Page 761 - Flutter Zone

7th Jun 2016, 6:00 AM in Hurricane Fluttershy
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Flutter Zone
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Newbiespud 7th Jun 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Ever come across that magical moment - actually, both in a tabletop game or in real life! - where you come across an obscure situation that you were uniquely and solely qualified for? It doesn't happen often, but it's beautiful when it does.

In other news, after this past Sunday's Fallout is Dragons, I'm faced with a kind of terrifying prospect: That the campaign's climax is upon us, and the ending won't be very far behind.

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



Masterweaver 7th Jun 2016, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Don't worry, we'll figure something out to annoy you.
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
What, do what Hollywood has been doing in recent years and stall the finale into a two-parter?
Draxynnic 7th Jun 2016, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
TV's been doing that for decades. For bonus points, split the two-parter between seasons.
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Specifically movies, like the last Harry Potter Book, The Deathly Hollows, or the last Hunger Games book.
j-eagle12212012 7th Jun 2016, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
The problem is that AKcodeman is only available for one more session before he leaves for the summer
Argh! 8th Jun 2016, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
You're saying it like it's a bad thing. If Codeman goes away in the middle of the 4-hour session 2-parter finale then they can't have an ending before he returns beacause having a campaing ending without a full party(Excluding Lapis), preposterous!
Which would A: Greatly increase the tension and B: Maaaaybe give us a season 2 of MtM?
Digo Dragon 9th Jun 2016, 5:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Pretty sure the game could still end anyway. Although Spud mentions in his twitter that he had ideas for "DLC" adventures afterwards.
Winged Cat 7th Jun 2016, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
I hear you, NS. Just last Saturday I ran the final session of a campaign that's been running since 2012.

(Though it helped that I looked ahead a bit, and most of my players have expressed strong interest in another system I'd been looking at - "strong" as in "every day for the past week there have been over 100 messages about it on our group chat" - so we're already into chargen and campaigngen for that. I'm actually having to force myself to take a 1 week break between campaigns; we'll see if it's even 2 weeks.)
ANW 7th Jun 2016, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Or ever had a situation where you have to roll a goldilocks number?
Too low, failure.
Too high, there's a punishment.
Draxynnic 7th Jun 2016, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
In this case, I wouldn't have asked for a Goldilocks number. Having a high skill is intended to represent control as well as simple power - a high Athletics or Acrobatics result from Dash should represent that she went in at just the right speed rather than going too fast. A low roll could represent going too fast or too slow as the GM feels is appropriate.
aylatrigger 7th Jun 2016, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
I agree with Draxynnic. The last time I had the party need to synchronize something, I just told them to roll high, and that would be how skillfully you synchronize. ...They did roll the same number anyway (2 18's) so I guess they hit the 'Goldilocks number' without being required to.
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I can think of one instance where rolling "in the middle" was ideal-- Shadowrun 4e. In that system the better you hit, the more damage you will do.

We were in a firefight with the police and didn't want to hurt them badly, just knock them out so we can get away. However, if you hit someone really hard with stun damage, it could overflow into their lethal damage pool and potentially kill them. And there are few things that'll ruin your career as a merc than being labeled a cop killer.

So the fight was basically us trying to roll low on our skills, but still be high enough that we hit them, but not too high that the damage dealt becomes lethal. It was a complicated fight, yet we pulled it off with no fatalities.
Sensei Le Roof 7th Jun 2016, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
"A low roll could represent going too fast or too slow as the GM feels is appropriate."

I'd say in this instance, too slow. Too fast would be a crit failure.
Meddy 7th Jun 2016, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
This is what "roll and keep" systems are very good at. Especially those that allow you to "shift" two rolled for one kept.
Broken Gea 7th Jun 2016, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
I've had such situation. My PC was in cell. To grab attention of one of the guards I decided to throw a fork at him. GM tells me to roll and, wouldn't you know it, it's critical. GM than asked me where I threw the fork. without thinking I replied "head". To which he replied "The fork hits perfectly... his eye". So I ended having to fight his friend and I only had the knife that came with a fork as a weapon.
Flashpoint 7th Jun 2016, 6:55 PM edit delete reply
There was one campaign where we had to ambush these three guys and beat them down a bit in order to send a message to their leader.

So me as a monk and our company rogue set up to ambush them from a nearby building. We were going to jump out and basically try to knock two of them out. They weren't anything special, so no real fear of this going wrong.

