward, and she turned into one of the more memorable characters in the game. Especially since her method of Turning undead began with a mighty swing of her holy sword and devolved from there... :)
Winged Cat 5th Nov 2015, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
So there the party was, fighting an abominable snowman in the blizzard it was generating. Most of the party was just distracting it with defensive actions (taunts, buffs on the party, healing when it got a hit in), as the druid cast seemingly-useless cantrips to grow a lot of oilseed, until finally the fighter attacked.

Quoth the DM, "You do know the snowman is invincible, right?"

Quoth the fighter, "On arctic terrain. With how much grass the druid's grown, are we still on arctic terrain?"

But the snowman was actually a spirit of the land, so it morphed into a giant treeant...until the party's arsonist (the druid's player claimed it was just worship of forest fires as part of the cycle of nature) noted that the blizzard had sucked the moisture out of the air, pointed out the oilseed section of Wikipedia's article on spontaneous combustion, and had the druid toss some flint into the path of the fighter's sword.

Fortunately, the wizard was prepared for the druid's shenanigans and had protection from fire prepared for the whole party. Yes, when they were originally fighting in a blizzard. He confessed he thought the druid would find a way to make snow burn. What resulted from that comment is a tale for another time.

The "spirit" of ashen, burnt-to-the-ground land was ash and char, which was not so tough or cohesive as ice or wood.
Toric 5th Nov 2015, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Wow, an unusually aggressive iteration of "change of scenery." Was this in fact planned between wizard and druid?
Winged Cat 5th Nov 2015, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
The arctic-to-grass was, at least between fighter and druid (with the rest of the party in varying levels of knowing there was a plan other than "run from unstoppable boss monster", thus why they held back when the fighter did). The wizard...well, let's just say he'd lived in the same town as the druid for a few years.

The idea for grass-to-flames formed about the time the druid started planting, at which point there was no time to communicate it. (In order to speed up combat, speaking complex details was not a free action. Also, the enemy would have overheard and might have reacted.) Fortunately, "a small piece of flint" is an incidental item that did not need to be declared (and the druid was responsible for the party's camping supplies, presumably including tinderbox).
j-eagle12212012 5th Nov 2015, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
"Mostly spoiler free review"

Scare Master

This episode (the one that got leaked a month early but was ment to be watched on halloween) was the nightmare night episode.

First off the costumes all the ponies wore where great

The whole episode was great

highlights of the episode are the blink and you miss it moments

1) The pre theme song scene had 4 ponies dressed up. a changeling, a timberwolf, a griffon, and a dragon

2) the delivery of Raritys spooky story was brilliant

3) everyponys reaction to Fluttershy being out on nightmare night is funny

4) Fluttershy using a past episodes lesson to justify giving nightmare night a try

5) Rarity: "Mummy?...No....Headless pony? Fruit Bat?...ugh definatlly no"

6) Fluttershy knows her friends too well

7) Spooky tea party featuring card board pony versions of
Sailor Moon
Rei- Neon Genesis Evangelion
Reveloutionary Girl Utena
Bulma from Dragon Ball
Female Ranma from Ranma 1/2
*Rainbowdash saying "What are those"

8) the corn maze full of great moments including Derpy dressed as princess twilight with her cardboard horn

9) Angel bunny came up with these scares including the skeleton grannysmith under the tree? He's a devious little bunny

10) CMC costumes
Sweetie Southern Belle
Scoots the wonderbolt
Applebloom the beaver

11) the brillant moral of the episode

Scare master taught us a lesson so many people should really learn

The lesson being the fact that not everyone likes the same things as you do and it's perfectly fine if others want to do things differently or enjoy them in their own way

On to the next episode

JurriRig (Hitbox)
Jamie (irl)

