Page 705 - Funnel Vision

28th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Funnel Vision
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Newbiespud 28th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
Even great plans can be undone by forgetting something simple and obvious. When it's the villain who makes this mistake, it's not exactly the most dramatic win, but sometimes it can be profound in its own way. Any stories about best laid plans gone awry by simple means?

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



ANW 28th Jan 2016, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
"You know what? You don't need to roll. I'm giving that one for free."
Ever had a DM said that?
Digo Dragon 28th Jan 2016, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've done it as a DM many times if I feel that success is pretty high on the action in question, like attacking a target that's just moving slowly in a straight line and isn't going to dodge.
ChrisTheS 28th Jan 2016, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Most of my efforts as a GM involve encouraging players to do things I can say that to (the more ridiculous the outcome, the better).
Boris Carlot 28th Jan 2016, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
For sure. Rule of cool, high damage rolls that my NPCs can't possibly beat, all sorts of reasons.
Specter 28th Jan 2016, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Yep. It was a time when our DM wanted me to roll a bluff check against an officer for "finding a (signet) ring on the street". By technicality, I did find it on the street, after I hurled it up onto the street because I swallowed it about a day prior, as so that people wouldn't find the ring on me.

Plus it was another player who said I wouldn't have needed to roll the bluff because of said reason, and the DM saw the logic through that.
Draxynnic 29th Jan 2016, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
I wouldn't have given that one. Bluff is about deceit, and "technically true but misleading" is aiming to deceive.
Draxynnic 29th Jan 2016, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
Ugh! Hit the wrong button, and it posted when I didn't want it to...

I was going to say, best I'd have given is a bonus to the check, but the officer deserved a chance to Sense Motive that you were holding something back.

Unless the disparity between your Bluff and his Sense Motive was just that big, of course. Did your GM surreptitiously roll a die before giving you that one?
Guest 29th Jan 2016, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
He was holding something back. His vomit.
Faustenberger 28th Jan 2016, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
Not quite, but we did have a roll in 2nd edition that changed the narrative a bit.

We were fighting a big ol' band of orcs, I think a few hundred of them, and some of our party members were getting low. Our Elf Wizard was out of spells, but he had a fly spell active. He saw the enemy warchief with his elite guard, and did what any sane person would do in the situation: take his short sword and dive straight at him.

He rolled critical and got maximum damage. That wouldn't have been enough to kill him, no, but we were all just laughing so hard at the luck and the image that the DM let him get off the kill and the guards were just too stunned to take advantage of it.
albedoequals1 28th Jan 2016, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
One time one of my players was trying to wring some information out of an allied NPC who was keeping a secret for a different player. He made it clear that he knew there was a secret, and then proceeded to give a lecture about trust and friendship, suggesting that secrets between friends could lead to the deaths of innocent people, etc. By the time he was done, he had heaped so much guilt on the poor NPC that I had her break down crying and spill the beans without requiring a roll. Really, only a villain could have kept her mouth shut after that.
Luna 28th Jan 2016, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
Said it as a DM myself, when the players have a great idea or plan that I'd translate to enough bonus to make the roll a trivial one that would fail only on very bad luck, so I find it more interesting and rewarding for them to simply succeed on that action. Also encourage them to think outside the box. Which can be both good and bad, to be honest.
Winged Cat 28th Jan 2016, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
If failure would be boring and uninteresting - such as trying to pick a lock that they have literally all day to pick (they've stolen the safe and they're back at HQ) - and they will eventually get it (just keep rolling until nat 20) it's usually best to let the PCs have it, even if the system you're running doesn't explicitly have a "take 20" rule.
Faen the monk 28th Jan 2016, 11:50 PM edit delete reply
Once upon a session, one of my players wanted to attack an enemy that was running away, and well beyond the player's movement range. The character in question could duel wield swords, so he tossed one as far as it could fly in the air, then burned a hero point to switch places with it, moving outside his range and slicing the enemy.

