Page 792 - Dark Horses, Mission 2

18th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM in Intermission 8
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Dark Horses, Mission 2
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 18th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: ChrisTheS

Guest Author's Note: "A followup to my last guest page (p733). I've gotten a lot of requests to do the Dark Forces videogame storyline in my actual comic, but I've been resisting because it doesn't entirely fit the tone. But over here, I can get away with it. For those of you following Star Mares proper, this little escapade takes place in between 'A New Horse' and 'The Empire Bucks Back.' In actual play, it's a bit more obvious that these characters don't match up 100% with their players, but everyone likes to try different character types sometimes.

"Characters from 'Star Mares':"

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Star Wars has soooo many different races that ponies can fit right in without much effort. :3

Wonder if unicorns get mistaken for natural force users because of their magic horn?
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Filling out the species roster is actually the hard part - because I skipped the cantina scene in ANH, the only non-ponies I've had in the comic so far are a griffon, a crocodile, and some capybaras.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Oh, and a tapir and a giant spider. And a weird half-dragon-thing. Forgot about them :P
aylatrigger 18th Aug 2016, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
And the Chinese Dragon/Sea serpent...
Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ah, that's quite a list you're building. :3
FanOfMostEverything 18th Aug 2016, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
I don't have a DeviantArt account, so I'd like to take this opportunity to tell Chris that I've been following Star Mares since the previous guest comic and have been loving it. Thanks for an excellent addition to my webcomic lineup!

Same goes for you too, Spud, but I figured that went without saying at this point. ;P
Newbiespud 18th Aug 2016, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
Nah, it can always go with saying. Just because an ongoing work was worth reading a couple of years ago doesn't necessarily mean it's still worth reading now, does it? I like being told I'm currently making decent content.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Thank you very much :) I'm glad I've been able to stick with it this long (coming up on the one-year mark soon!)
Someone 18th Aug 2016, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
No pony thing is safe from FoME, is it?
Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
More like nothing is safe from being crossed with Pony. Even old classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey get treatment.
Winged Cat 18th Aug 2016, 10:24 AM edit delete reply
Hear, hear. Ponies of the Round Table? Journey to the West of Equestria? FiM's history extends past a thousand years; that's a lot of time for adventures to happen.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
I've been continually surprised at the vehemence with which some alleged Star Wars fans resist having 'their' series crossed with ponies, though. I haven't seen the same sort of backlash from other crossovers, but then, I haven't really been looking :)

Thankfully, Google+'s blocking system works both ways, so I don't have to listen to their shrieking and they don't have to see things that apparently cause them brain cancer. Win-win.
Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 1:31 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I once watched a really bad flamewar over some art that was Undertale crossed with Pony.
Dusk Raven 18th Aug 2016, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
I've seen a lot of pony-crossover backlash. Honestly, I'm more surprised when a fandom doesn't get mad over it.

One of my closest friends was actually negatively opinionated towards MLP for a while - hating any mention of it - not because of the content but because bronies would cross things over and then shove it in other fandom's faces. The way she puts it, they seemed to have this obsessive need to cross things over, which would have been fine if they kept it to themselves.

Myself, I'm less than sympathetic to anyone who gets triggered, so to speak, by ponies alone. But honestly, there are some things that don't need to be pushed outside the fandom.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 8:32 PM edit delete reply
I was recently told to get the (insert a variety of offensive words here) out of the Star Wars community on G+ because I was posting stuff nobody had asked for (I post there because I get likes, so somebody obviously wants to see it). Literally right next to this thread was the community statement of purpose, which says "Discuss and share your thoughts on Star Wars with other fans from around the world. The topics and content within the Star Wars Google+ community are shaped by you."

I suppose every community has its foibles. I know one anime community that's fine with people posting as many ponies as they like, but one picture of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' and you'll wish you'd never been born...
Dusk Raven 19th Aug 2016, 1:55 AM edit delete reply
In happier news, I will be checking out your work, Chris, as I am surprised I have not thought to do so before today.
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
Thanks :) I hope it lives up to your expectations.
ChrisTheS 23rd Aug 2016, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Aaaand got another one today... this time categorically denying that my comic actually WAS a SW/MLP crossover and that such things were actually possible.

TheDapperChangeling 19th Aug 2016, 2:39 AM edit delete reply
I understand both sides, as my inital contact with ponies was one of vehement hatred, due to it crossing over with everything. When it hit the Midna Fan Forum I hung out at, that was it, I flipped. But the guys there talked me into trying the first episode..

