Page 804 - Open Door Adventure

15th Sep 2016, 6:00 AM in Pinkie Pride
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Open Door Adventure
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 15th Sep 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
So here's a Story Time for ya:

Any good stories about guest players? People who were only in a campaign once or twice. What kinds of characters did they play? How did they contribute to the plot? How did the DMs make use of them? Did any new players get introduced to tabletop roleplaying this way?

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



ANW 15th Sep 2016, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Ooooo. We have a guest.
Who do you think it is?
I'm thinking Scootaloo.
Zaranthan 15th Sep 2016, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Speech bubble isn't Scootaloo's color. It's Gilda.
Lalli-is-Best 15th Sep 2016, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Definitely Gilda.
Tatsurou 15th Sep 2016, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
The body of the bubble is orange-brown. The border is purple.
Those *are* Scootaloo's colors.
Joshua Robinson 6th Dec 2020, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
It's a little too dark.

And yes, it is Gilda.
venseyness 15th Sep 2016, 6:17 AM maud edit delete reply
The one character the colors fit is Maud.
So I'm thinking Maud.
Digo Dragon 15th Sep 2016, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It's Javolt!
Mykin 15th Sep 2016, 9:52 AM edit delete reply
Nah, Javolt would have a much grander introduction than "'Sup".... Unless one of his experiments backfired and altered his personality. I guess that could be a possibility.
Digo Dragon 15th Sep 2016, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
With Javolt, isn't everything a possibility?
Pablo360 17th Sep 2016, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Campaign comics do tend to alter the character of the, um, characters (cough cough Darths & Droids Han Solo) (and Leia, Luke, Vader, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padme/Amidala, Grievous, Maul, Jango Fett,…)

Wait. What if someone made a campaign comic… out of an actual campaign?

(oh wait that doesn't make sense nevermind)

Blueblade 16th Sep 2016, 8:15 PM edit delete reply
You just have to wait for it. Knowing Javolt what would happen would be that Rainbow would open the door then he would come exploding through the window.
Blueblade 16th Sep 2016, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
I only just noticed the speech bubble saying "sup" in the bottom right corner...
Blueblade 16th Sep 2016, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
I only just noticed the speech bubble saying "sup" in the bottom right corner...
Boris Carlot 15th Sep 2016, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
I'd be shocked if it wasn't Gilda.
Rhino_Man 15th Sep 2016, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
It's totally discord.
Dragonflight 16th Sep 2016, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
The ponies all look in confusion at the strange collection of parts assembled into a snakey creature. Discord frowns and pulls out a pocket watch. "Oh, look at that. I'm early. By about half a season, apparently. No worries, I'll be back soon!" Then he vanishes.
Ishidan 16th Sep 2016, 1:56 AM Sup edit delete reply
With a greeting of "'Sup"?
I'm calling it as...
Babs Seed.
The Bronx Barberian.
Digo Dragon 16th Sep 2016, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"The Bronx Barbarian" totally needs to be a thing for a future Fallout game. I'd play it. XD
CrowMagnon 15th Sep 2016, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
If the guest comic turns out to be canon, then I bet it's Phoebe from "Steven and the Crystal GMs"
Crystalite 15th Sep 2016, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
This would be a whole new level of awesome.
Pablo360 15th Sep 2016, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
It'd be at least 20%—

Wait, the guest comic already made that reference.
Rastaba 16th Sep 2016, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
To my knowledge, it isn't Phoebe. Not that I am opposed to such...especially since rolling who I think this is does seem to be the kind of thing she'd do. My money is on Gilda though.
Kaze Koichi 15th Sep 2016, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Do the girls ever hang out with guys or are they of that age when all people of other gender have cooties?
Digo Dragon 15th Sep 2016, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Perhaps none of their guy friends are into RPGs?
jdb1984 15th Sep 2016, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
They do have lives outside of the RPG, so maybe they have dates between campaigns. Or maybe they just aren't interested in any romantic relationships at this point in their lives.
Winged Cat 15th Sep 2016, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Or maybe they're dating each other, and view the game as one big group date?

(I know, I know. I spend too much time around ardent shippers.)
T 16th Sep 2016, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
What if they are guys who RP as girls? Or girly guys... or buff manly hairy gay men... or undercover cops... or simulations that cease to exist when they are not around each other...
Blueblade 16th Sep 2016, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
I don't think the DM's gender has been specified, so they could be a guy... Now that I think about we don't even know who the DM is!...
Malroth 16th Sep 2016, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
I like to insert patrick stewart's voice for the GM sometimes.
albedoequals1 15th Sep 2016, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
I have two stories for that prompt:

1st story: When I first started running a campaign with Ponyfinder, I actually had David Silver as a player for a little while. He hung around at the start to help me out, since it had been his suggestion that I run a game in the first place.