Truly Mad Moves 6th Nov 2015, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Actually, Sweetie was a European aristocrat (specifically Marie Antoinette, by all appearances) and Apple Bloom was a platypus. :3
EEK 6th Nov 2015, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I wish they would have had Luna dressed as sailor moon
Disloyal Subject 5th Nov 2015, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
"Change of scenery?" I'm not sure how to summarize being shipped from a crusade in the explosive-ridden Uredius Sector to the nightmarish cesspool of unorthodoxy that is the Tiji Sector, but after the first session of my Deathwatch game (after, oh, just a brief warm-up KILLING A WARHOUND-CLASS SCOUT TITAN POSSESSED BY A DAEMON, WHILE ON FOOT) our Kill-Team was reassigned. It was quite a change... The Space Wolf and Ice Wraith could deal with unorthodoxy. They're reasonable men. As reasonable as 7ft genetically engineered supersoldiers recruited from tribal societies on frozen death planets can be, anyway. The Guardian of the Covenant did not adapt so gracefully. Despite being as remote as the Ice Wraith's home sector of Rusoya, his Chapter was far more concerned with proper adherence to creed. Not having everyone bow slavishly was a nice change, but some of us took it personally when the Captain of the ship strongarmed into transporting us treated us as cargo instead of holy warriors. And that was before we met the radical Inquisitors...
Specter 5th Nov 2015, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
I was an anit-paladin who went from LE to CN becuase of the party's gypsy friend.

So yeah, the party got split into about four groups (this time, it wasn't our fault) with my group (just the gypsy and I) getting thrown into a prison where we would battle to the death some day (yay for a GM with a fasination for Rome). On our first day there, the rogue of our group (and sister of the Gypsy) had asked me to watch over her until the two of us could be broken out. Normally I wouldn't do that, but I owed the rogue a favor for saving my mind from a relic that almost killed me (yay for my diety).

We were stuck in that prison for almost an in-game month, fighting other prisoners every day for the satisfaction of the crowd. During that time, I had to save the Gypsy (who's name I learned was Golden Note while we in there) a dozen times from the fearful prisoners who hated the 'heratic gypsy curses'. After some of that time, I had to question how she was able to keep a smile on her face the entire time we were locked up (and not become a sociopath). She told me that to keep her spirits up, she simply had to sing her Gypsy Song (which I actually enjoyed). Her smile faded instantly when We had to fight eachother to the death.

Yeah, that battle kind of sucked. I actually had dropped my own weapons to fight her (cause we still fought eachother so that we could prolong our lives, if that was possable), and I had beat her down to a single hit point with my bare hooves without taking a scratch. With her almost out, I kind of questioned everything that would have been going through my character's head. That was also the time the impromptu emporoer of the arena stepped up to give his verdict on the battle. Before he did, I inturupted him, stating that if Golden Note wasn't set free, then I'd kill his only son. I then used Toxic Gift on the arena master's son (thanks to the help of a magic item of mine that allowed me to make ranged attacks of my touch spells) and gave him Scarlet Leprosy. Yeah, that went over just as well as one would suspect.

Golden Note was set free (and I gave her a few minutes headstart so our party could find her), then I told the arena master that I couldn't actually save his son, and that he would likely die if the arena master couldn't find a way to stop it. This pretty much made the arena master bring in his guards to kill me (which they did, kind of), but not before I set myself ablaze with some very potent oil and fire.

Golden Note told the party what had happened, and they tried to bring me back from my dietie's church. The church couldn't, cause I was no longer a 'vaild target' of the diety, stating my acts of chivilary broke my anti-paladiness. I instead had to be brought back by a neutral church. I was allowed to keep my anti-paladin powers, so long as I forgot the path of evil, continued my leveling in a different class, and made amends with Golden Note (because I destroyed her musical eqiupment when I first met her, cause I believed her magic nothing less then Voodoo (where it only hurts you if you believe in it)).

Yeah... Golden Note still dosn't like me (suprised she was able to tolerate me so well in prison), but she thankfully has a geniune sense of respect for me now.
Mykin 6th Nov 2015, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
That's a pretty cool story there, Specter. So which class did you pick in the end there?
Specter 6th Nov 2015, 11:38 PM edit delete reply

I thought it fitting since I am able to tolerate Golden Note and her constant singing, yet I can still call for a fall back plan that she would still respect (meditation).
Truly Mad Moves 6th Nov 2015, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Hey all, I've got a philosophical question... well, not really, unless you count edition wars as philosophy.

So, one of my players got me in touch with her sister and her boyfriend, who run frequent RPG sessions, I'm gonna sit in on their new Star Wars campaign to get the feel of a real gaming table, and while we were setting that up, they asked me what systems I was familiar with, which in my case is D&D4E, same as this comic uses.

