Page 679 - Improbable Truth

28th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Improbable Truth
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 28th Nov 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
45 minutes and three dailies spent on that boat trip...

No podcasts this week, mainly because I had cause to get pretty sad, but also because Session 50, hopefully tomorrow night, is a bit of a doozy to plan.

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



ANW 28th Nov 2015, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
Mind control.
Got any good stories about it?
Zuche 28th Nov 2015, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
None that I can recall.

Crazy Tom 28th Nov 2015, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Crazy Tom
That comment made me giggle more than I should've.
Digo Dragon 28th Nov 2015, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Haha! Well played.
Someone 28th Nov 2015, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Mind control... Ah, yes. You see, I used to have that one PC, who was essentially Tibbs, but successful. Running a worldwide organized crime syndicate, dealing with drugs, assassinations, smuggling, all that kinda stuff, outside the knowlege of the other PC's. But that's not the point. The point is, said character was rather fond of abusing mind-control nanotech to do his bidding and secretly injected with them everyone they met including random passerbys.(Also, outside the party's knowlege). So, when the Season 1's Big Bad mr. Evil's plan to take over the world and then take over other worlds, we were kinda' outnumberd... Severely outnumbered. Also, not quite able to get into five different places in the world in the span of an hour. So, I go and trigger the enthrallment and we're watching what ensues from the monitors in big bad lairs.
A:"Wait, what the hell is going on?"
Me:"I'd assume people in said locations inclooding the mooks are turning into mindless flesh puppets dead set on stopping mr. Evil."
B:"Yeah, we kinda' see that, but why?"
Me:"I'm innocent I swear."
There was also the fact that I almost commited a near TPK when they found out who was the leader of above mentioned syndicate, by setting them against one another in mind control mode.
Random Person 28th Nov 2015, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
How about a failed mind control attempt. Our party's "Dwarf" (Goliath) Barbarian had just recently received a sentient hammer name Whelm that hate Vampires. It is then we come to a town living in fear of said undead. We wind up fighting them, and kicking their ashes. The leader flees out a tunnel(and our cleric's daylight spell) persuade by the Barbarian. Suddenly, it spins around and attempts to charm the "Dwarf." The player just points to his sheet where rage is written and says, "No." Enraged. Barbarians are immune to charm.
aylatrigger 28th Nov 2015, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Fighting the Boss of an Illithid dungeon. An Elder Brain, of course. I'm the cleric. The rest of the party fails their will saves...and become completely controlled by the Elder Brain.

So here I am, against both the rest of the party AND a boss meant to go against all of us. I summon a celestial lion. ...I win the fight. Clerics can be overpowered.
aylatrigger 28th Nov 2015, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Story #2

I am the GM in a Big Eyes Small Mouth game (point buy anime-based). The setting is in the Cold War and Red Scare in Chicago (or was it Cleveland? I forget...). In an alternate history. Nukes were replaced by magical girls. Fictional creatures roam the world. Our PCs included a disheartened homeless Veteran ...half-dragon... who was at the point of being fed up with the world and the country that he could be mistaken for a Communist, a magical boy with a magical bazooka, and a mercenary from the future with invisibility and force field powers...and a sentient computer. While I usually play GMPCs who are just PCs played by me, this time I was definitely playing a GMPC. That is, she was involved in making plots. The GMPC in question was a magical girl spy/thief on the run from the government...because she was to be sent back in time to start WWIII at pretty much the end of WWII. By stealing some magical superbomb. Anyway, I had mind control, telepathy, and shapeshifting powers, but pretty much no combat skill. So I mind-read the Veteran, pretended to be his daughter with a Russian Spy Shapeshifter he happened to have a fling with, and infiltrated the party. He was suspicious and eventually got a DNA test from the futuristic sentient computer... Unfortunately because it was sentient, I could mind control it to give false results.

We never came back to the game because life got in the way, but I loved that use of mind control.
daftdeafdave 28th Nov 2015, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
My current character's having mind control issues.

