Page 758 - Fractal Padding

31st May 2016, 6:00 AM in Hurricane Fluttershy
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Fractal Padding
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st May 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
I wouldn't call layered questing a bad thing in small doses, but it's certainly a silly thing. You have to do a thing to get a thing to give to someone to get a thing to trade for a thing to do a thing. Par for the course in a long enough campaign, but it's just always weird to be six layers deep and only then ask, "Wait... why are we doing this again?"

I'm sure you all have plenty of stories for that sort of thing.

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j-eagle12212012 31st May 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure that was the theme of the season 4 episode Trade Ya
you want this book? I want that lamp. You want this lamp? I want that Statue. You want this Statue? I want .... and so on and so forth
steevee 31st May 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
that's a Chain of Trades.

like in the Zelda games.
Dragonflight 31st May 2016, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
Taken to ridiculous excess in the old video game "Dino Crisis." Or as it's been referred to more than a few times, "Key Crisis."

Imagine the situation: You're a merc investigating the loss of communication on a deserted tropical island. There, you discover the locals have been experimenting with cloning, and tested it on dinosaur DNA, creating entire strains of lethal dino terrors.

In the process of trying to get out and call for help, you get locked in a scientific complex. A maze of corridors with doors all over the place, laser gates, tripwires, access hatches, etc, etc... And a simple, wooden door. Nothing special. Just your run-of-the-mill, office door.

You hear a velociraptor in the complex. You have a limited amount of time to get through that door. But to open it, you need the key. And to get the key, you have to navigate back through the complex to the security office. But that office is closed and locked, with the door controlled by a keycard, which is currently with the guard who died after locking himself in a utility closet a level up, past the de-powered elevator. This of course forces you to go hunt down the utility stairs door key so you can open that...

All this time, your character is toting several pistols, an assault rifle, a couple pounds of plastique, a grenade launcher, and a few other random items of mass violence. But the only way you can get through that simple office door is by tracking down all those other keys, and using them, in the proper order.

Oh, and try not to get found by the Velociraptor in the meantime. You can only stop him by trapping him in a room with lockable doors on both sides. And yes, you have to find those keys too...
Digo Dragon 1st Jun 2016, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I find in infuriating that at no point in your description does "shoot the velociraptor" come up as an option. At least give us the chance to blow it up with the explosives.

Nothing against you of course. Totally looking at the game's terrible excuse for a puzzle. At least with a movie like Jurassic Park the humans didn't have such big guns, so it made sense to run and hide.
Digo Dragon 31st May 2016, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
There was a D&D adventure I ran that had the players crawl through a spaceship. Somewhere in that crawl they obtained a magical rod that was shaped like a sword, but without sharpness and it slowly sapped the user's life energy as it was being used (to say nothing of the heavy damage inflicted by the business end).

The party didn't like it so it was sold off and they spent the money drinking and buying all manner of junk. Eventually they learned that the item was actually part of a magical bomb and another crashed ship with the rest of the pieces had been recovered by another adventurous group. So the PCs return to the shop where the rod was sold, but a blacksmith already bought it. The party finds the smith had been attacked by goblins and the rod stole, so the party gets him a replacement rod in exchange for info on the goblins that too the original rod. The goblins are tracked down to an old goblin fort overrun by kobolds demanding release of one of their priests. The party rescues the priest and negotiates truce and pays the goblins for damages. The rod turns out was sold to a gnome inventor. The inventor had a lab up in the hills, but the path was blocked by ogre mages acting as guards. Another adventuring party failed to get past and the PCs came it to help. Turns out the second party were the ones that had the rest of the magic bomb and THAT was sold to a red dragon. Thus the PCs give up on the gome and hunt down the dragon's lair, attempt to negotiate for the bomb parts and end up in a quick fight to show they mean business. The dragon parts with half of the magic bomb parts (for a fee) and the party now goes back to the gnome's lab and fights HIM for the rod. However, they didn't get all the parts because the dragon didn't part with it all, so the party goes back, only to find that by now the red dragon sold the remaining parts to a dwarven smith for scrap. The party goes to the dwarven lands and takes a dungeon delving job to get the scrap of the remaining bomb back.