And the rest is history.
Digo Dragon 19th Aug 2016, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yeah, I keep all my crossover art in my pony circles and just let it leak out on its own through fans of the other fandom my art was crossed with.
FanOfMostEverything 18th Aug 2016, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Oh, I'm sure I've missed something. For now.
ANW 18th Aug 2016, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
One strategy I sometimes see in almost all types of fights, is "If they can't hit me, they can't hurt me"
Ever created a character whose main defense is evasiveness?
aylatrigger 18th Aug 2016, 7:10 AM edit delete reply

Though I don't play that kind of character much...
Specter 18th Aug 2016, 9:15 AM edit delete reply
That would be my normal load out for most of my people (maximize the dex stat!). Call it paranoia, but most GMs I have use dex based traps and magics as the dodge, it only seems to fit so well.

Though I am going to attempt a tanking build soon, I hope it goes well.
Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Dexterity is a pretty powerful stat in most RP systems I've experienced.Just seems natural to use "speed as armor".
Winged Cat 18th Aug 2016, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
More than once, I've played in a system where Dexterity was basically the omnistat, especially with a little optimization.

Dodge and thus don't get hit? Dexterity.

Dodge when it's environmental effects instead of bad guys firing at you? Still Dexterity.

Hit the bad guys? Dexterity.

Damage when you hit the bad guys? Take a certain feat (or equivalent term), or use a certain type of weapon, and it's Dexterity.

Acquire supplies in town? Dexterity, and Dexterity to not be noticed.

It gets harder when you try using it for brewing potions or the like, but there are ways in some systems.

By this point, I tend to view ease of omnistatting (without a higher price - in experience/character/build/whatever points - for the One True Stat than the others) as a sign that the system might not actually have been playtested that much, or that the devs either did not listen or did not care.
terrycloth 18th Aug 2016, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
4e almost explicitly encourages omnistatting. Everything that matters is usually based off your class's One Stat and then there are some secondary effects using another stat for flavor.

5e gives up and just puts a hard limit on how high you can raise any stat, which is pretty easy to reach without trying very hard.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
I just wish they hadn't thrown the baby out with the bathwater in terms of what you can use as attack stats. I really enjoyed making melee attacks with Charisma as a swashbuckler, or Wisdom as a blind archer :(
Digo Dragon 18th Aug 2016, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"Zen Archery" in D&D 3.5 was a nice feat for Clerics to be good at ranged combat, using their Wisdom stat for attacks. I agree that they should bring back more creativity with using stats for combat that isn't Dex.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
I would houserule it with my group, except none of them seem to care :( Part of the reason I'm trying to move away from D&D in general. Cypher seems to be working well for us so far.
Joe the Rat 19th Aug 2016, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Aye, Cypher (Numenera, The Stra-backwards-N-ge, that weirdpunk gaslight one they're cooking up, etc.) Sidesteps a lot of it by funneling everything into Force / Clever / Brainy. Tristat, BESM, and the In Nomine engine did fairly well this way (with the option to subdivide).

One of the better x20 variants that addresses omnistatting was Legend (a 3.5/4 mashup system). Depending on your build, you could pretty much choose any stat to be your offense or defense stat... but they had to be different stats. Nimble finessy Rogue hits with DEX, but to use the swashbuckly defense style, you rely on CON - it takes *endurance* to move around that much.
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
To be honest, the main reason I like Cypher is that it flat-out says that if it makes sense for the character to be able to do something, they can attempt it, even if they don't have a feature that explicitly permits it (while that's the way I usually play every game, I have a lot of trouble getting the rest of my group to try things that aren't actually written on their character sheets). In theory, Fate Core is supposed to be like that too, but in practice everyone gets so hung up on using stunts as powers that I've been mostly turned off of it.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
This is why I tend to prefer systems without derived statistics, or where what you use a given stat for isn't hard-coded into the rules. I like encouraging the creativity of finding a way to play to their strengths while still having the ability to say "that's ridiculous".
albedoequals1 18th Aug 2016, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
I once made a flowing monk/master of many styles in pathfinder that had an unarmored armor class so high that nothing her level could touch her unless they got a perfect 20. And, thanks to feats, every time someone missed her in melee, she got to hit them back, up to seven times per turn.

She was such a munchkin.
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
I once had a drunken master kind of like that... playing the woefully unbalanced Anauroch campaign. I couldn't GET hit... but I also couldn't hit anything unless I rolled a natural 20 (and most of the other characters weren't any better off, unable to hit most things without at least a roll of 17).

We never finished that game...
Mykin 19th Aug 2016, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Have I ever created a character who relied on dodging as a defense? Yes, but I tend to not play them in any serious game. However, in our Shadowrun game (that my game store group finally went back to. Yes, we did all force the GM to promise that we won't be jumping games again for at least a few months), we have in our party an elven dodge tank.

Basically, she is rigged up with wired reflexes and other wireless cybernetics that basically made her a goddess of finesse and grace (aka, munchkin) for the low price of having a wafer cookie's worth of essence left over. When we went into combat against a troll gangster and his posse, everyone basically watched as she pulled out her katana and calmly walked up to said troll before attacking. In the middle of a fire fight.