After he started to avoid the mandatory cups of coffee that his work has been providing, his workplace invoked a little examined clause in its employee's contracts which required them to have chips implanted. He spent a little time fighting the chips only to find he wasn't actually on the list to receive one. He'd had one all along. After working out a way to shut it off he realised what it was doing to him. His "office" is just a plain white room with a wireless router broadcasting into his brain.

On the plus side it looks like the near identical office situated in the ashen wastes of a decaying dimension is, in fact, the real deal.
Digo Dragon 28th Nov 2015, 9:15 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Doc had managed to thwart mind control once when most of the party was hit by the magic. He was able to stall the villain with a few shots so the team could break out of it. Then he tackled the one member who couldn't break the spell. :3
Raxon 28th Nov 2015, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Oh! Oh! I have oooone!

So there we were, in the middle of a bar brawl. My character was a bloodline psionic(read spoonbender psychic) and a timid little thing. Well, she proceeded to panic as people fought all around her. In a panic, she used... I forget the name, but it's a psionic version of dominate.

Well, rather than turning everyone into mindless slaves, it made everyone think she was a good friend who needed to be protected. This was a psionic with no conscious control over her powers.

The bar fight ended, and suddenly, all these people who seemed violent a moment ago were peaceful. One of them helped her up from her spot in the corner. Few minutes later, the city guard arrived, eager to start beating the hell out of people.

The bar patrons blocked the guards from reaching her, so out came the night sticks, and fighting ensued. She freaked again, and used the domination of friendship, earning herself the protection of city guardsmen. Well, they followed her around, and the city mistook it for a riot.

The whole city guard was sent out. Everything snowballed over and over, until a very large portion of the population, and everyone in power, was under her unintentional sway. One day, the other PCs stumbled upon this town where she lived. There were informed by the mayor that violence was not tolerated, since it scared her.

The party got a stepford feel from the place. They were ready to kill the source of the mind control, until they met her. They learned about the situation, and everyone had a good laugh.

And that's the story of how a cult leader met, and eventually joined the team.
The Old One 28th Nov 2015, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
We were doing a pvp mutants and masterminds game where half the group was villians and the other was heroes. It was made expressly clear that mind control was not to be a theme, because mind control in pvp is bullshit. My group (the heroes) made several very interesting blasty toons and went on with it.

The villian side clearly decided they weren't listening. So no mind control, but they had emotion control, bluffing with telepathy, posession, and whatever other crap they could sod about with.

The campaign did not last long before it collapsed in a puff of player arguing.
SilverShadow 28th Nov 2015, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
So we were playing a pathfinder caravan type game. I'm playing the only classes I recall are mine (barbarian) and a Psionic (forgot what specifically). It was a typical Pathfinder setting but something strange had happened, a strange city appeared in the valley nearby literally over night. It had tall, shiny metallic buildings and strange boxes with round black things on the base. Metal doors and metal creatures. Small tools that made loud noises (and HURT). Essentially a 1950s city appeared. It was abandoned save the clockwork creatures. The first building we entered happened to be a munitions factory. The Psionic found a computer terminal and USED TELEPATHY ON IT. He literally hacked the security system with his mind. It was amazing.

We ended up accidentally creating an apocalyptic template by firing rockets and destroying the munitions storage building down the street. That game was awesome, I'm sad we never finished it.
Consumer Unit 5012 29th Nov 2015, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
I don't know about 'good', but this happened relatively recently in a Pathfinder game.

Our party is exploring a ancient underground city that's been taken over by some sort of worm-like I Can't Believe They're Not Mindflayers, who we've fought (inconclusively) before, and some sort of weird 'pet', a creature described as looking like a 'dog made of worms'. The last time we fought it, it spent the entire fight trying and failing to charm our Witch before running away.

We've met some creatures who are friendly in this place, and are trying to get their help, when our rear-guard warns us that something's happened the way we came in.

