Page 795 - Really Unrealistic

25th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM in Intermission 8
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Really Unrealistic
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 25th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Dusk Raven

Guest Author's Note: "I'm not too much of a stickler for realism - I'm more for consistency and internal rationalism. Sure, it may not make sense for Pegasi to fly from a 'realism' standpoint, but once you know how the world works, it makes perfect sense. Of course, in a tabletop game, sometimes players use their knowledge of the unrealistic world to argue, realistically, for more unrealistic things.

"As for the actual comic this was a learning experience on quite a few levels, and this is definitely something I'd like to do again - when I'm not so rusty with Photoshop and when I'm not prohibited from grabbing screencaps for monstrously stupid - even contrived – reasons."

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



ANW 25th Aug 2016, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie being Pinkie.
Ooh. Idea.
Consent time.
Craziest contraption your characters has ever built.
ANW 25th Aug 2016, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Contest, not consent.
Digo Dragon 25th Aug 2016, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well, if you built it, I'm sure that implied consent. ;)

Craziest contraption I've built as a player was taking an old P-38 lightning and replacing the prop engines with rocket engines. The cockpit was rebuilt with a computer pilot (because for some reason no one wanted to test-fly this thing) and it was a good thing for the rebuild--

After take off from the ground, the plane exploded at an altitude of about 5,000 feet when the right engine's fuel pump malfunctioned. This got the attention of a few federal agencies, because apparently there are laws and permits to abide by...
AlexHurlbut 25th Aug 2016, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
P-38? With rocket engines? DOesn't that mean both booms had to be removed along with the elevator and rudders?
Digo Dragon 25th Aug 2016, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon

...That might partially explain the catastrophic failure of it's maiden flight.
Evilbob 25th Aug 2016, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
lol. "Implies consent". Sounds like the beginning of a legal defense or cross-examination in a rape case.

Also lol. Yes. Yes there is quite a few regulations regarding everything from unmanned aircraft to experimental aircraft, to commercial aircraft.
reynard61 25th Aug 2016, 9:40 PM edit delete reply
They basically boil down to: "Cannot kill the pilot/operator. Cannot kill the crew. Cannot kill the ground crew. Cannot kill the passengers. Most *DEFINITELY* cannot kill innocent bystanders."
Nebulous 26th Aug 2016, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
But where's the fun in that?
ChrisTheS 25th Aug 2016, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
I built a castle, in a swamp (now, don't start), with a Ring of Elemental Command, which I afterwards fused with the castle (and made the castle intelligent) so it could alter its own shape.

One of the features was a dungeon area which automatically true-rezzed anyone who got killed in it, which we used as an infinitely variable deathmatch arena :)
Masterweaver 25th Aug 2016, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Javolt's Electrocape. I have IN DETAIL NOTES on how every level he would alter it to accommodate for the changed gameplay mechanics.
Someone 25th Aug 2016, 11:26 AM edit delete reply
Huh... I didn't know that. Any chance for those notes to go public?
Pablo360 25th Aug 2016, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Apropos of nothing, there is a South African electrical contracting, maintenance, and design firm called Electrocape.
Boris Carlot 25th Aug 2016, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Never had a campaign last long enough that we had downtime to craft anything.

Anvildude 25th Aug 2016, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Pathfinder. Character was a Gnommish Spellslinger.

Now, I've always had a penchant for doing crazy Artifice-style things, but this was the first campaign where the other players were actually eager to go along with it.

We'd managed to take down a Huge-sized spider monster, and happened to have a wagon which we were carrying loot on. I was allowed to clean out the exoskeleton, and along with a bunch of scimitars and crossbows we'd looted from prior enemies, I went about doing the rolls to construct a Spider Tank. All it was waiting for was a magical or steam-powered engine system.

We'd statted it all out, too, using the Pathfinder rules for pilotable stuff and the rules for the Iron Colossus (which is actually a Giant Mecha in Pathfinder- why has nobody used these yet?)

Never did get the engine, but if the campaign had finished, it would have been glorious. 4 mounted Heavy Crossbows, blades on each limb, a grapple system to allow it to climb like the spider-tank it was...
aylatrigger 25th Aug 2016, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
My character Mei, mad-inventor/pilot, built another one of the characters, the killer robot B-17. B-17 was made from the ship's medbot. He was made because Mei had built another medbot out of the previous ship's security bot. So there was a need for a new security bot and an extra medbot. B-17 hates all humans...all living things really because there are a lot of humans turned fantasy races in the future (because we wanted all Pathfinder things to be allowed). He was programmed with the three laws of robotics...but for crew members instead of humans. We've been adding a lot of people to the crew.
Someone 25th Aug 2016, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure Jurri's gonna hop in and remind everyone about Powder Keg's Distractagon so I'll do it before she does.
ANW 25th Aug 2016, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Explain, so I can see if you win.
Winged Cat 25th Aug 2016, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Craziest? As in "just one"? Well, a few flavors...