And barely did a dent to it (after all, he was a troll. Those guys are naturally tough). Of course, the troll also had issues even laying a finger on her with his giant meat clever, so it turned out to be an even fight, all things considered.

The battle ended up lasting a lot longer than any of us really expected due to bad rolls. Eventually her katana got lodged in the troll's thick hide and she had to resort to her backup sword to finally lop his head off. By that point, the rest of the gang had been taken cared off and we were just watching the show as we talked about how we were going to interrogate our new ganger captive.

If there ever was a session where I realized that I might have built my character wrong, it was that one. Though I guess that's what I get for making my decker a walking encyclopedia of knowledge instead of giving him any decent combat stats.
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
I wonder if that's the reason there are so many Shadowrun conversions to other systems out there...
Mykin 19th Aug 2016, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
To be honest, the guy that made the elf tends to make munchkin characters without actually trying to. So this particular case might be more of a player thing than anything wrong with the game system. Plus we, as a group, have just barely gotten into 5E after playing lots of Dark Heresy and D&D 5E, so we might be misreading/misunderstanding a few things.

Still, if we are doing everything right, then I can see this as being an example of one of the reasons why the conversions exist in the first place.
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure you ARE doing everything right. Shadowrun has easily the most gameable character creation system I've ever seen, on top of being needlessly complex. It's not quite as bad as it used to be (because it's not FASA anymore), but there are still no end of ways to exploit the priority system.

If I ever run it again it'll probably be with either Fate or Cypher, although personally I think the best match for it is old-school Alternity :)
Digo Dragon 19th Aug 2016, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I remember a player who made this ork adept with an insanely high dodge score. Maxed out Reaction, the dodge skill, and a bunch of defensive moves that just piled on the top. I think more often the team street-sams hurt him more with their "judicious brevity" of grenade throwing. :3

One time a dwarf got the drop on him. Literally. The dwarf fell out of a tree and landed on him axe first. Not an accident though, this was surprise attack! And the dwarf rolled pretty well. I expected I might have scratched the ork for a point or two.

The ork adept rolled ALL ONES on something like 16 dice for defense.

I nearly killed him in one blow by luck. Good thing the team had both healers at the time, because he might not have survived otherwise. XD
The MunchKING 21st Aug 2016, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Pretty much ALL my characters are max Dex if I'm allowed to do so. Dodging is what Tarans do bestest. Well that and Sneak. And Steal, and....

OK, so Tarans tend to be sskill monkeys, so sue me. :p
Lalli-is-best 18th Aug 2016, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
"That means the bad guys will try to shoot me first!"

Oh, that last's beautiful.
ChrisTheS 18th Aug 2016, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
That 'jaw drop' expression is the best part of 'Flutter Brutter' :) I've gotten a lot of use out of it since then.
Solario the Visored 18th Aug 2016, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
Gonna admit, I'd forgotten that there was a Star Mares guest page previously. Don't even remember if that was how I found that comic, though I know I was reading FiD first... Well, regardless, great to see a bit of extra content from ChrisTheS's galaxy far, far away! :D
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
I did get a handful of new watchers (dunno about new regular readers who aren't watchers, I have no way of tracking that) the last time - it helped that it went out on a Saturday so it was up for longer :)

Most of my regular viewers came from EqD, though (even though I'm pretty sure I've got the lowest viewing figures of any of the regular comics they post--I've been told that most comics get ~3000-7000 views per posting and I only get ~1000-1500, because nobody wants to read a long-runner that doesn't prominently feature the Mane Six). Oh well. I'm mainly writing it for my Star-Wars-obsessed four-year-old, anyway ;)
Digo Dragon 19th Aug 2016, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I dunno. After a while, I think the long runners that don't feature the Mane6 are more creative and interesting. There's less tying them down to any show canon (and those that toss that part out tend to be a middle road AU sometimes).
ChrisTheS 19th Aug 2016, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
Quality has nothing to do with what people choose to click on, unfortunately. I know from personal experience that if one of the Mane Six's ghosts is in my thumbnail on EqD, that page will easily get 30% more views over a 24 hour period than it will if, say, Spring Clean is featured.
Mykin 19th Aug 2016, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
"That means the bad guys will try to shoot me first!"

Only if you prove to be more competent/dangerous than anyone else. My cleric looked like a complete pansy, so everyone didn't take him seriously until he managed to move to the middle of the enemy group and set off his light nova. Everyone took him seriously after that little trick resulted in half of the enemy group disintegrating in one go.

Oh, and you'll want to have armor on when that happens. Lots and lots of armor. Or a decent meat shield. A few stun grenades might be good in this case as well. And then there's the orbital weapon's platform-
LordIce 25th Aug 2016, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
I really dig on the Imperial Stormponies. Great art.
Delta Echo 27th Aug 2016, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
And I'm still amused by the fact that the Moldy Crow and the Normandy are so alike.