We get back to the entrance, and find it's all blacked out (multiple Darkness spells), with some 'mini whirlwinds' drifting about.

And we have to start making Will saves. While we're wasting time on the whirlwinds (Unseen Servants - the GM LOVES using them as decoys), there's something in the darkness that can spam Charm Person. (It's the worm-dog.)

Our GM is a fairly generous guy - we get one free reroll (on almost anything) per session, and four of the five PCs present have good Will saves.
WE ALL, ONE AFTER ANOTHER, BLOW THE SAVE. TWICE. it wasn't even a high save, we just all fail to roll higher than a six or so.

While we're standing around petting our new 'friend', one of the actually-friendly locals figures out something's up, and goes to get his 'friends'.
Which gave me the opportunity to say something I don't think anyone else in D&D history ever had the chance to say:

"Fortunately, then the Xill showed up."

It's fortunate the Alien-wannabes showed up because that gave my character (an Oracle) an excuse to start spamming Protection from Evil, which gave me ANOTHER reroll on my Will save - and THIS time, I manage to make it. So I start slapping Protection on everyone, and we just as consistently make the saves this time as we consistently failed them before.

The damn worm-dog got away, though.
Crunch-bite the Bold 30th Nov 2015, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
I was DMing a D&D 3.5 game. One PC was charmed by some Harpy's song. He begins running down the path towards the source of the song.

Charmed PC: Aren't you guys concerned about me running off on my own like that?

Rest of the Party: No. We really don't see how that's out of character for you.
Sensei Le Roof 30th Nov 2015, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
D&D 3rd Edition: One time we were in a fight with... well, some sort of magic-user type, I don't remember the specifics anymore, but they decided to Charm Person our fighter. My response? I Charm Person'd him right back and told him to wait in the corner. Since he was still under the other Charm I knew I couldn't get him to fight the enemy again, so I figured take him out of the fight until it wore off. Talk about your battle of wills (or Charismas)...
Someone 28th Nov 2015, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
Dig deeper, Twilight! We gotta know the reasons for the paranoia!
SRP 1st Dec 2015, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
While not directly a mind control story, there was a summon used, which had to obey the summoner. My char tried to interrupt the ritual but despite getting a good hit in, the BBEG pulled through and ordered the fire elemental to kill everyone in the city.

My char - who happened to have shapeshifted into a fire elemental before the summoning - told the fire elemental that if it had to kill everyone then this included its summoner, too. Of course, the BBEG denied that this was true. Cue the Charisma check. Me - 7. BBEG - 5. So the elemental thought, that its buddy knew what he was talking about and attacked the BBEG.

So through a well-timed response I made the secret weapon to take out the BBEG itself. :)
Greenhornet 28th Nov 2015, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Last panel: PERFECT!
Digo Dragon 28th Nov 2015, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It is. Spud knows how to pick 'em. :D
Greenhornet 29th Nov 2015, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
I know. I can just imagine the GM saying his line in a VERY cheerful voice!
venseyness 28th Nov 2015, 6:38 AM A pony finale edit delete reply
Season 5 Pony Finale Today.

Digo Dragon 28th Nov 2015, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
At the same time, kind of sad. Bittersweet one could say. But we'll have a season 6 and a movie coming up over the next couple years, so that is something to look forward to.
j-eagle12212012 28th Nov 2015, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
I have so many notes on the finale I'm going to have a huge review this Thursday
Truly Mad Moves 28th Nov 2015, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Mind control? That's absurd, that would never - ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD.
Evilbob 28th Nov 2015, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
For some strange reason people tend to think mind control is overpowered. I can't for the life of me understand whhhyyyyy
Digo Dragon 28th Nov 2015, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My problem with mind control is a mechanical one. If a PC gets mind controlled, it's easy to fall into the issue where they lose the ability to play their character and end up just watching the session.