One of my characters, in the epilogue, had a hand in the creation of the universe. This was Exalted's Creation setting, so start with lots of flat Earth (with mountains and oceans), surrounded 2D by unformed Wyld, but up and down are stable out to undefined distances. Bend it into a sphere, such that at all "sides" it now wraps around to itself, and at no point borders the Wyld. Down...go far enough and you wind up coming up elsewhere. Up now stretches to infinity in all directions, as far as can be perceived. The Universe and Everything is "crazy" by some definitions, right?

But perhaps you'd prefer on-screen. I've mentioned that cloudcabin with enough lightning bolts to count as an act of war before, but that was made by my PC's parents. Who, granted, I had some control of, but still.

Then there was a certain tower in a certain city, built by my PC (and a team of laborers) on top of a magical hotspot to make use of the power. (The city was literally built on and in a hill; this tower was at the center.) It fueled a printing office (in an otherwise medieval society), a gatling ballista turret (essentially a giant sprinkler of doom, able to kill an entire army one soldier at a time in the time they could run from maximum range up to the city walls) able to manufacture its own ammunition (including bolts of pure silver, which were once fired at a navy coming down the local river demanding tribute; said navy got the message, took the bolts, and reversed course; in more peaceful times, it whipped up bolts of fertilizer and express-delivered them to the surrounding farms), a workshop for building all manner of magitech, and - once we got other magic hotspots around the city tapped - a control center for the governor (who was another PC). It even had windows, for those visitors who for some reason never wanted to use doors.

Hmm...I think that will do for this. No need to go into detail on the military-grade (and ultimately self-destructing, once the safeties were removed) water rifle carnival booth, nor the ice volcano (my PC just triggered that one, didn't build), nor the mechanization of the sailing sloop. The century-plus-old machine gun handed down in one PC's family was, however customized over time, ultimately just a machine gun (if a powerful one). And using a staff with a couple small contragravity generators as a high tech witch's broom (minus the straw) was just stylish use, not that crazy a build.
TomeWyrm 25th Aug 2016, 6:05 PM Not mine, but.. edit delete reply
Shocking Grasp + Copper Coil + Dagger = Magic Coil Gun (aka Gauss gun or magnetic linear accelerator. NO IT IS NOT A RAILGUN, that is a different kind of magnetic linear accelerator).

I'll let my friend tell the whole story.

I think the craziest thing I ever made was probably the moonshine powered tank... or the magical flying "laser" platform. It was a flying tower complex with each tower being a partial ritual diagram. When they were "docked" with each other, the diagram was completed and it attracted and concentrated the "free" magic in the environment (think combination magnet and magnifying lens). I chose to funnel that into a disintegrate spell. I am no longer allowed to use ritual magic in any campaigns :-p
Grant 25th Aug 2016, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
That one has your pre-modern knowledge character knowing that it will work and knowing how to make it. Were I the DM, I'd insist that you need to justify this knowledge and the possession of this item, probably with a good chunk of time spent having your character study the stuff and sacrifice a lot of wealth and other opportunities.
Sky Stream 25th Aug 2016, 8:42 PM edit delete reply
Not an actual full-on invention, but one of my party members who is our team's Diplomancer just happen to abuse of rope traps when combat is guaranteed to happen. It's so bad that I jokingly call that character our BDSM queen....

But basically, one time, the player had such an intense Critical Success that he was able to basically trap the entire forest area we were in. It looked a lot like Applejack's "Prank Alarm" in 28 Pranks Later, except it actually worked.
Dakkath 26th Aug 2016, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Pathfinder gnome summoner

The party found an alchemical giant (basically a steam-powered mech) in a Cheliaxian weapons lab. Well, after the big finale of the adventure my gnome went back in there and took the thing. Painted it red, attached a couple of huge adamantine lances to its arms, and enchanted them with the ability to plane shift by punching reality.

Sadly I was unable to find a gargantuan pair of sunglasses to use as a boomerang.
Specter 26th Aug 2016, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Disposable climber's gum.

Long story short, the group was tasked with getting into a CEO's computer that sat eighty floors up inside a building where we had no way of getting into (ground floor) or on top of. So the group decided to use or abilities to come up with some make-do contraptions so we can at least get up to the correct floor.