The way he described it was so cinematic, I let him jump for free and just let him make the attack roll.
Guest 29th Jan 2016, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon 28th Jan 2016, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"Even great plans can be undone by forgetting something simple and obvious."

Pretty much why I keep missing every video game live stream of Spud's. The simple and obvious 'thing' in my case is that I'm helping my daughter wrap up her homework so she can get ready for bed. A child can destroy the best laid plans. Homework doubly so. And if a science project is involved? Forgetaboutit! LOL :3

That is probably why it is so rare that I see GMs create villains that are a parent. And if the BBEG does have a son/daughter, it is usually played up for comedy.

But my daughter is cool. She loves MLP as much as I do and on occasion she listens in on the times I do get on the livestream.
Someone 28th Jan 2016, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
If the BBEG has a daughter, it may also be so she is the Baroness, so she could turn on him at acrucial point, or to show his more human side and make PCs have moral doubts about killing him. Not that they actually have any...
Digo Dragon 28th Jan 2016, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Could be a situation of having an ordinary daughter and the BBEG does the evil thing because it pays the bills and puts food on the table. Like... a mob boss or something.
Someone 28th Jan 2016, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
If the BBEG has a daughter, it may also be so she is the Baroness, so she could turn on him at acrucial point, or to show his more human side and make PCs have moral doubts about killing him. Not that they actually have any...
Specter 28th Jan 2016, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
Well, now I'm going to have a villain in my campaign who has a kid.

Sarcastic yay.

... or is it? This one is certainly going to be interesting.
Digo Dragon 28th Jan 2016, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
A family dynamic could make for interesting villains.
ZhonLord 28th Jan 2016, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
You just reminded me of Killer Moth and his daughter Kitten, from the Teen Titans show (the good one, not "Go!")
Digo Dragon 29th Jan 2016, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Bwahaha! I remember that episode! That was easily in my Top 5 favorites.
Sneaky 28th Jan 2016, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Yep, only it was our party that made the mistake of forgetting something. We spent the entire session fighting to the bottom of the dungeon that we'd been hired to explore, coming upon the last door and only realized then that we'd forgotten the key. The guy who hired us put it on the table during the conversation and no one remembered to grab it.
danime91 28th Jan 2016, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
Yes! I'm finally caught up! And may I say that, having discovered this comic a week ago, that it is awesome? MLP and D&D, together in perfect harmony. Brilliant in concept, glorious in execution.

And a question to be posed to the regulars: Where do you go to find rp groups? I've been wanting to get into playing D&D, Pathfinder, really any kind of RP. Roll20 seems good, but I can't find any pony-based games/systems there.
Winged Cat 28th Jan 2016, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
My first MLP game was on Roll20. It was through the players of the game that I found this comic.

Someone was inviting me to a Ponyfinder game on Roll20 this past Monday. (I had a few reservations so I passed on it, but it's still got 1 open slot. if you're interested; I believe it's an adaptation of the Ravenloft module.)

Aside from that, there are a few IRC channels and Skype chats I hang out in, and they have supplied enough for me so far. In theory there are forums you can find games at, such as and; those mostly cater to PbP (which has rarely gone well for me so I avoid those), but it's possible to find real time/chat games too (just make sure to specify that's what you're looking for, so you don't get spammed with other games).
danime91 28th Jan 2016, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
Sounds interesting. And yeah, I know what you mean about Play by Post. Those rarely manage to survive for very long unless you have dedicated players. Plus interaction is difficult because of lag time between posts.
Freemage 29th Jan 2016, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
There's a few tricks to making PbP work:

1: Pare down dice rolls. Nothing slows the game down more than the usual RPG roll-rollagain-counterroll-results sequence. In a D&D-style system, I suggest everyone just figure out their average damage roll (this doesn't work as well for systems where armor deducts damage--it's too easy to get to a situation where the AR is higher than anyone's average damage). Allow Take-10s for as many rolls as possible, including combats that are not meant to be challenging, but just to advance the plot.

