Page 683 - Bucking Trends

8th Dec 2015, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Bucking Trends
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Dec 2015, 5:00 AM edit delete
It's well-established at this point that MLP G4 is a series built for selling a veritable playground of a world - both in toys and in the imagination - ripe for viewers to explore and extrapolate, so layer-upon-layered world-building is a vital part of the show's structure...

...but still, when you go back and look at it, it's kind of impressive how much work to establish a foundation though action, naming, and general exposure alone. I mean, that's just a part of what writing good-er is, but sometimes it's nice to appreciate the fundamentals.

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



j-eagle12212012 8th Dec 2015, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
The show really has done a great job of worldbuilding. I also love the fact that in the past 2 seasons the show writers have made call backs to previous episodes and that also helps the worldbuilding
Digo Dragon 8th Dec 2015, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Callbacks are a great way to keep things interconnected within a given world. Show that you're building upon established stuff rather than adding unrelated things.
Mykin 8th Dec 2015, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
It also shows that you care enough about the world enough to go back and call out things that people would remember or think were cool instead of constantly shoving new stuff into the foreground in an attempt to drown out everything that came before.
kedamono 8th Dec 2015, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
Especially in the last two episodes. They called back every major disaster to Equestria in those episodes. Some folks wondered what was it that totally wiped out life in that last alternate present?

I have a thought, it was the Parasprites. They eat everything. Eventually they ate everything, ponies included, before they ate each other.
SwediShadow 8th Dec 2015, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
They didn't really deal with the parasprites tho, they just sent them back into the everfree again.

Could be Ahuizotl's 400 years of heat plan. Or some other thing, it wouldn't surprise me if some villains having seen Equestria's track record just say screw it and decide to get some honest work.
Winged Cat 8th Dec 2015, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, there are just way too many possible explanations. I read one fanfic that posited it was Trixie on the Alicorn Amulet; Twilight didn't have her friends, but she did have the willpower and attitude to refuse to look at the attention hog (who had imprisoned Celestia and apparently stolen her power), which so infuriated Trixie that she destroyed everything. (I'm snipping out a few parts that were somewhat graphic.)
Digo Dragon 8th Dec 2015, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My theory is that the wasteland is the result of a 'Battle Royale' between all the villains; Sombra, Chrysalis, NMM, Discord, etc.

Like the world of Athas in Dark Sun, the once beautiful land of Equestria was reduced to ashes from all the fighting.
Dakkath 9th Dec 2015, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
My theory is that its the result of Fluttershy never getting the dragon to move back in season 1. Equestria was covered in an ash wasteland because of it.
j-eagle12212012 9th Dec 2015, 4:40 AM edit delete reply
I saw a particularly interesting theory. The map in that scenario shows one place that is still intact, the Mountain with the Skull on it. The place has an official name in the Art of Equestria book. The theory is that a a species we haven't seen yet lives there and that they are very strong to surrvive whatever destroyed the rest of Equestria. the mane 6 will be going there at some point next season
TheFullCrumb 8th Dec 2015, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Hey, I might be speaking at a panel next year at BronyCAN, and I was wondering if I could cite your comic as an example of the evolution of characters? You do amazing characterization a of the main cast.
Newbiespud 8th Dec 2015, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Sure thing. Glad you like it.
TheFullCrumb 8th Dec 2015, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Your comic is actually what sparked, once more, my interest in the stories BEHIND characters, allowing me some more insight than I normally get with shows, comics, and media.

For that, I thank you, Spud.
Mykin 8th Dec 2015, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
I'm always a fan of DMs that let the players mold a small piece of the world they are all playing in. Especially when that bit of world-building ends up playing a part in the campaign in a meaningful way.

So how about it guys? Any stories about you or another player contributing to the world-building in a game you're in?
FanOfMostEverything 8th Dec 2015, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
I have a tale of the dark side of that sort of thing. See, one of my players really likes world-building, and she's used to groups where she's the most enthusiastic world builder. The thing is, I care about my setting a lot more than most of her other GMs, which meant that I had to deal with her hijacking the setting in directions I didn't want on a fairly frequent basis.

I tried to play along for a while, but it got to the point where it felt like she was steamrolling over my own ideas. I admit, I could've done a better job of sharing those ideas with the other players, but as I noted earlier, most of the others don't care as much. Eventually, it got to the point where I had to put my foot down and explain that no, I am running the game, I made the setting, and I don't care about each and every one of the hundred orphans her character all but adopted.

Thankfully, the rest of the group backed me up and helped me explain the situation to her, and the campaign is going a lot more smoothly now that I feel I can assert myself without feeling like a bully.
Winged Cat 8th Dec 2015, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
I would want to meet said player. I've been in her situation, only the GM didn't worldbuild much either, so when I tried to limit myself to not roll over everyone else, stuff stopped happening.

Then again, one GM setting up a game quipped that it would be too bad that game would be online instead of face to face, since he "can't give Winged Cat dirty looks when he nonchalantly breaks the system".
Evilbob 8th Dec 2015, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
Does creating a secret shadow governmental organization using a mining company as a front count as contribution to world-building?

Oh man. I know that feeling, Winged Cat. It's true that the system already had some basic flaws already (using the FOE rulebook), but between Schill and I, the GM decided to ban/change/completely rewrite the rules several times. We:
-got magic system rewritten... twice (AP and strain usage increases to spells; banning of the "Barrier" spell.
-banning the "jump" action (until rules can be fixed).
-And now the GM is putting the game on hiatus while he attempts to rewrite everything that went wrong, lol.
This has unfortunately with the GM getting the wrong-headed notion that I'm trying to annoy him. (I swear I'm not! It's all completely unintentional!)
Disloyal Subject 8th Dec 2015, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Huh. He's making that much fuss?
I'd rather embrace silliness with a broken system than suspend a game so it can be revised.
Mykin 8th Dec 2015, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob, I doubt it's because you're annoying him. When certain spells and abilities keeps turning every encounter into a cakewalk, regardless of what's thrown at you, I'd say that's a valid reason to start fixing things.