However, as I said, they weren't anything special. As in, vanilla humans with normal human stats and normal human reaction times. This can lead to problems when both your characters are level 7 and roll crits.

We both somehow rolled nat 20s on the attack and didn't even get to roll for damage. We instantly annihilated the two guys we were targeting (because neither of us thought we needed to do non-lethal attacks) and the third started fleeing in terror. The guy that gave us the mission was very unhappy because he wanted us to avoid killing anyone. Needless to say, we did not get paid the full amount.
Super_Big_Mac 7th Jun 2016, 11:48 PM edit delete reply
"Roll higher than 15 and the dragon becomes completely infatuated. Roll *lower* than 15, and the dragon kills you for trying to trick her while she is making her nest."

"Alright, I just need a 15!"

"And that's how I met your mother, in our second or third session."
Digo Dragon 8th Jun 2016, 5:36 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Eh, could have been worse. XD
Draxynnic 9th Jun 2016, 2:30 AM edit delete reply
Depends on the dragon...
Jennifer 7th Jun 2016, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
I've got a slightly terrifying prospect too; the kids at work have decided they want to start up my DnD campaign again. This is less a problem with play than with planning and scheduling. Summer Reading starts Saturday and we have a lot planned for the summer; but I need to get the time from somewhere, because I don't want to lose this opportunity to engage them. Suggestions on running a game in one-hour sessions?
Newbiespud 7th Jun 2016, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
I've run some one-hour side/inbetween sessions of FiD. You can get a fair amount done if you don't have a lot of formal combat (or use a system that makes combat very snappy, which is rare). It's enough time for one to three solid roleplaying scenes if they don't get bogged down.

Whether that style of session can be stretched into an entire campaign, I have no data.
aylatrigger 7th Jun 2016, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Rather than D&D, I suggest you do something that takes a short amount of time to make characters for. Whether you have pre-made characters or not, that gives a short amount of time to know your character and the rules, usually.
Some ones I've used:
Maids RPG
Paranoia is good as you don't need to explain rules...
Everyone is John

And there are others, but those are the ones I know (besides Paranoia, which I have not had a chance to play :( )

Also look at the Random Adventure Table for short adventure ideas.
Jennifer 7th Jun 2016, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
XD20 is lightning fast. It takes 60 seconds to make a character -- roll 3d6, add 8 to each, distribute between Physical, Mental and Spiritual (rename as appropriate, like Fighting, Skill and Magic). That's three stats between 7 and 14. Add or subtract as appropriate for race or class. Beat your stat on a D20 to succeed, adding or subtracting from the target for hard or easy tasks. Roll another D20 to determine degree of success or failure.

That's it.

It went pretty well the first time, especially combat. We still had two-to-three-hour sessions, but mostly because of human factors like waiting for people to show up or having the session interrupted.
aerion111 9th Jun 2016, 2:24 AM edit delete reply
A bunch of the 'podcasters' out there are essentially running with two-hour sessions.
Each 'episode' will last three or four hours, but it will literally take over an hour for them to get started.

Don't spend any time 'catching up' before the game - and since you imply these are kids you're around the rest of the time too, and it's not like the game is the only time you get to talk to them, there's no NEED to catch up.
And try to keep things moving; With the two-hour sessions, they still spend a while discussing, shopping, and so on.

An hour will probably feel short no matter what, but I don't think 'half the time' of some of the sessions I've listened to would be that much of an inconvenience.

Mind you, do listen to the rest here; Use a simpler and less combat-heavy system than DnD!
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I don't think the prospect of the Mawlers campaign ending is as terrifying as the number of viewers you have that would kill to get in on a new game if you ever consider running a new game. XD
Newbiespud 7th Jun 2016, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, apparently people think I'm this thing called a "good DM," which is- Pfft. Nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense.
Toric 7th Jun 2016, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Blasphemy! The only good DM is a dead DM! Or the one that lets me use my half-god magitech artificer homebrew class...
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well, you're not a bad DM either. Personally I think the desire to join would be that you're an active DM who actually delivers on a campaign.

I can make a web comic comparison-- Take a great artist who can paint photo-realistic comic books, but they only deliver one or two pages randomly every few months. They may have a small casual following, but it likely doesn't develop because of the long waits between pages. Compare this to a decent artist who isn't bad, but doesn't stand out in artistic skill. However, this one consistently turns out 1-2 pages per week on time. The latter's consistency of releasing content may net them a bigger following because of that dependable schedule.
Pablo360 7th Jun 2016, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
But Hark, A Vagrant! has non-noteworthy artwork and updates randomly, maybe once a month, yet it still has a devout following.
Digo Dragon 7th Jun 2016, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've never heard of this until you just mentioned it.

