Page 82 - Eminent Epiphany

14th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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Eminent Epiphany
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM edit delete
The climax of the episode draws near. The pressure's on! What do you think will happen?

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



Falgaia 14th Feb 2012, 5:05 AM edit delete reply
lol, hadn't noticed the spark in her eyes when watching the episode. Nice job, animators. +)
Cony 14th Feb 2012, 5:07 AM edit delete reply
Really, you didn't notice it? It had a sound effect and everything
Anon 14th Feb 2012, 5:08 AM Hmm edit delete reply
Have to say, these players are a little dick-ish. Noone seems to appreciate the actual story, not even Rarity.
Trivial 14th Feb 2012, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Uhhh, It's a D&D campaign. Players never appreciate the story. Ask any DM.
KFDirector 14th Feb 2012, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
If your players seem to appreciate your story, they've fundamentally misunderstood it. Roll with it anyway; bring them back around to the story you actually meant to tell, or decide that their version of the story is better and play on that.

If they do completely understand it, then it's probably too simple and cliche, and they'll make fun of it. Best chance is to just roll with it, and try to have a fun game anyway - or, if you're ambitious, "reveal" (create) a hidden layer to the story that remedies your earlier use of cliche.

They might also not understand it and know that they don't understand it. When this goes beyond "there's a lot of unanswered questions here" and into "I don't even know what questions to ask anymore", you run the serious risk that they'll stop caring entirely, and that's when they just get abusive - of the DM, of the setting, of the game itself.

My campaigns usually vacillate between options 1 and 2, because I've seen so many DMs spend whole campaigns in the option 3 zone and never properly recover from it, and it's the least fun way.
Stairc 14th Feb 2012, 12:42 PM Story edit delete reply
Actually, all my players are entirely focused on my story. Often they eschew combat to focus more on it. :)

However, almost no players want to play puppets for the DM. That kind of story doesn't work. You aren't writing a story, you create a situation for the player's to experience and let their actions drive the conflict. You shape an adventure for them to live, not a static story for them to go through. Players will love you for it.
Parchment Scroll 14th Feb 2012, 10:49 PM Story? We don't need no steenking STORY! edit delete reply
I've found the best way around the story dilemma is to come up with a plan - what the Big Bad is trying to do - and treat every character interaction with the PCs as a potential way for that plan to go awry. If you make YOUR plans the VILLAIN'S plans, then you'll be HAPPY when the players go off the rails.
Seanpony Renaud 14th Feb 2012, 1:42 PM Hey I once had a player appreciate the story! edit delete reply
It can happen. But only during a solar eclips on Febrary 29th during a snow storm in Egypt but tit possible!
Torg 14th Feb 2012, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
You think these players are bad? One of the guys in Darths and Droids thinks Jedi is a type of cheese.
Darkside 14th Feb 2012, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
At least it's not as bad as one player I partied alongside.

Whenever we were in combat, he'd complain that he wanted to develop the story. And then, when we were going through the story, he'd complain about wanting to fight stuff.

His paladin (who ALWAYS went last in combat) had the catchphrase "It's that time again!"
Akouma 14th Feb 2012, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
My players actually really enjoy the story of my campaign. It's a tad cliche, with most of the curves in the story being in the form of non-traditional D&D race roles (the drow live in a dense jungle, and are actually a very positive influence on the world most of the time, well-respected by most except their rival empire, for example. This leads to a funny situation, where one of my players is basically the anti-Drizzt because the drow are a good society and she's a psychopathic drow necromancer-in-training wanted dead or alive for her crimes). That said, about half of my players are at least somewhat disappointed when we have combat sessions. The only reason I HAVE combat sessions is because is because the other half of my table is hack-and-slash players who get very noticeably irritated when we have more than 2 or 3 story sessions in a row.

We actually just got through the first overarching story in my campaign. Arc two begins next week, and literally everyone in the group has expressed much anticipation. At the end of arc one, they assassinated the emperor of the drow's rival empire (the shardminds), and the drow army had just sacked the city. Then a colossal maw in the earth opened up in the palace square, and the legions of hell began spewing out, and sacked the city themselves. They established complete dominion over the city and surrounding countryside inside of an hour, while the PCs and the lucky members of the army they had raised had to flee. Arc two is going to be beating back the demon threat. Some of you may remember the story about the ghost demon hunter paladin from earlier in the campaign. This is where he comes in as an important character.
banjo2 15th Feb 2012, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
...Why am I reminded vaguely of Guild Wars Nightfall?
Anon (OP) 15th Feb 2012, 6:01 AM Oh yeah edit delete reply
You know what, I realise now that I'm being really silly. The players here are acting the same way as they do in DM of the Rings, and I LOVE DMotR! I think it's because they're ponies. AJ would never shout at someone in such a disrespectful tone, and I think that's what bugging me. I'm still viewing them as the sweet, innocent ponies, not as DnD players.
Rycr 18th Feb 2012, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
Um...I can easily imagine AJ using that exact tone of voice.

