Page 73 - Character Moment

24th Jan 2012, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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Character Moment
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 24th Jan 2012, 5:00 AM edit delete
Looks like Erin Palette has put up her pony rules for Unknown Armies in PDF format, and she's opened the floor for informal proofreaders and playtesters.

I think I'll look into joining/starting a pony game sometime in the near future, whether in-person or online. I've read too many stories to not try now.

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



Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 5:02 AM edit delete reply
Tough decisions where people metagame like crazy stories, GO!
Vegetalss4 24th Jan 2012, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
I remember the first time I played in a vampire campaign I accidentally made my character seem very suspicious when I introduced him.
So suspicious that the more players of the more ruthless vampires among the group, chose to go investigate something at that exact moment specifically so the high humanity vampires would be the ones to chose whether they should kill him or let him join.
Rugsrat 24th Jan 2012, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Metagame like crazy you say? Well, honestly, most of the time when I play it's in really RP heavy games without a lot of metagaming after character creation (many of my players and companions are min-maxers, but they play it out, so it doesn't typically bother me). But as far as straight-up metagaming? 4e D&D encounters and lair assaults. Especially the lair assaults. The rules booklets actually says it's perfectly cool (if not outright encouraged) for your players to meta-game the hell out of the encounter, then again, it's supposed to be a challenge that not many characters could walk away from without really min-maxing and knowing what you're in for beforehand.

Now, personal story: I was running a 4e game, and had given the players a little kid NPC to help them out of a bind that they later gave to a priestess who adopted her.

I had intended the little kid to be moral decision later for them, choosing whether to kill the child and have something happen, or not kill the child and have something else happen. Several sessions later they find out that their supposed to kill the last surviving member of the bloodline of a bastard child that took the throne millenia ago, at the best of the spirits of the true heirs from that time.

Immediately one of my players says: "Oh, it's that little kid isn't it?"

So I immediately crossed out that name in my notes and made it the priestess instead. Same destination, but I hated to have been found out. How was I to know they'd remember the one-shot NPC child?
Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
Why lie to them? Reward that player for his care to details. He, apparently, liked your campaign enough to remember small occurences like that.

That is, unless you're downplaying the kid's importance to the words 'one-shot'.
But really. Don't punish the player for it. Instead do something like allowing him to have his character now it and use that information to their benefit, maybe saving the kid; ALL because he realized it right at the moment he was mentioned.
Kiana 24th Jan 2012, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
"Ooookay. You get an experience point reward! Good for you!

"...But I'm totally changing it so you're wrong. =D"
Rugsrat 24th Jan 2012, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
I fail to see how I punished anyone. They got to the exact same place in the exact same way, but still had a bit of a surprise finding out.

I don't use XP in my D&D or Pathfinder games, but they did level up much earlier than initially intended.

Was it my BEST decision as a DM to change it? No, probably not. But at the same time, the decision opened up many possibilities in the game itself that I won't get into here. So in the long run, I'm glad I made the change (it was a bit cliche anyway, looking back).
Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Then our views differ. In my eyes I am seeing this: someone guessed your upcoming plot lines and, soloely so they would be wrong, you changed your plans. You did not want to grant the player his moment of 'heh, called it' and as far as I can see, not granting that moment did not give you an any bonuses to the story that you could not have achieved with the original one.

Correct me if my assumptions are wrong, of course.
Anon 24th Jan 2012, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
I think his intent was to preserve the dramatic urprise, not to make sure the player was wrong.
Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
After some initial 'no, you're wrong'ing mentally, I've come to the conclusion that that might be true. Though it would not be as good by far, it would serve the purpose.
If he believes the surprise to be more important than consistency than that is his decision. One I wouldn't make, but one I will respect.
Kiana 24th Jan 2012, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
Doing some plotline changes like that is fine. It's when the DM does it CONSTANTLY that it becomes a problem.

'Course, as a DM, I tend to have a couple plot points that are vaguely defined to start with. "This WILL happen, to move the plot along, but the party's choices will change HOW it happens."