Having the author of the setting as a player is somewhat unsettling, but he's a very easy going guy. He played a bard who used oration as his performance, and every time he performed, he would tell a story about a similar situation where the good guys had won.

Being a busy fellow, he had to quit after the first dungeon, but he helped me find other players, and I'm still running the same campaign to this day, 16 months later.

2nd story: Several of my players are also GMs in their own rights. One of them periodically has to miss sessions because he LARPs, so another volunteered to run an alternate game in the same time slot so people don't get bored.

Over time, we've made quite a bit of progress in the alternate game and got hooked on the story, so one time when the LARPer was there, we played the alt game anyway so we didn't end on a cliffhanger. We were exploring an alien spaceship (long story) so he was brought in as an alien we found in cryostasis. He spent the whole session calling us ignorant savages and hiding behind the casters whenever there was any combat. :P
Digo Dragon 15th Sep 2016, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
That's amusing that the backup game in your second example turned out to be popular enough to become a main thing. Must have been a fun campaign. :3
Blueblade 16th Sep 2016, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
I just can't stop imagining the Alien from "Alien" cowering behind someone else...
Kale 15th Sep 2016, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Can't say as I've ever really had a 'good' guest character. As a player or a GM, not really.

Last time there was a guest character, I was a player and I ended up killing them. There was a giant golden donut shaped apocalypse weapon which everyone said, repeatedly, do not touch. Both in and out of character we explained it.

Well, the big bad was running to touch it, I had learned by speaking with him beforehand, he hadn't realized we were there to capture him yet, that the safest place to be when it activated was in the middle of the golden donut. So I ran in and stood there, hooray for being a self-centered evil character!, and then she ran in and touched it. No apocalypse, but we did shift to an alternate reality. The rest of the party altered their characters while we were sent out of the room and when we got back the big bad wizard cyclops had turned into a bigger badder barbarian cyclops. I didn't move from my spot as she ran in to help the others fight the beastie. I spent a round figuring out what the best thing to do now would be and decided that putting my witch hat on and slinging spells from within the donut of doom was my best bet, especially when it became apparent that I could get one shotted by him. Afterwards, I started healing everyone, and when we got to her I used an inflict spell instead of a cure spell because she was either A) Insane and wanting to bring about the end of times, B) Crazy and just liked to touch shiny things, or C) An idiot who just likes to touch shiny things. None of which make for a good meat shield, well C sometimes but not when there's a shiny touch activated apocalypse weapon within arm's reach. I felt bad, but my character was evil and this random person that had shown up was dangerous so... yeah. Sneak attack!
Tacticslion 15th Sep 2016, 7:09 AM "Never Trust a Halfling" Became True edit delete reply
Once when we had a group with one guy ("Wizard") who'd had this... thing with Halflings. Whenever I (the GM) mentioned them (no matter the situation), Wizard immediately (no matter the situation) reflexively and quickly with a look of terror said in a half-whisper, "I check my pockets!" So, naturally, it quickly became a group in-joke, and most of the players took up the mantra (made it very difficult, considering I'd established them as an important part of the local population/plot - they got minimized as a result of the silliness, but still), and even the one player quickly relaxed as I never used them as thieves (there were thieves, there were Halflings, and never the two met in that campaign) and he came to enjoy it as a joke. The mantra faded, though never completely left.

A bit later in the campaign, another PC ("Svirfneblin") invited a friend to join - we didn't know for how long (as it turned out, it was for a whole two sessions or so, but the group and I were ready for few or many), and that guy prepped a character under Svirfneblin's watch using character guidelines for the region they were in, while I ran things for the rest of the group.

When they were ready, I took stock of the new character. It was, of course, a Halfling rogue. Who specialized in stealthy thievery. Of everything.

The exact timing of this could have been better - the group was finally getting back from a series of press-ganged missions from which they'd gained freedom, and were now visiting the manor of the noble who'd forced their subservience. Wizard was looking for ways to subvert the authority of said noble - a powerful fighter with strong magical stuff on his person - and the PCs were (while constantly scanning for magical and mundane surveillance) plotting their revenge on/freedom from the guy (who also held the lives of many innocents effectively hostage against his own). He was evil, manipulative, arrogant, demanding, cold, and callous, but not loud or bombastic; simply firm and authoritative. (He also wasn't the mastermind, but the PCs did not know this at the time.)