He went into detail about how 4th Edition's rules are built almost exclusively for combat, which is a very common criticism, to which I can only say... "Huh?" Aren't the rules of EVERY gaming system almost entirely about combat? That's what the rules are FOR. And 4th Edition has skills, rituals, the rules about travel and wilderness survival, the occasional non-combat utility power - how much more non-combat stuff can any other game's rules have? Sure, 4E streamlined the skills a bit, like conflating the Climb, Jump, and Swim skills into just one Athletics skill, but that's a good thing! With 3E and its bajillion skills, how could you ever dream of actually being good enough to use any of them reliably without crippling overspecialization?

Another common accusation about 4E is that it doesn't let you use your imagination. Come on, it's a tabletop game. Look at this comic! These characters seem to have no trouble creating an imaginative campaign. The only thing I can see that limits imagination are the social skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. What I like to call the "roleplaying-squashers". How are you supposed to roleplay effectively when the results are determined via skill check? And those skills, in case you forgot, were born in 3E, yo.

When I brought this up to the guy (well, some of it, I'm getting a bit more ranty here than I did then) he further explained that it's really hard to play 4E if you have to go without a grid and miniatures. But, again, isn't EVERY system pretty specific about size, speed, range, area of effect, other square-based stuff like that? How is that more true of 4E than any other system? I'm genuinely asking here, because all of these are such common complaints about 4E, so they must be true somehow, but I just don't see it. I'd like some insight into that perspective.

On the subject of 4E: to set up this story, you need to know that until recently I lived with my aunt six months of the year to work for her, and all my D&D books are still at her place because I had to jettison them so my luggage wouldn't be too heavy. She's shipping them to me.

Here's the story: Last week, Rob Heinsoo stayed at her place, I assume he's there visiting his cousin, who's my aunt's best friend. My aunt texted me, said that she showed him my huge pile of D&D books (I have 20 of them) and that when she ships them to me I should check inside the ones Heinsoo wrote, because she saw him writing something in them. 0.0 Eep!

She already used that connection to get me a copy of 13th Age signed by him AND Jonathan Tweet, but this is an extremely unexpected surprise. (as for 13th Age, I'd love to play it, but I'm VERY apprehensive about how freeform it is, I need me some rigid rules about balance so I don't screw things up, and when it comes to that subject, go 4E go!)

P.S., I figured out that a lot of my earlier problem with my campaign killing me was that I was so determined to draw resources from every single book that I owned, and it was exhausting. Once my aunt gets the books back to me, I'm going back to bare-bones, just sticking to the three core rulebooks. I won't restrict myself to them, but nor will I be so determined to use EVERYTHING, which was really just as restrictive...
Ace Jackson 6th Nov 2015, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Ace Jackson
“Hey all, I've got a philosophical question... well, not really, unless you count edition wars as philosophy.”

I honestly can't imagine a much more boring world then one wherein every new edition of everything, ever, is quantifiably, empirically, better then the old editions in every regard, without adding new systems or removing old systems. It would be so dreadfully dull, not to mention economically agitating.

“The only thing I can see that limits imagination are the social skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. What I like to call the "roleplaying-squashers". How are you supposed to roleplay effectively when the results are determined via skill check?“

Well, on the subject of the social skills, I've seen many interpretations, ultimately, at base level they exist for the same reason as other skills, so that we can play characters who are more capable then we ourselves are in certain areas.

Can you imagine trying to play a character with 20 intelligence in a mystery game if the investigation skill didn't exist? If you're playing a certain style, where you play for the puzzle of the mystery as a player, then yes, it would get in the way. However, if your playing for that reason, in a system built for that reason, "intelligence" as a stat probably doesn't exist anyway. Perception for finding clues and charisma for interrogation may well exist, but that's for collecting puzzle pieces in a game where the objective is putting them together, and collecting them is window dressing. If playing a game centered on diplomacy, then take away diplomacy as a skill. The toolbox exists for your convenience, whether that means a tool is more useful in hand or in box and out of your way.

As another approach, some GM's give modifiers for RP. I personally don't favor this take, as it once again un-levels the field of play in favor of people who are naturally well spoken, in ways that hurt not only the less well spoken, but also the naturally bright, strong, flexible, and perceptive. You can't translate everything into a modifier.

The way my table does it, is that you say what you will say, and then the dice fall as they may. You can do things to modify your chances slightly, like enter a trade negotiation and get your 'adversary' drunk for disadvantage on the wisdom saves vs. your bluff checks, but you can never fully insure that a dumb lie will be disbelieved, or that a rallying speech will not have that one heckler or worry wart who disrupts it. Which is something a failure could represent.