As TVTropes would say: You can't thwart stage one. ...Though several times, they HAVE, and I've allowed it... it's just that every now and then, I want a particular event to happen just so my last three days of planning aren't completely undone.
Rugsrat 25th Jan 2012, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
The anon's got it right. To date, that's the only time I've changed an actual plot element when my players have figured it out. I usually don't have reason to.

And of course opinions shall differ, I've even said that I don't consider it my best decision, but it's certainly far too late to take it back now. Like... 2 years into a campaign too late.
Kaleopolitus 25th Jan 2012, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Bollocks, it's never too late, it's just not reasonable behaviour in human society to do so!

Okay, sorry for pulling that one on you. I'll go stand in the corner now.
(I need to cut down on the religion debate video's I watch, they have a bad effect on me...)
kriss1989 25th Jan 2012, 9:49 AM kriss1989 edit delete reply
In a way, it's also more dramatic. Sure, killing a kid is a classic moral dillema, but now you changed the dynamic. Killing a good priestes AND orphaning a kid they care about? That's freaking evil.
Kaleopolitus 25th Jan 2012, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
Now THAT I didn't think about at all, though I doubt Rugsrat did either.

But yeah, that is diabolical... I'll have to remember to advice this to my dm :D
Archaeopteryx 25th Jan 2012, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Not really seeing the moral dilemma here. The proper response to a bunch of ghosts wanting one to murder an innocent just because they're poor losers is, of course, to invest in anti-undead supplies, then explain one's displeasure to the spirits in an honest, forthright, and most of all, permanent manner.
Stairc 26th Jan 2012, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
I've run into this issue once or twice before in story design. There's a difference between a player figuring out a twist in a NPC's motivations due to in-game information and figuring out a future plot point because of cliche-story-tropes.

One is awesome, rewards player attention and is healthy for the story.

The other is lame, tired and predictable only because its been seen so many times before. It destroys the story because it's based on meta-logic rather than the in-game experience.

Recently, one of my players figured out a villain's true motivations MONTHS before I had planned it - due to the fact he'd been breaking down everything the character had ever said. I had originally planned the villain to remain an enigma a long way into the campaign, a constant source of unpredictable mystery to cultivate an aura of paranoia and self-doubt among my players. However, one player figured out the motivations due to lengthy pondering and discussion of the in-game states. This was AWESOME and he was able to use his understanding of the crazed psion to his advantage in order to bargain for his life and help his friends escape her clutches. It was a great moment and made the world really come alive.

On the other hand, when you see a secret coming from a mile away because it's a common story trope - it makes the world feel flat and lifeless. Like players immediately realizing the trusted advisor of the king is a villain... Because he always is.

So, what should a DM do when he or she realizes that the plot point carefully planned is actually boring and predictable? Should he keep the plot the same, or should he realize he's made a mistake and go back to the drawing board to create a more interesting twist?

You're punishing the players by KEEPING the plot point boring and overdone if you don't change it.
Anon 4th Feb 2012, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
All storytelling at the tabletop requires a little give and take from players and DM alike. The players come to the table understanding that DM is most likely not a professional author. And even for the pros, having several real, unpredictable people as protagonists can make for telling a compelling story with interesting plot points difficult at times.

In the best groups, the DM does their best to make an entertaining story for the players, while the players do their best to not tug on the threads if the DM's story starts to come unraveled. If not for the GM's sake, then for the sake of the other players who may not have noticed the stray thread yet.