As GM I felt obliged to introduce the new character. So I did. At a point in the meeting when it was reasonable, the noble excused himself (there were in-character reasons for doing so - nefarious ones, naturally, but nothing directly threatening to the PCs, at present); and (with a little "starting about fifteen minutes ago...") the Halfling ran a (very short) solo stealth mission of "robbing that noble house blind": a task he succeeded very well at, right up until he stealthed into the room with the rest of the PCs during their meeting with the governor. After the governor left, he spied on them a little bit, while picking their pockets. It was... pretty amazing.

Upon the extremely high-perception Barbarian noticing the Halfling, in the middle of his lifting the wizard's coins - again (he's stolen hundreds of gold from every member of the party, and incredible numbers of priceless artifacts from the governor's home) - the Barbarian cried out, and the Halfling nauchelantly tumbled out of harm's way, leaned on the the axe that had just slammed into the ground he'd been on a moment before, and said, "So, we killin' this gov'nuh dude, or jus' robbin' 'im? I got the first part covered - I even got some of his medals - right off his shirts!"

The Wizard absolutely freaks out and declares, "I check my pockets~!" a look of terror across his face; the other PCs - except the Halfling - all quizzically glance at him in amusement that turns to a head-cocked questioning look of bemusement, with what is then a slow slide of dawning to eventual stark terror that results in the same declaration across the table as the players actually all kind of do that pantomime of checking - sometimes non-existent - pockets in their shirts and pants. Wizard then uses hold person (without waiting to learn the state of the contents of his pockets), places the successfully paralyzed Halfling (critical success on the attack, critical failure on the save) into a bag of holding, grabs everything he can that locks valuable, from the meeting, starts a small fire at about Halfling level, and uses a scroll to teleport the party - all while screaming weirdly incomprehensible things about, "He's going to kill us all~! How is he moving so fast?! WHY ARE THERE A HALFLING~!" and so on. After they were free of the office, the Wizard's character (and it was definitely the character, not the player) finally finishes what seems to be a PTSD attack, and yells at the rest of the PCs (not players) for allowing a Halfling nearby, and demands to know how they could do that to him. They all (in-character) sheepishly agree that it was foolish of them. Bear in mind, none of them have ever seen nor heard anything about this Halfling prior to this exact moment. Also, there is now a fire in the governor's mansion.

Meanwhile the Halfling wakes up inside the wizard's bag of holding filled to the brim with various minor magic items they'd taken from a city the governor had forced them to plunder. Much of the magic evil and cursed, but the governor was going to take it all without compensating them. Plenty of coin, in there, too, though.

Me: "You, Halfling, you wake up."
Halfling: "*Snort* Wha-? I wake-? HALFLING?! I CHECK MY POCKETS~!!! Oh! It's all the stuff I stole~! :D"

The entire table collapses into gales of laughter. That was it. The game was over for the day. They were done. A single moment accidentally months in the making was perfectly timed, perfectly executed, and perfectly sealed by everyone in the party.

The group was actually rather large, and scheduling was chaotic, and he only made it for one more half-session. His character slipped out of the wizard's bag (and stole all of the wizard's bags - and several other bags, too), but headed back into the governor's mansion to steal more stuff. This turned out quite good for the party later, as the governor's spies (unable to get past the PCs' security previously) had been listening into the wizard's antics, but then confirmed the presence of "the Halfling" stealing everything that wasn't nailed down (and several things that were) and handily taking down a number of elite agents. The PCs were believed to be dead via this mysterious Halfling entity, who raided the governor's vault, gathered some pretty impressive and terrible evidence against the governor, dropped a bunch of useless papers in their place, and left. The fire was contained... but not before it burned the useless papers (and a specially prepared fake Halfling body-double thing) in the vault beyond repair, again throwing the bad-guys off the scent.

With the Halfling player's permission, Halfling used his contacts to drop off the actual and important papers to a secret society to get in contact with the PCs to help them start their revenge plot later.

(Of course, it never really worked out quite like that. The PC that came later with those papers never quite gave them over like I expected; the Wizard, eventually came back and sank the governor's entire mansion below the earth and covered it with a 5-foot layer of rock and that with a 15-foot deep layer of dirt and soil, and that with a new mansion of his own; and the mastermind was killed off-screen by unrelated villains due to actions of the PCs for pretty much entirely unrelated reasons - by the time the PCs figured out who it was that had been behind their original imprisonment, he was already dead by the machinations of the Wizard. Whoops. Of course, that was before said Wizard spent ten years atoning in a swamp while raising his half-shade half wood elf baby... before he went traveling back in time in order to help the svirfneblin raise a desert as a new angry god... that campaign got weird...)