And they're not sweet and innocent. Occasionally naive, yes. But they all have their own flaws and none of them are perfect, which is part of the reason why they're such interesting characters.
Anon 21st Feb 2012, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
AJ would never shout at someone like that for telling a story. All the times she's been shouting at someone, there have been reasons (friends kidnapped, etc).

And they are most definitely sweet and innocent. They do have flaws, but they do not conciously try to hurt/be mean to people just for the sake of being mean/hurting. They would not shout at the DM just for roleplaying. But that's what makes this comic fun, that's often how roleplayrs interact.
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
She and the rest of the players other than Twilight have also been just sitting around twiddling their thumbs and not getting to play while this whole scene has been playing out. I can certainly understand her being a bit testy.
Big Mac! 14th Feb 2012, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Big Mac!
nice sparkles lol
Saddlesoap Opera 14th Feb 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Looks like it's time to realize the value of Aid Another...I mean Friendship.
Guest 14th Feb 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Don't you mean 'Imminent' Epiphany?
Newbiespud 14th Feb 2012, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Considering the particular epiphany at hand, both words work. :)
PhantomFox 14th Feb 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Has it been stated whether or not the other episodes would be transformed into a campaign as well, or are we just ending after this?
Newbiespud 14th Feb 2012, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
I've been informed there are potential threats against my life if I don't at least make it through Dragonshy.

So no. We're not ending here.
sjosten 14th Feb 2012, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
gindranis 14th Feb 2012, 2:31 PM edit delete reply
This comment made the comic 20% cooler.
Lyntermas 14th Feb 2012, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
Yes, dance for us, Newbiespud. We will let you have another moment's peace again. Bwahahaha!

Seriously though, thank you for doing this.
reynard61 14th Feb 2012, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
I would prefer to use "Diplomatic persuasion"; but, yes, I'm glad that you'll be continuing the comic.
the1andonly joe 14th Feb 2012, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
not to dishearten anyone, but i did some quick number-crunching. if we assume 40 strips per episode (the current average, give or take) and 3 strips a week, that gives us 12 strips a month. 4 months makes 50-ish strips, so one episode. 1 year makes 3 epiosodes. there are 24 episodes of season 1 left, which makes for approximatly 8 more years of friendship is dragons... just for the first season. yeah this is going to last a while.

have to admit though that i am looking forward to every minute!
HereticRIDAA 15th Feb 2012, 7:15 PM edit delete reply
Hey, you deserve that moment of peace, Spud.

Hell, you can even have three, since I'm feelin' mighty generous.

As for those "potential threats..." well, lemme handle them. I can be...<i>persuasive</i> when needed.
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Twilight: "Wait a second, that's it! I used an obscure third party sourcebook Pinkie's player loaned me, I can change the classes of all the party members to artificer for one round, and then we can mimic the powers of any artifact we can see, wheather they work or not! We're saved!"

NWW: "Third party sourcebook? Let me see that... Who the hell is Steve Jackson?"
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Gah, typo. *NMM
Panoptes 14th Feb 2012, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Dammit, now I have to think of something funny that 'NWW' could stand for...
sjosten 14th Feb 2012, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Nasty Walrus Wizard/Warrior
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 8:35 AM edit delete reply
Needlessly weaponized woobie?
Ranubis 14th Feb 2012, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
Nun Wielding Wabbajack
LordofBoron 14th Feb 2012, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
So would that be the Wabbajack firing a nun or a nun using the Wabbajack?
Ranubis 14th Feb 2012, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
Rad 14th Feb 2012, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
Nightwhale Woona?
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Shh! Never imply an alicorn is overweight, even a little!
Kosine 14th Feb 2012, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
Night[anything] Woona wins forever.

- Nightwing Woona?
- Nightwig Woona?
- Nightwonk Woona?
- Nightwater Woona?
- Nightwibble Woona?
- Nightwarrior Woona?
- Nightwallop Woona?
- Nightwinter Woona?
- Nightwiki Woona?
- NightWelsh Woona?
- Nightworcestershire Woona?
- Nightwhisk Woona?
- Nightwand Woona?
- Nightware Woona?
- Nightwendigo Woona?
- Nightwacko Woona?
Princess Spectra 14th Feb 2012, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
The first thing I thought of was Nightwear Woona.
sjosten 15th Feb 2012, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
NightWolverine Woona
Sour Grapes 14th Feb 2012, 2:32 PM NWN edit delete reply
NeverWinter Nights.
Kaleopolitus 14th Feb 2012, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
I'm sorry Sour Grapes, but that's just fail...
anonpony 16th Feb 2012, 12:20 AM edit delete reply
how 'bout NeverWinter Wights? *ducks*
Masterofgames 16th Feb 2012, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Personally, I'm suprised more people are commenting on the typo than Steve Jackson.
Izandai 16th Feb 2012, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
Hi, welcome to the Internet. You must be new here.
Cain 18th Feb 2012, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
Nuns with Whips just imagine it... Nevermind don't
JiiKoo 14th Feb 2012, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
I always found it weird that the others were calmly walking up the stairs and calling Twi's name when they must have known something had happened to her. They did leave the room where she disappeared in a hurry...