Anyway, if memory serves me right, the game wasn't really suspended because the system is completely broken. Or at least it's not the entire reason. A lot of people were going to be gone because of family and work stuff related to the holidays and since we hit the end of the stuff he had planned for (he unfortunately lost most of his notes for the game) it was just easier to call in a hiatus. This way, he could work on all the stuff that needed work on during the time and have everything ready by the time the holidays ended.

... and, you know, nerf jumping. Seriously, one jump action should not be more cost effective and cover more distance than three move actions combined.
GrayGriffin 8th Dec 2015, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Well, in one game I'm in, my character comes from a family that owns their own bakery. And they also have quite a bit of experience with the supernatural, which is good now that the Pokemon and "real" worlds have become intertwined. So I've occasionally worked in background details about the bakery and the kind of mythical stuff my character has been exposed to.

In another, we have an android, a magical construct, a dragon-blooded girl, a Meowstic, and a normal human as characters. All of their backstories imply a bit about the world as well, and are probably going to come up at some point. Technically, our android character's already has, with her encountering one of her "sisters," who is masquerading as a pop star.

(Things have happened that made me feel like I needed an avatar.)
Digo Dragon 8th Dec 2015, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The players in my D&D pony game have discussed the merits and issues with one young archmage Sombra of the Crystal Empire (the campaign takes place long ago, when Celestia is only a pre-teen).
LegendofMoriad 8th Dec 2015, 4:13 PM A Little Bit to Everything edit delete reply
I've built the skeleton of a world. Every time a run a campaign, it expands a little bit more. Initially, it was simply a region, with some generic fantasy towns. The next campaign was set in a bigger dot on the map, which I decided was a city. From there, the town and its history grew. Then burned... Which all created a richer narrative, as the players had BUILT this city, with their contributions. Some of them genuinely cared about the refugees displaced by this event. One of them retired a character in such a way as to leave him to help the new city that was founded by the outbound population. One player's goal isn't personal power, but to be a force for good and healing on a global scale. Another now leads a Merchant Empire.
"My" world doesn't so much belong to me, as I am it's caretaker. Every player has contributed a little bit to everything. Thank you, any that might happen to read this. You're a wonderful band of delightful mad-men and -women.
Feildmouse 8th Dec 2015, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
When my character was killed (our bard picked up a flaming ax, then paniced), I was a mouse until my new character joined the party. Our DM let me be the Lord of all cyborg mice. We now have magical mice running around instead of dire rats.
ANW 8th Dec 2015, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Late late late late late late late
Anyway, I had a poll ready for this one, but the comic gave me one instead.
Any abilities based off nature?
Druids don't count.
Me: one of my sealing techniques is binding them into a tree.
Winged Cat 8th Dec 2015, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
Do elementalists and/or geomancers count, or are they too close to druids?

What about non-druid shapeshifters? One PC of mine was able to turn into a kaiju-sized housecat (among other forms), whose mews were great and terrible, and who batted mountains around like toys.

And is this just Earthlike planet nature? I could go on about treeships that grow in space, creating their own internal ecosystems, picking up the occasional asteroid or ice comet.
Toric 8th Dec 2015, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
For an upcoming DC adventures game, I've built a hero with power to control the wind. He lives in Chicago, and currently I'm thinking he goes by "Windy City"
Specter 8th Dec 2015, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
Animalistic morphing.

Granted, sounds over used and rather basic, but when you learn about the less common animals in the world, it suddenly becomes so much worse.
Digo Dragon 8th Dec 2015, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My version of Trixie had a couple "air bending" magic spells.
GrayGriffin 8th Dec 2015, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
One of my first PTU characters has powers over stone, and gains strength in mountains and caves due to a connection with Terrakion, the mountain guardian. One of her future AU lovechildren has a connection to the ocean and water, and can manipulate it quite handily. Another future AU child has a connection to the earth in general, and can control the earth around him and form connections to almost any kind of terrain.

Another character is eventually going to be bonded to Shaymin, a trickster nature god, and probably going to gain a few plant-related powers from that.
Akouma 8th Dec 2015, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Before this, I don't think I realized how both pegasus and earth pony magic seems to be entirely kick-based. Farming? Kick the plant. Doing weather work? KICK THE SKY!
Toric 8th Dec 2015, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Magic? Kick it up a notch
Blueblade 8th Dec 2015, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
Well when you lack fists with which to punch everything with kicking is the next best thing.
Anonymous 8th Dec 2015, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
That comment deserves The Boot. Kick the habit of puns, blueblade. They just trip you up. XD
Digo Dragon 8th Dec 2015, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well someone here has a firm footing on pun slinging.
Derpmind 9th Dec 2015, 3:34 AM edit delete reply
Makes you wonder what Unicorns kick.
Blueblade 8th Dec 2015, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
I can't help but think that the last panel of Derpy is the GM having a flashback to a different campagin with a different group of people in the same setting...
CM 9th Dec 2015, 5:13 AM edit delete reply
Don't see why it ought not to work. The way apples are machine harvested is to use a machine to shake their trunk's vigorously until all the apples fall off.
terrycloth 9th Dec 2015, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
The part that shouldn't work is them all landing neatly in the baskets.