At the end of the game, I simply had the Halfling continuing his misadventures in cursed and chaotic magic items and stealing stuff successfully - he became the reason, "Always check your pockets." was a motto around the Inner Sea.
Pablo360 15th Sep 2016, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Halflings got minimized? That's racist.
Tacticslion 15th Sep 2016, 7:56 AM I should have seen that coming. I really should. edit delete reply
D-dang it.

Well played, sir. Well. Played.

E2: Are you, in fact, said Halfling? It seems like you may well be. If so: hello, my friend. It's been a while! (Sorry I'm not on facebook.)

EDIT and E3:

Oh, Tempestfury: just saw your comment last comic. I don't have either of those things, I'm afraid. You're more likely to get consistent updates from me at, but you're even more likely to find invested experts in the 3.5 and PF d20 systems on that site. It's free to sign up and there are no strings attached - no hidden anything for doing so. I recommend it as a site, with a great community, over-all! Hm. Also, as an amendment, due to a recent event, I may have to suggest Giant in the Playground (the location for Order of the Stick). I can't tell you which would be better, exactly. I am currently of two minds on the matter, but I wanted to mention this, as certain recent events do belie my own post. Either way: the places are generally free and do have friendly people on them.
Pablo360 15th Sep 2016, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
I am, in fact, exactly not that person. I just saw the Freudian slip in the first paragraph and decided to release the joke from the stifling confines of my mind and into the wild and pure savannas of the comment section.
Tacticslion 15th Sep 2016, 7:00 PM Like Willy! edit delete reply
That works!

Your turn of phrase reminded me of him, so I asked. Thanks for releasing the joke: it needs to be free!
Ravian 15th Sep 2016, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
I've had a mixed experience with guest players. Most of the time I've used them to try to introduce some new people to RPG's, but it doesn't always turn out well.

One of the most immediate examples that comes to mind was when I decided to try fleshing out our party (there were only three players at the time.) by bringing in three new people at the same time. All of them were friends from school, but two of them were pretty much duds.

One was contrarian and indecisive. He wanted to play only the absolutely weirdest races (we were playing 4e and I'm pretty sure he was sticking exclusively to the third player's handbook) This wasn't a problem in and of itself, but he couldn't really stick to an idea. First he wanted a Wilden character (don't think we got to class with that one) then he quickly moved to Shardmind. We got through the process of actually making that character (a Psion), which got about half way through the adventure before he became convinced that his character sucked (possibly because he had an unfortunate tendency of trying to engage the monsters solo, not the best idea for a squishy caster) and he wanted a different one. Largely throughout the game he mostly complained that his characters weren't very good when he himself refused to play them well, and refused help from other players trying to teach him the game.

The second player though was just wholly uninterested in the game. I'm used to people who are at the game for more of the social experience than the game itself, but he was just nearly entirely unwilling to even try to seem interested. Building a character was a hassle because it required him to make decisions, and he mostly abdicated most of the secondary decisions (beyond race and class) to me (the DM). In play, he required constant prodding to do anything, which eventually culminated in him outright saying that he didn't care and asking me to take his turns for him.

Granted, for all that, the third player was absolutely fine. He wasn't perfectly engaging, but that's forgivable for a newbie, and he displayed an honest interest in learning and playing the game. Of the three, he was the only one that was ever invited for another session.
XandZero2 15th Sep 2016, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
I've had a lot of experience with players bringing guests to my games (usually their significant other), and it's been a mixed bag really.

Some guests have listened and watched the game for a little while - then started watching youtube with their headphones in (and I didn't mind as long as they wore headphones).

Others have listened and watched the game for a little while - then sheepishly asked if they could play too! In which case, I'm typically more than happy to oblige them. I've actually gained/introduced a number of players over the years in just such a way.
Mykin 15th Sep 2016, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
That is basically the nature of game store groups. It's a skill all game store GMs need to have to figure out some way to include new characters into the games when the party makeup keeps changing on a weekly basis. To put it into perspective, nearly every single story that I've told about my half-elven cleric featured a group that mostly consisted of guest players that happened to stop by the store that Wednesday and decided to play. Heck, the plan to "pretend" to sacrifice my cleric just so we could get the head cult leader alone and off her was conceived by a guest player that was only there for that one session. I kind of wish we did see him again, he played a really interesting illusion warlock.

Ironically, I haven't been able to consistently make it to the game store on Wednesdays since the game with my cleric has ended. So that basically makes me a guest player now whenever I do manage to make it on time.
Digo Dragon 15th Sep 2016, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
There were a few Shadowrun sessions where my brother was the "guest folio artist". He didn't want to play a character, but we had fun with him providing sound effects for the table.