I had gone in and out of a few things already that proved less then fruitful. I realized I was running low on supplies so I decided to go to the nearby shop to get some more for myself and the group. The GM gave me a list of what there was while he talked with the rest of the group (I got out of a small encounter with some bums, fair enough I guess). The list went into detail with every item there was, including gum. Apparently gum had the ability to stick items together indefinitely until another force is applied. So I bought over 100,000 packs of gum (for a great bargain too) and created a pair of gloves that dispensed pre-chewed gum as adhesive glue that allowed for free climbing.

The group decided to use this at the last second instead of the runner up device (a gas powered jet pack, we decided stealth was best). The next morning after the burglary, the corporate staff found a long line of chewing gum running up the side of their building to the eightieth floor.
Phosphora 27th Aug 2016, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
The Craziest Invention... I think both stories involve constructs.

Well, let's go with Phosphora. She was a little copper kobold I played. But no one knew I played her. They thought I was playing Sir Halas, this Don Quixote style knight who never took off his armor because of his horrible curse. Phosphora was just his little cohort squire who followed him around quietly wearing his tabard. That being said, she was actually a crafter-wizard specializing in constructs, and he was her construct. No one would let a kobold into their village... unless that kobold was being shown the 'right and proper way' by a good and true knight of the realm. I kept spending money on upgrading that construct and his ridiculously powerful armor and weapon to keep him in level with the rest of the group.

The cleric figured it out, though. I made him Mjolnir to keep him quiet. He was satisfied.

Somewhat related: this one time in a different pathfinder game with totally different players, I played this Bard who didn't make a single attack roll until somewhere around level 14. (Instead, my bard had a bunch of feats to improve "Summon Monster" spells.) Anyway, somewhere around that time, I convinced my DM to allow me to combine the 'craft construct' rules with the 'Android' class to give me a construct cohort with the leadership feat. A few sessions later we were attacked by a group of giant demons who had been studying us and had a plan for every one of our known abilities. Our OP spell slinger was interrupted during every spell by a demon that could piggyback on 'time stop' spells, our cavalier couldn't get up to speed, I couldn't summon monsters, etc. Folks had that brief moment of panic. I said, "Well, then, time to show them something they haven't seen before." Turned to my cohort. "contingency plan number 1." This is when the rest of the group found out what the 'Construct Armor' upgrade meant. Some brief confusion, then "Wait... did you just go Iron Man on us?" "Yes. Yes I did." Then I made the first direct attack that I had made yet that game. Took out 2/3 of the giant demons on my own.
Winged Cat 25th Aug 2016, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
So, about that latest episode.

Did anyone else get the feeling the authors took a common fanfiction trope, decided it really was based on true and noble sentiment even if it has been done a lot, and figured to do their own epic take on it (and by doing so, canonize the backstory of quite a few of said stories)?

Also, it's about fine time Spike got his own heartsong! :)

Not to mention Spike earning the title of "hero", after (some might say) merely being given it for his actions before.
Digo Dragon 26th Aug 2016, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The episode was okay. Nothing wow'd me with it, but I thought Thorax was pretty cute.
Winged Cat 25th Aug 2016, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Separate post (and thus thread) for the comic itself.

What prohibited you from grabbing screencaps? (Besides, you seem to have grabbed three.) I grab mine from and I know there are other sources around.

A lot of the inventions we benefit from, might have been taken as exactly this sort of unreality in an RPG. Electronic circuits rely on hacks of conductivity paired (usually) with timed, discrete signals. Electricity itself stemmed from deep investigation into lightning bolts and atomic physics. Guns are this crazy result of explosions happening within small pipes sturdy enough to contain them in all but one direction, with a projectile-to-be that just happens to be in that direction waiting to be pushed out fast. Steam power is much the same, minus the projectile but with components attached to other components (such as in turbines or pistons) such that they can be pushed but will not fall off.

Indeed, one can view our modern world as what happens after literally millennia of munchkinism, building on itself and accelerating as there is more to build on, starting with the stone age or however far before then you want to go. Some prefer RPGs as a venue where perceived limits aren't constantly being pushed or just plain rendered obsolete. (Hello there, "humans will never fly"/"humans will never reach the Moon"/"cable and broadcast TV are the main ways to get live video"/"computers will never be as good as humans at (fill in the blank)"/etc.)