So I try to use mind control sparingly, and if used, I try to keep the effects minor, like suggestions where the PC can still act normal, except for many a tiny caveat like "You cannot directly harm the BBEG with your abilities". So at least they can try to find indirect ways to fight it and control their character.
Specter 28th Nov 2015, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
I'm normally fine with being mind controlled by my enemies. They always want me to do things like get myself arrested or to kill someone. I always do what they say... with the effectiveness of a genie.
Steeevee 28th Nov 2015, 11:04 AM edit delete reply
jedi-mind tricked a guard to 'potion of glibness' levels.

5 words is all it took

"your pants are on fire."
Trus 28th Nov 2015, 2:04 PM Aeiou and the necromancer edit delete reply
Mind control... Well I have a character named Aeiou (yeah not the most creative name in the world but it sounds cool when pronounced and she is still one heck of a charater) She is a half celestial, Vetala Vampire (DM let us take some liberties), bard. I ended up as the most OP character by far in the group even with all the liberty we got.
I won't go into her backstory (it's complicated).
Anyway we have this guy in our group that controls undead all the time; every time we fight undead. At one point this guy's player was heading home and couldn't participate so we decided to find a reason to get rid of our undead controlling friend. So we had him talk to himself outside about betraying the party and Aeiou with her +19 to perception heard every word while no one else caught on.
Then later when he went back inside I had Aeiou go right up to the "captain" (no one cared) and had her tell him what she heard. Unlucky for Aeiou though I wasn't paying attention to where our friend was who happened to be right next to the "captain" and they heard...half of it (she had good stealth too).
Now because this friend of ours was rather nuts and wearing a mask that drove him insane and I was this innocent untouchable winged monstrosity with a personality of a good little child that just liked to play her keytar and annihilate all our enemies. They doubted him far more than Aeiou. So after Aeiou was done talking and making small quips the party started to question him and he decided to control Aieou to stop her from telling them anything else (after she was done talking). Normaly it wouldn't have been so bad but I crit failed my roll and my re-roll. So Aeiou (the most powerful member of the party was now under total control of a mad man who we were all accusing.
The only thing the party dared to do was to kindly ask him to leave and to let Aeiou go afterwards (Though since the party was such a good group of people that was the original plan anyways).
So with a little tension he let her go and went on his merry way in a vampire infested land that we were fighting against (he was fine though because of his undead controlling cleric bursts).
Aeiou like any good kid would do didn't care beyond her friends getting hurt so she just let him go saying "for crying out loud be nice!"
Mykin 29th Nov 2015, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
Hmm... brainwashing fits under the category of mind control, right? I think it's time I pulled this one out. Just a fair warning, this is going to be a long one.

Astral Blase was on a roll. He managed to convince the Overmare to give him everything he needed to cure a mutation virus, ask out a mare he likes (in a round about way), and he's managed to make some progress on a virus that defies reason and common sense with the help of Brainfreeze and the group's doctor, Dr. Bellfruit. Things still sucked, like the majority of the stable now infected with the virus due to some stupidity on Astral's part, but this is about as good as things can get for my character.

So there he was, trying to cure a virus within the week he was given when half the party returns with news of a strange force field over in the Eastern Catacombs (an abandoned part of the stable that everyone was getting ready to move into to escape the virus). At this point, the virus wasn't making any sense and Astral kept hearing the laughter of a mare whenever something bad happened that involved him and the virus. With this in mind, Pyra Strikers, our moral compass/chuck norris of the group, managed to convince him to abandon his research for the day and look into this mysterious force field.