I was a guest player once for a Deadlands game. The group was exploring an old (and very large) research complex called "Red Mesa". I was a scientist they found, Jordan Freeman, and they had me tag along to use my credentials for unlocking certain locked doors...
Winged Cat 15th Sep 2016, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
At one point, at a much younger age, I was a guest in the campaign my older brother was in (since he was essentially 'sitting me). We all knew I'd be a guest, so - I like to think it was mostly with their permission - I played an example of why there aren't as many high-level PCs as low-level. (They were all 10th at least; I was 1st-2nd.)

It went for more sessions than we had planned, so I went through on average one PC every other session. I did at least make for competent (if one-shottish) meat shields. (Highly lethal trap suspected? I'm the one who kicks down the door.) At one point I had an orc who regenerated from sheer stubbornness (the DM required me to roll a 1 on a d20 for my orc to fail to realize that he was dead, and I rolled that 1); at another, I had a cleric who prayed for divine intervention to avoid immediate death, and was sent directly to his god's paradise without having to experience death.
aylatrigger 15th Sep 2016, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes we've had players bring their girl friend...I think one of them played, but did not do much. (We've also had two people who were a couple...but they became a couple after joining)

Mostly the only 'guest player' stuff I have done is in the form of oneshots, where everyone is new anyway. And there are too many of those to think of, as I used to run oneshots for both my RPG Club and my Anime Club back in college. Mostly at the anime cons for the anime club, but they sometimes had like 20 people in one game.
Jennifer 15th Sep 2016, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
In my first attempt at DnD/XD20, I had a few drop-in characters. The first, and most devastating, was the guy who played an NPC orc.

The background was that the party had slaughtered the orc's scouting unit that had destroyed a border tower in preparation for an invading orc army. The surviving orc COULD have just run away. He COULD have reported that the kingdom was about to be aware of the attack. He COULD have just shadowed the party.

He chose to set a trap for them as they came out of a sidequest dungeon. He fumbled, was knocked out by his own trap, and the party captured him. He tried to talk the party's own half-orc into changing sides.

They took him to a nearby town, but during a werewolf attack forgot they were supposed to be watching him and left him tied up in a temple. While they ALL scattered after the monsters, he escaped his bonds, murdered the priestess, and set fire to the town. The angry citizens killed him with farm implements shortly before the party returned from its futile chase.

The party failed signally to combat the fire -- the wizard accidentally drove the fire to other buildings and the half-orc's savage appearance caused citizens to run shrieking or attack him rather than follow him to safety. Sadly, the campaign fell apart before the next session, which would have featured another drop-in as the Queen, grilling the party on why they had allowed the orc to escape and destroy one of her towns.
Akouma 15th Sep 2016, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
My Iron Kingdoms GM uses guest players often. Has them fill NPC roles. My first experience with that campaign was piloting an NPC.

Although the best story about guest NPCs in that game isn't really one about MY guest NPC-ing (although I was guesting that session as well). So me and another friend are both NPC-ing for the GM that session, and one of the PCs goes and visits his family back home that he hasn't seen in a while. So the GM has me take on the role of his dad, while my friend is his mom. Not gonna' lie, I was pretty bland on that one, but it was a perfect counterpoint to what my friend went with for his mom. He went with the most overbearing, guilt-tripping mother you could imagine. The PC went with another (male) PC in tow, and "mom" immediately greeted them saying "Bork, bubby, why you bringing another human whore into my house?" Then they turned to the other PC who'd just been called a prostitute and goes "not there's anything wrong with you sweetie just that you're a whore and you'll never be good enough for my bubby."

I would like to note at this point that I simply can't do the accent justice in text. Think a little bit New York, a little bit Boston.

As the conversation goes on, eventually "mom" starts getting upset that her son went adventuring and we got the immortal line "Your cousin he makes fences! And he makes such good fences! Hardly any pigs get out." As the PCs argued with Bork's mother about how he was doing good work and making a good name for himself, some thugs from the nearby village kidnap mom's pigs and start asking for ransom. Bork encases them in ice and tells them to leave his family the hell alone, which is the first time his family would become aware of his mage's spark. Being a mage in this setting is also unheard of for goblins. So his mother is awed into silence for a moment until she goes "Bubby, you know MAGIC?"

"Yeah, mom. I sorry I kept it from you."

"Then why tha' hell do I live in a freakin' SWAMP?"

They continued to argue for the remainder of the session, much to the delight of all in attendance. That player now also for no tangible benefit takes a percentage of the money he receives for his mercenary work and sends it back home so his mother won't yell at him if and when he next returns home.