The right kind of PC can break just about any setting (barring railroad-grade GM opposition). The trick is to make sure the PC breaks it in the right way, which often involves the PC only trying to break things in ways that just assist the party and/or are short-lived, rather than permanent improvements that will readily and logically spread through an entire civilization. (Such as Pinkie Pie: nothing is physically preventing her from sharing her designs with other earth ponies, but she's not the type to volunteer them - because she doesn't see it as important - and nopony dares ask her.)

Or, alternately, time the campaign so that the long-term effects take long enough to ramp up that they are at most barely felt within the time span of the game. (One game month and 10 levels into the game, sure, the PC wizard can have a few lackeys armed with prototype muskets. Six game months in, when the PCs are at the level cap and the final boss fight is upon the world, those same lackeys can have early gatling guns to clear away the enemy hordes and explain why the PCs only have to fight the boss - who is, of course, immune to bullets.)

Or be like me, and design whole campaigns around the PCs doing that. (What happens when you give a blastoise sodium injectors on their cannons, so as to cause explosions powerful enough to give high velocity to projectiles they load, and make sure said cannons can stand up to said blasts? The party has already gotten a MissingNo to make a rare flavor of ice cream for them.)
Pablo360 25th Aug 2016, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
Hold on a second.

Are you saying engineers are professional munchkins?

…I don't know what to think about that.
Digo Dragon 25th Aug 2016, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Well, engineering is all about numbers and maximizing their effects, so... kinda.

But in a good way. Cause if I'm driving over a bridge, I want the engineer who designed it to maximize whatever gives that bridge the most pluses to stay standing.
Winged Cat 25th Aug 2016, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
Yes, engineers (and inventors, and tinkerers) are professional munchkins - in a (usually) good way, as Digo notes. I speak on this as an engineer.
Dusk Raven 25th Aug 2016, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
"What prohibited you from grabbing screencaps? (Besides, you seem to have grabbed three.) I grab mine from and I know there are other sources around."

Well, I was using Netflix on my PC... and then it stopped working. Then I looked for my MLP DVD, except the EXACT DISK I needed was missing, and I couldn't find it. Still can't.

I restarted my computer and then Netflix worked fine, though.
Grant 25th Aug 2016, 6:53 PM edit delete reply
There's an easy counter to her gyrocopter powered by Earth Pony magical strength. Sure she has the power to make it work. But can she make a gyrocopter that could handle the power, let alone at levels early enough for flight to be at all useful compared to other skills she could focus on? Can it be maintained cheaply?

Always remember, if your players want to sidestep rules with logical applications of abilities, hit back with mundane requirements and inefficiencies!
you know that guy 25th Aug 2016, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Here's an argument I'd accept:
"Earth ponies can't use contraptions to fly unless that's what their cutie mark is designed for, because of niche protection. Pegasuses fly and earth ponies get other benefits in exchange."
Those benefits are nebulous and intangible in the show, aside from farming, but in a game it should work.
Winged Cat 25th Aug 2016, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
Actually, given the other mechanical stuff Pinkie Pie has come up with, I'd say she could handle the mundanities without even thinking about them. (Though if she did consciously think through them, they might fail. She's like that.)
Jennifer 26th Aug 2016, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
So she's a 40K Ork Mekgirl?
Dusk Raven 26th Aug 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Any time 40K gets crossed over with MLP I tend to think, "I bet Pinkie's part-Ork..."
terrycloth 26th Aug 2016, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Earth ponies and unicorns can fly (with difficulty). Pegasi and unicorns can smash stuff. Earth ponies and pegasi can do magic (or at least, potions). All the niches are unprotected! D:
Dusk Raven 26th Aug 2016, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
Fun fact - that third panel is not a direct screencap. Pinkie, her contraption, and the two flyers were waaaay too far apart for me to fit them in the frame and have everyone still be of decent size in the final comic, so since I was using Photoshop I moved Pinkie a ways closer.

Meanwhile, I'm not satisfied with the placement of the dialogue bubbles and boxes... hmm. Thoughts?
Jennifer 26th Aug 2016, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
Basically, remember that comics readers (in English) read right to left and up to down. "No! You can't fly...", for example, should have been above and to the left of "Why not?" Instead, I read:

1. Why not?
2. No! You can't fly by...
3. There's not enough lift!

I do like how you made Gilda appear to be the GM here, by the way.
Jennifer 26th Aug 2016, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
OOPS! I meant to say we read left to right... :p
Ishidan 26th Aug 2016, 8:07 PM Pinkie sense edit delete reply
It's Pinkie. Yes, she could predict the question before Gilda opened her mouth.
Dusk Raven 26th Aug 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
I'd hoped the height difference would have offset that... alas.