After many, many, many shenanigans, we bumped into the old Overmare along with her small army of guards. See, the Overmare is actually only been in the position for a year and no one really knew what happened to the old one after she was kicked out. She, of course, wasted no time explaining that the ponies in the stable were all under the influence of a mysterious power that had a keen interest in keeping the stable the way it was. To do this, it kept everyone from clearly remembering anything past the last three weeks, subtly compelling them to do or think whatever it wants, and giving them painful headaches whenever the surface was ever mentioned. The strong willed was able to realize what was happening but they had little power to change anything. However, she discovered that it had no control over the Eastern Catacomb so she gathered the strong willed there and waited. The party's arrival apparently upset the power's control enough to allow her to make her move. Her attempts to gain the party's trust included telling Astral that the virus was a lie to keep him in check and the voice in his head was the power mocking him, that the party's friend was held hostage by the power, and hinting that she made sure that Dr. Bellfruit survived his time in jail while doing absolutely nothing to stop the beatings. The last one didn't sit well with our good doctor.

So we offered for her to join us and the old Overmare readily agreed. What? Half the party didn't have their guns with them and, even though she kept calling the rest of the stable ponies "sheep" with obvious disdain, she has access to a mini army. You don't turn down the chance to have a mini army on your side. Of course, it was because we were traveling with her that we found out about how the virals decided to attack the stable in full force. Knowing full well that Pink Floyd (the mare Astral liked) and Brainfreeze were still there and against every fiber of his being, Astral agreed with everyone else that there was no way to make it back in time to do anything about it. They could only hope that a way to save the entire stable presented itself once they got to their destination.

After many more shenanigans, we managed to get past the force field and found a secret Overmare's office with huge screens showing the virals killing all of the stable ponies in grotesque ways. Seeing robots get sent in with orders that basically amounted to "kill, destroy, and loot all the swag" did little to put anyone at ease. In a panic, Dr. Bellfruit and Astral Blaze attempt to hack the system and ended up revealing a holding container full of unconscious ponies, including Pink Floyd and a few ponies that the rest of the party knew, along with a secret passageway to a control center and there sat the blue mare controlling it all.

That's when we realized that things were a lot worse than we had originally thought. In a way, the old Overmare was right, she was just missing a few key details. Not her fault considering that thinking wasn't really part of her programming.

See, the blue mare, named Dr. Solarus Brown, is the true Overmare of Stable P-5, which is her own personal playground. Inside the stable, she has the power to manipulate reality to whatever she sees fit. In fact, before the P-5 "simulation", the stable residence used to live in Canterlot and Polantis before that. The stable ponies themselves came from orphanages and hospitals, places where Dr. Brown could be sure there wasn't any connections between any of them so she could manipulate them easier. And while she loves watch ponies die horribly, she doesn't care too much about actually harming or losing any of their "toys"; The container was created to store the "dead ponies" until they "respawned". She does have the ability to artificially make more ponies if she needs to, but they lack the creativity and personality to be of any fun to her. So, with everything in place, she got ready to live out the apocalypse in her own personal paradise.

Of course, she made a mistake when she was selecting her "toys". She soon realized how big of a mistake that was.

Apparently, though Astral doesn't remember any of it, he and his brother (of which he didn't know he had one), a pony named Fortune (or Tucker, as we currently know him as), kept screwing things up for her, the highlights being their achievement at blowing up both Canterlot and Polantis. They were somehow immune to her control and her attempts to separate the two never worked out all that well, regardless of how many times she wiped their memories. She had already changed their names when the party came knocking on her door and she finally had a way to get rid of the two. So the P-5 simulation was her way of handing both Astral and Fortune over to the party. The virus, the scorn from his fellow stable ponies, essentially the last ten years as he remembers it was just her to screw over Astral one last time before he left.

As Astral quaintly put it: "You know, there are easier ways to break up with me."

So after establishing that Dr. Brown has surveillance throughout the entire Province Wasteland, Dr. Bellfruit attempted a Kirk speech to get her to use her powers for good but that failed. The surface world "sucks", in her opinion, but she did promise to think it over before letting us leave the matrix. After the simulation pods opened, Astral found a smaller, similarly colored earth pony next to him in a pod labeled Fortune before looking above his own pod to look at the name above his: Balefire. It was at that point that the revelation that his name, his life, everything he thought he knew about himself was a complete and utter lie. All because he refused to accept the fake "happiness" some mare tried to shove down his throat. Pink Floyd was fine, thank Celestia, but if Dr. Brown could rewrite his mind to fit her every whim there was no chance that she would remember him at all by the time he could come back for her. Then again, the research notes that the party pulled from Dr. Brown's terminal did say that the only thing she couldn't manipulate was the feelings ponies had with each other so, seeing that she was the only one willfully nice to him during that entire time, there might be hope. It's a very slim hope, but it's there.