Halfway through the dungeon crawl they realized that they have over half the magic bomb. IN PIECES. They can melt down these parts and then the remaining parts are useless. Oops. So now they trudge back out of the dungeon and...
Rastaba 31st May 2016, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Haven't heard/seen a 'trade' story this convoluted and confusing since Legend of Zelda's Oracle games trade sequence for the master sword...and this beats it by a mile. Kudos. Also, I'd have probably failed to realize we could melt the pieces down all the way until we had them all; or realized and never said anything out of morbid curiosity for why we were looking to gather pieces to a bomb in the first place.
Rastaba 31st May 2016, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Haven't heard/seen a 'trade' story this convoluted and confusing since Legend of Zelda's Oracle games trade sequence for the master sword...and this beats it by a mile. Kudos. Also, I'd have probably failed to realize we could melt the pieces down all the way until we had them all; or realized and never said anything out of morbid curiosity for why we were looking to gather pieces to a bomb in the first place.
Digo Dragon 31st May 2016, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It was pretty fun though, in spite of being such a confusing series of events. And the players did admit that they had a big share of why this was so convoluted-- rather than go after the other adventuring group when they first heard about them, they were trying to recover a rod that isn't going to be as easy to locate as an active party. XD

In the end it worked out though.
Super_Big_Mac 7th Jun 2016, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
Ever play an old Playstation game called Dark Cloud?
It had a rather interesting chain of trades in it, that you barely had to pay attention to. You'd talk to a person and they'd give you an item. Someone else would notice you have that item and ask for it, giving you something else in return, and so on.

Except the last guy to trade with was bugged, so you HAD to get him set up BEFORE a certain other person in the "town rebuilding" portion of the game, or else he wouldn't leave his house and, for whatever reason, never notice the item even if you spoke with him.

That was a problem, of course, because the other house you had to avoid placing was required to get past part of the nearby dungeon, and it was extremely easy even then to complete houses in such a way to be unable to complete the main game OR the trade chain, especially if you didn't find a certain character or house-item before you reached the level of impassibility.
Winged Cat 31st May 2016, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Huh. Right up until the end, I thought they were trying to reassemble the bomb for use.
Someone 31st May 2016, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
In your defense, I thought it to. It sounds like a PC thing to do.
Digo Dragon 1st Jun 2016, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
And to be fair, I wondered if that was the party's intention for quite some time.

1. Gather parts.
2. Reassemble bomb.
3. ???
4. Profit!
ANW 31st May 2016, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
Has anyone else here forgot that this entire thing began with Rarity being kicked out of the theives guild for being the Element if Generosity?
Cause I have.
Specter 1st Jun 2016, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
... oh yeah.

I hope they fight the thieves guild and get their revenge.
Akouma 31st May 2016, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Back in my RuneScape days, there was a quest that was rather infamous as one of the most annoying ones in the game. It was called "One Small Favor." A man living in a logging town deep in the tropical jungle wants a plank of mahogany, and would like you to talk to one of the loggers outside the town gate to get it. The logger can't provide it, however, because his axe head is broken and needs repair. The axe repairman is back on the mainland, and exorbitant distance away. You go there, and the repairman won't do it because he's too worried about his friend who's running off to the wilds up north to be rid of his troubles. So you go to the local witch to find out if he's okay, but her apprentice has gone missing near the old mine. Out near the old mine is a secret cult lair for the group "Humans Against Monsters." You speak to the cult leader and he explains he was holding poor Jimmy for ransom from his brother, who farms chickens. If you can get the cult a month's worth of chickens, the apprentice goes free. His brother doesn't have enough chickens, but a farmer across the river does. So you talk to THAT farmer, but he needs chicken cages. This only gets more and more ridiculous as the requests go on. Eventually you're repairing the landing lights on a broken glider runway so for the gnomes so you can get feathers from an ogre for a mattress and so on.

And when you finally, after what was probably several hours of work, make it back to the guy who just wanted a plank of mahogany? He gives you a pittance of gold and a key ring for keeping your keys together "because all you did was go over to the logger and ask for one plank and it took you days."
Digo Dragon 31st May 2016, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I think the main quest-giver would suffer a very sudden case of "Murdered" for giving me that sass. XD
Pablo360 31st May 2016, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Which begs the question: Why did he need you to talk to the lumber guy in the first place? Why just wait for some random, possibly unreliable adventurer instead of doing it himself if it's so easy?

And the answer is obvious, when you think about it. It's because he's an NPC, and he's busy standing perfectly still for an indeterminate amount of time.

GMs, please don't make your NPCs the way video game designers have to make NPCs.
Winged Cat 31st May 2016, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
With effectively infinite HP and cutscene (thus, all-defense-ignoring) attacks?
Zaranthan 31st May 2016, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
"Why just wait for some random, possibly unreliable adventurer instead of doing it himself if it's so easy?"