Edit-- After reading a few pages... I'm confused.
Winged Cat 7th Jun 2016, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
A small, but devout, following. Captain SNES is in roughly the same boat.

Schedule and quality aren't the sole determinants of audience size. But between those two, all else being equal, Digo is correct.

(Especially re: the DM part. Being able to actually deliver a campaign that doesn't spontaneously dissolve within a dozen sessions is quite appealing. That doesn't take all that much to do, just determination/stubbornness/refusal to give well as honest and practical scheduling so you don't try to run a game at a time when you will not in fact be available much of the time, and making sure players know in advance if a given session is off. Quality sessions help, but are secondary to the basics of making the campaign consistently happen.)
Evilbob 7th Jun 2016, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
I believe that falls under the "smaller" following Digo mentioned.

Hark, A Vagrant! is definitely one of those comics I eventually stopped following because of sporadic updates.
Belmontzar 7th Jun 2016, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
that moment when you know a dm/gm for so long, or have been one so long, you use gaming lingo in real life.
"Man that walk home is gonna be a problem with those roads blocked."
dad: then lets hope you dont fail the perception or memory check then other wise its 1d6 + about ten minutes of 'traffic' to reach your destination
"im walking a short distance so id say about half that."
Dad: the walking is time is compensated by heat exhaustion. So id say its about the same still considering the short break you took.
Someone 7th Jun 2016, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Prove it.
Hawkflight 7th Jun 2016, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
It honestly doesn't matter to me, I'd still be interested ... mostly because my crippling social phobia makes it hard to meet people IRL and I am SO desperate for some kind of interactive RPG experience with other, real people and not robots.
danime91 7th Jun 2016, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
Same, but on my end it's simply the difficulty of getting all my friends together for sessions. Scheduling can be a real pain.
Digo Dragon 8th Jun 2016, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Schedule can indeed be a universal pain when trying to run an RP.
Jennifer 8th Jun 2016, 5:48 AM edit delete reply
Scheduling is my most serious problem, as I'm gaming at work with teenagers. This means I need to find time to run a program that is commonly longer than the other programs, and I need to get the teens to turn up consistently. Last time, the programming wasn't a problem because I got it into our official schedule and was able to block it off regularly -- I don't have that option atm since the summer schedule was planned out months ago and is near-impossible to update. I'll probably kludge it into my regular "teen space" program Monday nights at this point.

Another thing that screws up regular meetings is doing it in the teen tech lab; while that enables me to draw in more teens, it leads to more distractions. I might be able to do it at a table outside the lab but within sight of its entrance, but there the noise level might be a factor.
Mykin 8th Jun 2016, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, scheduling is the bane of my existence as well. My job has me rotate through different shifts every four months, which has made having a consistent gaming time with my current rpg groups a real pain in the butt to manage. Sunday seems to be the only day I have off but even then I have issues with having to make sure I go to bed early enough so I don't go to work the following day completely brain dead.

Thankfully, I have a good group of friends that are willing to work with me despite of all the problems it inevitably causes.
Akouma 7th Jun 2016, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
Reminds me of one time, in my very first D&D session. We were fighting a dragon to cap off the adventure, and the DM says that as we're fighting, he "yells something in Draconic." One of my friends asks what he says, and she replies "you have no idea."

He states plainly that he knows EXACTLY what the dragon is saying, because he's the only one that took Draconic as a language. So my DM now has to ad lib something for the dragon to have actually said. She came up with something roughly sounding like "uh, I'm going to... kill you?"

We were less than impressed, but it was a good laugh.
FanOfMostEverything 7th Jun 2016, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
And that's why I always preface that sort of thing with "Does anyone speak (language)?"

Or, when I don't want to give a hint through what the thing speaks, "Can I take a quick look at everyone's character sheets?"
Belmontzar 7th Jun 2016, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
I had one gaming moment where "you have no idea." Was actually the reply both litterally and to the rest of the party.
Specter 7th Jun 2016, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
That story reminds me of a time i was a dragon(born) and my DM forgot i had the potential to speak a few certain languages.