I don't know the whole story (obviously), but I suspect Rugsrat did the right thing there, to keep the players' interest in the story up.
Tatsurou 14th Oct 2012, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Actually, one thing that happened once in a campaign I was in...
It was the situation with the trusted advisor. THe trusted advisor had a sinister air, so we all assumed it was evil. It turned out, though, that the king was the one acting and was actually a maniacal tyrant, and the advisor's sinister air was to gain his trust because he was actually the head of the underground resistance movement trying to overthrow the king for the good of the people. So yes, the advisor was plotting against the king...and as heroes, it became our job to help him do just that.
Metagaming nearly screwed the whole plot, since most of us couldn't work past "Slimy advisor=villain."
Tatsurou 14th Oct 2012, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Actually, one thing that happened once in a campaign I was in...
It was the situation with the trusted advisor. THe trusted advisor had a sinister air, so we all assumed it was evil. It turned out, though, that the king was the one acting and was actually a maniacal tyrant, and the advisor's sinister air was to gain his trust because he was actually the head of the underground resistance movement trying to overthrow the king for the good of the people. So yes, the advisor was plotting against the king...and as heroes, it became our job to help him do just that.
Metagaming nearly screwed the whole plot, since most of us couldn't work past "Slimy advisor=villain."
Forderz 24th Jan 2012, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
Time for RB's player to show them all what she can do!
Anon 24th Jan 2012, 6:55 AM Face edit delete reply
Lol at Fluttershy's "Are you f'cking kidding me?" face. That's from Suited For Success, right?
Dusk 24th Jan 2012, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
I think so yea, from when she was backing away from Rarity
Bronymous 24th Jan 2012, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Masterofgames 24th Jan 2012, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
If you start a pony game, can you let us know when and where? I think I'd like to give it a shot.
Anvildude 25th Jan 2012, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
Same here- at least if it's online.
Anon 24th Jan 2012, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Clearly there is only one logical in character solution for a bad role-player. Off screen rainbow dash smash.
watergod159 24th Jan 2012, 8:19 AM True moments edit delete reply
There are few times in few characters that a real moment happens, when everything is perfect and both you and your charater merge mindsets for the most pristine performance, I LIVE and play for those moments, the single greatest second is when it's set up just like this, I can't wait for the next installment

Zecora is the best non-pony pony
Derpy got screwed by hasbro because of bronies
and pinklestia needs to be FIXED!
Azureink 24th Jan 2012, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
Give in to the temptation RainbowDash, you know you want to fight.
Ranubis 24th Jan 2012, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
NMM: "Join the night side, barbarian. We have XP!"
NEKOLLX 24th Jan 2012, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
i'm curerring rounninga pony pg via email. My party are now facting Daymare Sun's dramati introduction she has just flash coose several royal guards and Rainbow Flash (unicorn dash) just exaused herself teleporting everypony but the six and spike away.

Appleflutter, Surprise, and Clockwork Sparkle have yet to act
Dusk 24th Jan 2012, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Uncreative names.

Uncreative names everywhere.
Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
It makes me cringe to death...

I don't even have to point any one out because they are ALL unoriginal and clearly ripped off from the main cast. It's very very mind-murdering to read them.
Kiana 24th Jan 2012, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
Guy I know is making a character in my Mutants & Masterminds campaign that is basically a humanized Rainbow Dash. He decided to name her 'Racy', since, and I quote, "It was either that or 'Dashy.'"

In a previous campaign, he tried naming a character Rein Bo Dash. I vetoed that name, because it literally made me face-palm.
Kaleopolitus 24th Jan 2012, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Too bad, someone would have made a Fus Ro Dah pun using Rein Bo Dash sooner or later, I'll wager. xD
Kiana 24th Jan 2012, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
If my memory is accurate (no promises), it was back before Elderscroll's IV was released.
Akouma 24th Jan 2012, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
In a Marvel Universe RPG game based on the Gargoyles cartoon, my character was descended from the Japanese gargoyles. He had a really long name. (It was 3 or 4 3-syllable words or something like that, forget what it actually was.) I only did this as an excuse to package my character with a nickname that would be way easier for everyone to use. Said nickname was "Steve." I did THAT purely because that's my name, and I felt like making my portion of in-character discussion easier for once since they'd have to refer to me by name in order to talk to my character, making it much easier on the mind to notice when someone's talking to my character. Many a rolled eye was had when I first told my fellow players my character's name.
Kiana 24th Jan 2012, 10:00 PM edit delete reply
Would've been funnier if they gave you an embarrassing nickname.
Kaleopolitus 25th Jan 2012, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
Very much so. You want to be called Steve? Your nick name is now Pie-pot. >:D
Colin 25th Jan 2012, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Two out of three of my new players used their real names, even though I asked them to be creative. The other one used his screen name. :-\