As the quest title implies, he doesn't NEED to send you, he's just kinda busy, and would prefer to pay a courier to pick it up for him. You don't make it back by sundown, but it's a long walk and he figures you got waylaid outside of town. He goes to bed, and being busy as mentioned earlier, he forgets about his little carpentry project until you show up out of nowhere with the plank. Cue sassy payout.
Guest 31st May 2016, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
I think I shall have to try that on my players next campaign.
Blueblade 31st May 2016, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
To be fair I'm sure You could've fixed the axe yourself in the time it took you to do all those other things. Or even just rescue Jimmy via the good ok' fashion way of mass murder. So in some ways the Old man has a point.
Digo Dragon 1st Jun 2016, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Murder is fine, so long as we get the old man his plank? O.o
pdk1359 10th Jun 2016, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Well, the obvious solution, beat him to death with the plank; really give it to him.
Specter 31st May 2016, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
Five bits, a multi-layered fetch quest.

My group and I had been tasked with acquiring an immortal elixir from the skyfolk by an old king so that he could save his family. We agreed to do the quest in exchange for compensation for our work. He agreed. Fast forward to us talking to the skyfolk about the elixir, and they will only give it to us in exchange for a holy item from the sunrise church. We agreed of course in exchange for the elixir.

This went on for a very long time, to the point we took out a notebook to keep track of what we were doing and needed. It ended with a couple of ponies who's children had gone missing, and we needed to find them. We found them hiding in their tree house somewhere in the forest. They wouldn't come down for any reason, until we bribed them with candy. :)

That set off the chain of events we needed to accomplish all of the other tasks.
Specter 31st May 2016, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
Several miss clicks later...

We eventually got back to the old king with the elixir with really high hopes about or reward. Several in-game months, tens of thousands of bits spent to get here, and only one of us was expecting a betrayal. We gave him the elixir asking about our pay. Without a word he popped off the top an started drinking all if it. We were speechless to say the least. He then reverse aged to a young adult in almost an instant. We were kind of admiring him for a bit until on of said "So, are we going to be paid, or...". The now young king wondered if we cared about that family he wanted us to save that he lied about. In truth, we half expected it, we just wanted some money. He seemed ok with our answer, then gave us our composition for the hard work. Five shiny bits, one for each of us. When we tried to get him to answer for this he just said "What? Surely you five didn't spend any coin to get this right? You could have done all of that without spending a bit."

We stared at him for a second until we went back to the notebook and wrote down: Get hoof to punch pony king in face. Cost five bits.

Yeah, not a good one, but it was there.
Digo Dragon 1st Jun 2016, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Just a punch? I expected the party to beat the young king until money starts coming out of his nose Super Mario style. XD
Specter 1st Jun 2016, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
We did, us writing down the punch and cost was us betting the five bits on whoever was going to end up killing him. It also served as a way for the gm to not know what we were up to.
Flashpoint 31st May 2016, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
Oh man I have a story for that and I giggle to myself everytime I think about it.

Our party were all military members of a neutral faction. We were given an order to go to a town and retrieve an item from a gang leader, with an emphasis on peaceful means only since they wanted to stay on good terms. So we head to his place and tell him the situation.

He tells us of a family heirloom that was stolen by someone currently holed up in a temple. What he didn't tell us (and what we found out when we arrived) was that the thief was a gorgon. Nobody was up for trying to fight it so we settled on diplomacy.

The gorgon agreed to trade the artifact, in exchange she wanted a male human sacrifice and would not settle for anything else. Luckily alignments weren't a thing in this campaign so everyone said to hell with it.

We traveled back to the town and met with a couple arguing rather heatedly outside. We spoke to the woman and asked if she'd like him removed from her life. She said no because she wants to believe he's still faithful, but if we could prove that he was cheating on her we could have him.

Finally catching a break, we followed the guy around for a few days until we caught him doing the nasty one time with another lady, dragged his wife over to prove it, tied him up and threw him at the gorgon as we took the artifact back to the gang leader who then gave us the item we needed.

And this was all because our bard couldn't get a good enough roll to convince anyone to just be generous enough and give us the thing.
Digo Dragon 1st Jun 2016, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well then. A good lesson on being faithful, huh? ^^;
Blueblade 31st May 2016, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
Whose else here forgot about the whole plan to make Rarity into a princess?
Flashpoint 1st Jun 2016, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
*raises hand*
Limey Lassen 2nd Jun 2016, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
Man Rarity is going to be *tilted* when Twilight gets coronated haha