... i regret that decision a lot because that means the fighter with a negative charisma score is now the mouth piece of the party.
jdb1984 7th Jun 2016, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
The "This is a job for Aquaman" troupe in action
steeevee 7th Jun 2016, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
character got cursed that whenever he hears a specific word
he turns to stone for several hours (or until Break Enchantment/Curse) the party hadnt fond a way to remove the curse itself, just the effect

party came across a heavy door, couldn't pick the lock and too big to kick or break with their weapons.

so they stole a bit from Toy Story 2 and used me a battering ram.
Digo Dragon 8th Jun 2016, 5:40 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"But I don't wanna use my head!"

Seems like any time someone has that kind of stone curse, the rest of the party will take them for granite.
remial 7th Jun 2016, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
I used to drive one of my GMs absolutely crazy in Earthdawn, I used to be able to, on a regular basis roll high enough to hit an enemy, usually enough to bypass any armor (the way Earthdawn works is if the opponent has an armor rating of say 10, rolling twice that high will bypass armor), but when it came time to roll damage I would do hardly any damage.
For the Earthdawn equivalent of zombies, this was very useful, because if you did higher then 5 points of damage or so you would get their attention and they would go from slow zombies with 1 attack every 2 rounds to fast zombies that have 3 attacks per round.
Mykin 7th Jun 2016, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
Wait, Fallout is Dragons is ending? Like really? The Fallout is Dragons? The one that introduced me to Fallout: Equestria, which in turn introduced me to Fallout in general? The one where my attempts to understand the gaming system by creating a character eventually turned into a fan fic idea that I got forced coerced convinced into writing? The one that eventually inspired me to go join a Fallout: Equestria game myself that is, ironically, coming to an end at around the same time as this game?

Wow, now that I'm actually thinking about it, it did influence my life quite a bit didn't it? Dang, now I feel bad for only getting to session 15 before life and the before mentioned fan fic knocked me down and stole my free time. I need to get around to fixing that somehow.

... *Ahem* Now that I got that bit of long-windedness out of me, let's go ahead and take a look at the story prompt for today:

"Ever come across that magical moment - actually, both in a tabletop game or in real life! - where you come across an obscure situation that you were uniquely and solely qualified for?

I'm not really sure if this would count (I'm sure Evilbob will call me out on this if it isn't), but there was a situation in the FO:E game I'm in where Astral Blaze discovered that he had a hidden skill that even he didn't know he possessed. See, last year, when I was first joining the game, I was informed that we didn't have anyone in the group that had the repair skill trained to any sizable degree. So I made sure my character had that as a tag skill and put as many points into it as I could spare between Science and Energy Weapons. However, when I got into the game proper, I rarely got chances to use it that actually mattered all that much in the grand scheme of things. That is until Astral was introduced to the group's fire truck.

The fire truck wasn't really looking all that well, truth be told (not that Astral could tell considering that he had never seen a fire truck before. At least, none that he could remember). The group had been stuck in a Stable simulation for a year (or 250+ years in Astral's case) and that year had not been kind to our fire truck. The engine had issues starting, there was rust everywhere, and the MFC ejector had been turned into a deadly weapon. Now, the fire truck ran off of Magical Fusion Cells, or MFCs for short, that it would take in and then eject onto the road when said MFC was spent. Except now it was ejecting them in a rather violent manner that could outright kill any pony unfortunate enough to be standing in front of it. When we discovered all of this, it became apparent that a mechanic was desperately needed. Since none was readily available, the task of fixing up the truck immediately defaulted to the official smart pony of the group: Dr. Bellfruit. Not really liking the idea of the group's physician being turned into an impromptu mechanic, Astral hesitantly asked if maybe he could give it a shot instead.

It came as a bit of a shock to my amnesia-stricken unicorn when it turned out that he was actually a genius when it came to vehicle repair.

Not only did he managed to get it up and running again, he also rewired the ejector so it wouldn't outright destroy the water pail that Bellfruit had tied to the end of it, thus allowing us to effectively collect the spent MFCs as we drove. Later on in the game, Astral would use his newfound powers to repair the fire truck some more and replace the water pail with a larger basket made out of scrap metal we found nearby.

To this day, Astral Blaze is still confused by his own vehicular prowess.
Digo Dragon 8th Jun 2016, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Eeyup, FiD seems to be getting to that light at the end of the tunnel. Crazy, huh?