However, I had a hard time remembering who had what name, so I kept referring to <i>everyone</i> by the player's names. >_<
Nezumi 24th Feb 2012, 6:32 PM edit delete reply

This Tumblr is explicitly supposed to be about alternate universe versions of the Mane 6, and it's still more original with its names. (Solar Flare for evil Celestia, Diane Pie for Pinkie-As-Twilight, Splash Rainbow for Rainbow-Dash-As-Rarity...)
Nezumi 24th Feb 2012, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
Then again, it also has them as their original tribes, only with different personalities/elements, so it doesn't have to sound appropriate for a unicorn, etc.
Urthdigger 24th Jan 2012, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
I believe I've mentioned this before, but a moment of awesome in a Pathfinder campaign I'm in involved everyone not meta-gaming.

I had received a compulsion that when I'd cast a divination spell, I'd attempt to contact the eldricht horrorterrors that are sending abominations into our world: The things we're trying to stop. At one point we were going to pursue a bad guy, but didn't know precisely where he was. So, I offered to cast a divination. Despite my compulsion having been said by the DM where all could hear it, nobody objected. I wound up becoming partially tainted, and may wind up dooming the entire party. But it's nice to be with a group that can keep player and character information seperate.
Bronymous 24th Jan 2012, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
Metagaming? Never heard of it! We always play by the rules!
*Liarjack shifty eyes*
Nezumi 25th Feb 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
But she does crumply-snout, not shifty-eyes.
King 1st Mar 2012, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
No, well yes, but she also has shifty eyes as well.
Sharp Note 24th Jan 2012, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
I've been lucky enough to avoid groups who metagame. Working out problems in character is more fun anyway, and talking is a free action. Now, I do tend to ask who's hurt out of character(as the only healer in the group), but it's nothing that my character wouldn't know by seeing how badly they are bleeding anyway, so.. *shrug* As to the above comment.. Kia's right, 'Racy' is kinda uncreative. I changed it to 'Spectra'.
Kiana 25th Jan 2012, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
Actually, we've got an artificer now, too. Should help for that hour or two it takes for ya to get off work. =D
Lucidity 24th Jan 2012, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
There's so many awesome RPG comments on these pages that have given me and my friends ideas for our campaigns (DnD, Fallout, and Shadowrun). I just wanna post one of my own experiences. It's not very related to this page, but I like it.

So in Shadowrun, I am the GM, and one of the four players is a bounty hunter. Earlier, he basically painted a room with a gang member because he got a crit success with his shotgun and the enemy got a crit glitch (failure). Then later, they'd killed a woman with dual Yamaha pistols, which were one of the rarest light pistols in the core book. They were confused by this at first note, but didn't know how to investigate it, as, like me, they were all pretty new to it too.
When they'd cleared the rest of the gang out of the building and started investigating, the bounty hunter starts taking pictures to upload to his bounty net. Thus spawned the concept of FaceBounty. He also now has the title of "the painter," for the shotgun blast. After that, despite being somewhat less learned than I because he doesn't have a book, pulled an amazing plot point out of his nose for the chick with the dual pistols: "I check for an RFID chip to see if she's got a bounty on her."
This has to have been the greatest thing to have happened during that mission, 'cause they were gonna get away without a hitch otherwise. Suddenly it turned into him having killed the #5 bounty hunter in Pueblo: Martha "The Dickshot" Rico. All the gang members were her partners, and the dealer they'd been sent to look for (who was dead) was their target. Then as they start leaving, a DocWagon comes wheeling down the road to revive as many of the posse as they could, so they made like a tree and got the heck out of there.