So yeah, that's how my character found out he's a 277 year old amnesiac whose mind has been screwed with for the last 250 years. Oh and the rest of the party found out that the two weeks they spent in Stable P-5 was actually an entire year, but that's not something to worry about, right?
Someone 29th Nov 2015, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Wow... Kudos to your GM... ANd anyone involved, really. If this ain't a plot twist(Even if partially cliche), then I wouldn't reckognize one if it mind screw me.
Mykin 30th Nov 2015, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
Well, when I first joined the group (they had already made some progress in the stable by the time I joined in), the only two things both the GM and I knew about my character was that he lived in that Stable and that he was trying to find a cure for the virus. For the next few sessions, we literally were making things up about my character on the spot, like most of the stable not liking him and the fact that his only "friends" consisted of a pink mare and a janitor whose name he never found out until near the end, ironically around the same time he was having his midlife crisis and deciding to stop being such an antisocial workaholic.

Having come from a literal two bullet point backstory to this was pretty amazing for me. Especially since all that stuff that involved my character actually came a few sessions after I joined. From what I understand, the simulation, mind control, and stuff like that was already in place way before my character ever entered the picture. The stuff about my character came in a couple of sessions before the end, probably around the time we bumped into the old overmare.

To be honest, the whole thing, while awesome, made me feel like I was hogging the spotlight most of the time. I've been told not to worry about it but still...
evilauthor 29th Nov 2015, 11:47 AM Season 5 Finale edit delete reply
And on a completely different note, the Season 5 finale is going to be a goldmine for images to use in this comic.
Tatsurou 29th Nov 2015, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
Wait...the Captain's New Glamour?

Wasn't that a story posted here in the comments? That made it into the comic now?
Newbiespud 29th Nov 2015, 4:30 PM edit delete reply
Well yeah, because I was in it.
Guest 29th Nov 2015, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Could you please tell where it was? Googling "captain's new glamour" or small variations thereof doesn't yield results...
Ishidan 29th Nov 2015, 11:08 PM Bent references edit delete reply
Try "The Emperor's New Clothes".
Guest 30th Nov 2015, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
I'm sorry, a search for "Emperor's new clothes" restricted to the Frienship Is Dragons website only gices me this very page and page 579, where none of the anecdotes mention a captain...
LittleSallyDigby 19th Jan 2016, 8:09 AM Summary edit delete reply
I recall the broad strokes of the story: the party is traveling on a ship. Someone at some point decides to check the captain for magical influence. They find out there's an enchantment that's been placed on him recently and it's active, but not what it does. Everybody gets super suspicious of the guy and starts watching him all the time, thinking he might be a villain in disguise or under nefarious mind control, but they never catch him doing anything, which only makes them more suspicious that he *is* doing something but is good enough not to get caught. They remain paranoid all through the journey.
Eventually (and I don't remember how) they find out the truth. The captain had bought a cosmetic glamour from a spellcaster to improve the appearance of his facial hair. He was very proud of it and vaguely disappointed that no one ever commented.
Just a guest 30th Nov 2015, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
A thought occurs to me. The DM just said s/he USUALLY does not run mind-control plans. What if for a change of pace they do for the Canterlot Wedding arc, but no one believes it? Twilight a player finds evidence of it, but the others "know" the DM doesn't use those plans. Cue ill-thought out plans to expose the imposter, where they fail due to incorrect assumptions or skilled dodging. For example "Cadence" says with full honesty that she is royalty, that sort of thing. Anyone else see some traction in this?