Is it a perfect solution that allows effective roleplay in all scenarios? Decidedly not. But it's good enough for our purposes at our table thus far.

“(...) He further explained that it's really hard to play 4E if you have to go without a grid and miniatures. But, again, isn't EVERY system pretty specific about size, speed, range, area of effect, other square-based stuff like that? How is that more true of 4E than any other system? I'm genuinely asking here, because all of these are such common complaints about 4E, so they must be true somehow, but I just don't see it. I'd like some insight into that perspective.”

As for 4e and grids, it is more stereotyped in my experience then in other editions, but by no means is it required in 4E or disallowed in any other. In fact, from what I understand, fireball used to have it's AOE calculated by volume of space, rather then absolute area, which would make a grid paper board a player's bane or salvation depending on whether the hallway is only five feet wide or ten feet wide.

Wide perceptions of something do tend to color it, even regardless of the true facts of the matter sometimes.

“He went into detail about how 4th Edition's rules are built almost exclusively for combat, which is a very common criticism, to which I can only say... "Huh?" Aren't the rules of EVERY gaming system almost entirely about combat? That's what the rules are FOR. And 4th Edition has skills, rituals, the rules about travel and wilderness survival, the occasional non-combat utility power - how much more non-combat stuff can any other game's rules have?”

Strictly speaking, rules are established in a game to, at the most basic level, set boundaries for the facilitation of play, “You can't leave the playground for this round of hide and seek.” is much more analogous to “Your character has been knocked out, you can't just will action at less then zero HP.” and “Ok, so with that 15 you rolled and your +4 modifier for having trained with these lockpicks you open the door.” then many people would give credit.

As for all systems being built on combat, it has been a long time and I don't remember the name now, but I recall hearing about an RPG with very intensive rules about dialogue, wherein debate, negotiation, and conversation were the primary forms of "combat." Most engines focus on combat, yes, but ultimately an engine will focus on what the devs developed it to focus on. Seems rather obvious to say, but it does bear mentioning.

As for your postscript notes, good for you! I've got quite the tendency to collect splat books as well, and found that while the systems introduced can be fun, they can be overwhelming when taken together at all times. Personally, I tend to stick to core options, maybe some expanded basic options(like the elemental evil players handout in 5E for example, which has no new classes or sub-classes but some more spells), and one 'exotic' book for flavor. But I digress, I hope your return to roots helps you out.
daftdeafdave 7th Nov 2015, 3:23 AM edit delete reply
I kinda like talking edition wars - at least from a design perspective.

I don't think "roleplay" is quite what 4e is missing so much as "providing several means by which to approach a problem." In 3.5e or Pathfinder there are spells/items/skills for *everything* but what they do is somewhat narrower. You are less likely to have the skills to tackle a problem head on and are much more likely to have some tool which allows you to bypass the problem in a clever way.

That said I would much prefer to DM 4e. A more streamlined system means that you have a much better grip on what your players do, it makes encounters much easier to plan and improvise and it means that you can advance the story at a decent pace without getting too bogged down in mechanics. If you want to offer the players more clever approaches to problems there's nothing to stop you giving them the odd special spell, skilled NPC or item which has a niche use. You could also flesh out terrain in a bit more detail and add bits of scene dressing so that players have more of a grip on how they might interact with the world around them.
Silver Guardian 8th Nov 2015, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
"Change of scenery" is basically the theme of the game my cousin's running right now. Seven worlds collided a century ago, courtesy of a cosmic dragon, and (according to prophecy) it's up to our characters to stop the space-case scale-face from carrying out whatever diabolical plan it has in store next.

Since no two characters in this group came from the same world, and since each of the seven planet-pieces has its own set of rules, it's up to each of us to guide the others across our own respective homeworlds, carry each other through our respective "culture shock" moments, and twist the vague half-truths of the prophecy to what will hopefully be the best possible outcome. Fun times all around! :)
Xelmon 13th Nov 2015, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
Yep. When I moved cities + states (OR -> CA) I left my DnD group with a few instructions.

* Guide the actual group back into the main chamber and recover one of the fallen enemies bodies, namely a fallen hero.

* Assist in burial ceremony

* Leave with Rogue gear

* And the "I feel that I have seen far more than I'd ever expect in this short time... Although I do feel that I have to return to the Libaries to fully relinquish my duties to continue to adventure."

And that was it...