Now I've got a future potential nemesis, and the party has learned to keep on their toes. Hopefully I can get everything to tie together at some point, but so far I'm loving it. (first serious GMing attempt)
Kaleopolitus 25th Jan 2012, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
I wish you the best of luck. Sounds like an awesome campaign :D
Josh Spicer 25th Jan 2012, 1:38 AM edit delete reply
Not gonna lie...if this is the beginning of a plot deviation, I will fangasm.
SBM92 25th Jan 2012, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
I can think of only one occasion where metagaming occured in my group, 'cause we all pretty tight on it:

We were playing Godlike, the campaign which is based in Sai Pan, and one of our groups character unfortunately died, which, to be quite honest, was a massive shock to us all, even the GM, as he was the party tank. So he gens up a new char, who was a battering ram combined with a wall. I asked him to knock down a building, without my character, or any of the others actually asking him what his powers were. The guy actually said this o us all, OOC, but luckily the GM let it slide.
NEKOLLX 25th Jan 2012, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
was in a bit of a rush yesterday, only had about 15 minutes to get ready and out the door.

To elaborate my campaign has the players control the Mane 6. But they are Alternate Universe Mane 6.

Rainbow Flash and Dragonshy are unicorns, Rarity and Clockwork Sparkle are are Earthponies, Appleflutter and Surprise are Pegasi. They are ruled by Princess Luna and Daymare Sun actually hasn't be called that in game yet, it more of a reference name, she has Adamantly refereed to herself as QUEEN CELESTIA.

So yeah they names are blatent rip off of the mane six, because they ARE the mane six.
Kaleopolitus 25th Jan 2012, 1:36 PM edit delete reply
Well. That rebuttals any complaints we can have.

Chronologist 25th Jan 2012, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
My bet is that Rainbow Dash sees the Shadow Bolts not as possible allies... but as XP bags with wings. It would totally be in-character and alignment for her to rage out and slaughter them for the XPs. it could easily be done, since the rest of the group can't see Rainbow Dash through the fog. All you need are some Adam West Batman exclamations, a healthy dose of squicky screams, and you're good to go.

Imagine the looks on everypony else's faces after hearing that.
Guest 25th Jan 2012, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
I can remember when I didn't metagame and it caused a conflict. I was in this gaming group and one of our players kept dying and then creating new weird characters. She was playing a pixie when she got stuck somewhere (I don't remember the details, just that we could see and talk to her but she couldn't get out) and the whole thing was actually set up just so she could make a new character because she wasn't satisfied with that one. So the whole group was basically metagaming at that point. But my character was a Lawful Neutral Monk and I decided that he wouldn't be so willing to just walk away because, after all, he didn't know she was making a new character. So even though I understood what was going on I basically had to make the party give me a good reason to just walk away.
Godna 25th Jan 2012, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
I'm using Daymare Celes as the "Nightmare" name for Celestia in my pony campaign.
Wheelwright 25th Jan 2012, 2:47 PM What's in a name edit delete reply
I still like 'Pitiless Sun' for evil Celestia.
Keairan 25th Jan 2012, 6:29 PM edit delete reply
I've always been fond of Evil day star.
Kiana 25th Jan 2012, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
I opted to use a cult with a trio of leaders, instead of one Big Bad. Given, one of the leaders wants to resurrect Nightmare Moon...
Aurabolt 25th Jan 2012, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Wow, what a terrible player Rainbow Dash has. You're with a group of friends, respect them. Jeez.
Tom 25th Jan 2012, 9:05 PM edit delete reply
To be fair to RD, half the group may have just unwittingly insulted her.
Kiana 25th Jan 2012, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
Though judging by her last line, RD seems to be rolling with it. In a "I'll show you!" sort of way.
Digo 27th Jan 2012, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
As a DM, I think one of the most brilliant counters to a player metagaming moment was when they thought they had the boss villain figured out. They were chasing after a red dragon because hey, reds are always evil right?
Color coded for your convinience?

Hahaha... the look on their face when they found out the villain was the silver dragon shop owner at town the whole time. And with the red dragon slain, the silver now had no competition in the area to enact stage 2 of his plan!
Nezumi 25th Feb 2012, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Was this Eberron? Because if so, they really should have seen that coming -- the setting is quite explicit that you can't tell whether a dragon is good or evil just by the color of its scales. Also that dragons are more likely to be involved in the political scene than to be hiding out in a dungeon for PCs to kill.