2: Speed up the rolls you keep. All PCs declare actions, then the DM does all the rolling. This can be done with an online dice roller that will report the results, so everyone can see there's no shenanigans. PCs who are acting later in the round can even declare if-then statements so that things don't grind to a halt if the first player's actions changes circumstances too much. Likewise, in non-combat situations, let players declare an intended sequence, and only arrest it if the rolls indicate a need to re-consider at some point.

3: No grid. Figure out how to keep combat loose and fluid, with approximate ranges instead of precise positioning. In a 3.x, position-is-everything sort of system, just make general rulings like, "You can/cannot get into flanking position at this time" and go from there.

4: Minimum post rate. This should be agreed upon by everyone at the start, and should be rigidly enforced, or changed by group agreement. If you're not sure you can swing a particular rate, don't commit to it--instead, get an agreement for slower posting right from the get-go. If a life emergency arises, be mature and let folks know, and offer to bow out/"go on a side-trip" (if a player) or note that you'll need a hiatus (if the DM).
Borg 28th Jan 2016, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
That storytime makes me think of Fallout: Equestria's "I forgot you could do that." You know the one, if you've read it. Even if his real mistake was being convinced that she wouldn't WANT to do that.
AximusLokar 28th Jan 2016, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
The 'oh, nuts' moment is always a glorious one. I remember running a game for my friends where they tripped on a very simple mistake. They were in a cave and there were a group of fishfolk in the next tunnel. The eladrin thief quietly teleports to a stalactite large enough to hold him so he can listen in on them. He gets bits and pieces of a conversation that makes it clear they're on high alert for the party and waiting for them to appear. They had me step out of the room so they could plan something. I of course relish the challenge. So after about 20 minutes they call me back in. They start to tell me what they're doing and I stop them by asking "Ok, but how is the thief getting back?" He'd forgotten that his racial teleport, the only teleport power in the party, was once per encounter. And he was now stuck directly above the guards.
SomeRandomReviewer 28th Jan 2016, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
'Unfettered' in the sixth panel ought to be 'undeterred'.

Though this comic is usually really good about the spelling and grammar.
Ladyofthelibrary 29th Jan 2016, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
In my first campaign, I got a council in an alternate dimension than the one I started out in (long story) to tell me everything I needed to know by threatening to reveal that I was from an alternate dimension. First non-fight-related thing I did right the whole time.
Mykin 29th Jan 2016, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
The Armageddon Steel Legion is pretty famous among the Imperial Guard for employing the APCs known as Chimera to great effect against their enemies and the 808th Regiment does not disappoint in that regard.

During a mission to re-establish contact with an Imperial Fortress that had gone silent, 8th squad decided to cut through what could be considered enemy territory in order to meet up with an ally force on time. As our squad drove through abandoned trenches, Pvt. Sarvus "Rook" Torian, our squad's driver and mechanic, had the feeling that something wasn't right and stopped his trusty Chimera so he could take a look outside. Boy, did he not like what he saw.

On the back of the Chimera was five thieving little green skins known as Gretchin. They were in the process of ripping bits and pieces off of the moving vehicle when they were spotted by one of the passengers inside. Seeing this caused Rook to loudly swear at them for it was worth until they pulled the pin off of the rear hatch, causing it to fall off. This caused something to snap inside the guardsman's head and, as the Gretchin immediately ran for cover, Rook quietly got back inside, shifted into reverse, and floored it!

To put it simply, the Gretchin weren't really prepared for having a Chimera literally ram right into them. They also weren't prepared when Pvt. Pilar Cosano, our flamer specialist, decided to burn the survivors alive the moment the Chimera stopped. Suffice to say, they ran for the hills before it even got to their turn.

Essentially, a rather big combat encounter was cut rather short by our GM forgetting that you can use a vehicle to run over infantry if you want to.
Dusk Raven 27th Mar 2016, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Is "unfettered" really the right word here?