As for Astral, that is amusing. Having skills to fix something you never even seen before. Certainly was good that he was able to do repairs, because I can attest that medical doctors make lousy mechanics. ;)
Mykin 8th Jun 2016, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
... One of these days I'm going to have to commission you to make me something. Not now, but when the time comes, I'll get a hold of you... somehow...

But yeah, what was weird was that the GM made it clear that working on the truck felt familiar to Astral somehow. I want to say that he had this planned from the beginning but then I have to remember that this is the same guy that had me make up Astral's backstory along with him as we played the game so yeah. Take that how you will.
Digo Dragon 9th Jun 2016, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Besides here I'm found on Deviantart and FurAffinity (under Digo Raccoon), and Tumblr (Outlaw Mares). Though for as spread as I have made my accounts so folks can get a hold of me, I don't seem to be easy to reach some days. The internet is a funny thing.

I wonder if the allusion is that Astral is a reincarnation of somepony...
Evilbob 9th Jun 2016, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
It's okay, Digo. We can't all be toaster-repair ponies. Though I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. Being able to get an unplugged, broken toaster to apparently successfully toast bread is a win in my book.

Also, I hope you see the irony of this situation, Mykin. The amnesiac, who doesn't remember anything, wants to give repair a try because he's concerned with the physician being the impromptu mechanic.
dzonewolf 7th Jun 2016, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
Does it count if you, as the dm,set it up?

I'll pretend it does.

So, the group is seeking this ancient alchemical potion that they can use to destroy the big bad and his henchmen. However, the recipe is carved into the wall of an ancient temple on the side of an active volcano. This is also where the key ingredient is, and where the potion has to be made. However, the temple is cursed such that no zebra can enter it, enter the Griffin Shaman, so they find the recipe, discover they happen to have most of the ingredients with them, rust, scraped from a prewar rifle, mold and mildew, gathered from a wall, and assorted other disgusting things, not your usual alchemical ingredients, to be sure.

Filth, fungus, rust, and slime,
Please don't forget the floom this time,
Mold, mildew, murk, and mire,
Boiled within a volcanic fire,

Oh, look, the recipe, sadly, the rest of it had long worn away, along with the warning about how nothing can stop it, but, meh, who cares about that. So the shaman makes it, and they unleash it, and now their in a mad race to find the last stronghold of the flutterponies before the Smooze eats the world.
dzonewolf 7th Jun 2016, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
All in all, not that unusual.
T 8th Jun 2016, 3:59 AM edit delete reply
Couldn't Twilight just hold them with magic without generating wind? And how those things survive? Does natural winds cease around them?
setokayba 8th Jun 2016, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
Go away Rainbow, let a profesional take care of that.
Archone 8th Jun 2016, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Has anyone here had the opposite problem of Fluttershy? Where along comes a situation that was literally tailor made for your character... and then another player jumps in to announce that their character is going to do the task instead? And then mucks it all up?
Blueblade 8th Jun 2016, 8:38 PM edit delete reply
I like to call that... Social interactions.
And no killing them does not count as a social interaction.
Boris Carlot 9th Jun 2016, 3:45 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I've had that a lot. In a shadowrun game I was brought in to play a face character, but one of the other characters kept jumping in, talking to people I was trying to talk to and generally butting into social stuff. The DM eventually had to say "calm down and stop shooting off on tangents" 'cause they were getting us into trouble and forcing me to spend a lot of time damage controlling.

And similarly, I was playing a stealthy B&E character and someone with lesser skills decided they wanted to sneak in and plant a tracking bug on the target's car instead of waiting until my character could arrive and do it. They wound up failing the palming roll and it indirectly led to us failing the run completely.
Digo Dragon 9th Jun 2016, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I had that happen once. I was playing a diplomancer cleric and the party's two rogues kept trying to interrogate prisoners before I could get there, despite they not having any ranks in any social skill for the task. Meanwhile I'm just sitting in the back of the room twiddling my thumbs.
AnonTheMouse 19th Feb 2017, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
You know, hearing a DM say "Don't roll high." always ticks me off. That's not how it works. Your roll doesn't represent how much effort you put in, but how well you USE your ability. Like, imagine two 18 Str. characters, a eighth-level barbarian and a first-level lumberjack. The damage they can do with an axe is the same, but the barbarian will get higher attack rolls. They both swing the axe just as hard, but the barbarian has practice hitting things that don't WANT to be hit, and so swings with more skill, more CONTROL.