About the comic, I have no idea how you're going to explain the Elements. I can't remember if the characters were premade by the GM. If they were, I could see the GM taking over because the characters are indeed the Elements even though they might not have been played like they were. We'll see...
KFDirector 14th Feb 2012, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
As for their leisurely stroll, my guess is that they encountered one or more traps already on the way through the second tower, and weren't going to be charging blindly up the stairs in fear of running into another one.
Miscellany 14th Feb 2012, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
My guess is that the elements would have been changed depending on the player's actions; Like if Rainbow Dash had betrayed them, there would only be five, and if somepony acted differently, their element's name would have been changed.
Classic Steve 14th Feb 2012, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
They were not premade. RD wished she'd chosen her cutie mark more carefully.
Derpmind 14th Feb 2012, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
That's the thing: It's very lucky that each of Twilight's friends have made actions that correspond to an Element of Harmony. Any one of their actions could have been different, but through a combination of luck and roleplaying Applejack used Honesty to save Twilight's live on the cliff, Fluttershy used Kindness to subdue the manticore, Pinkie Pie used Laughter to dispel the fear trees, Rarity used Generosity to calm Steven Magnet, and Rainbow Dash used Loyalty to resist the lame-bolts.

Things could have turned out differently: Applejack could have tried to keep hold of Twilight and both of them could have fallen to their deaths. Fluttershy could have attacked with the rest of the party and killed the manticore. Pinkie Pie could have used fire to burn the fear trees. Rarity could have threatened to tear off Steven Magnet's hair. Rainbow Dash could have joined the Shadow Bolts. I really don't think the DM even considered the possibility that the six of them could earn the power of the Elements of Harmony before the game started. That's why Twilight's epiphany is an epic win.
Akouma 14th Feb 2012, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Using loyalty to describe Rainbow's actions with the lame-bolts is stretching the term pretty far. I guess she could be the "Element of Taking the Better Deal" or the "Element of Fairly Accurate Judge of Character."

But yeah, the rest of them fell into place very nicely.
Akouma 14th Feb 2012, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
Oh wait, I came up with a better one! The "Element of Being a Pretty Good Girl When It's Convenient I Guess."
sidhe3141 31st May 2012, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
You make it sound as though burning the fear trees does not fit with the element of Laughter.

Burning a grove of magical fear trees always calls for laughter.

Burning anything always calls for laughter.
Bronymous 15th Feb 2012, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
She was loyal to her class at least. The "Element of Doing-My-Very-Best-to-Pick-a-Fight-in-this-Nauseatingly-Colorful-Friendshipfest-You-Call-a-Campaign" would work as well.
Chris 14th Feb 2012, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
>What do you think will happen?

Well if I were DMing, or if my players were the party, I'd say there's gonna be a TPK coming within the next dozen rounds or so.

But the DM here seems to be pretty forgiving, and there are at least a couple reasonably competent outside-the-box thinkers in the party, so I'm going to guess that they find a way to talk/artifact NMM into not mashing them all into dog food.
Anvildude 14th Feb 2012, 9:28 PM edit delete reply
Inside the Chimney, you mean.
Steel Zephyr 14th Feb 2012, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
My theory: a natural 20, plus Pinkie's player coming up with a scheme that is too hairbrained to fail.
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie: "I disbelieve Nightmare Moon."

DM: "... What?"

Pinkie: "You heard me, there is no way you made an adventure that can't me beaten, it's the sign of a bad DM, and you've had enough experience to not make that mistake. Thus, something about this is not real, an illusion. And I disbelieve the illusion that is Nightmare Moon."

DM: "... Can she do that?"

Applejack: "Yep, it's one of the only surefire ways to dispell illusions, just identify it AS an illusion, then deny it. Simple as that."

DM: "..." (Gets up from table, walks to the side of the room, and starts beating head against wall.)
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
gah, typo again! *can't BE beaten
Ekevoo 14th Feb 2012, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
Isn't that meta-game knowledge, highly frowned upon?
Masterofgames 14th Feb 2012, 6:54 PM edit delete reply
You forget, this is Pinkie we're talking about. It's not only valid, it's EXPECTED from her.
legomaster00156 15th Feb 2012, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
Nopony can reasonably expect ANYTHING from Pinkie, because she will always do something off-the-wall.
Masterofgames 15th Feb 2012, 8:53 PM edit delete reply
You mean something like this?

Pinkie: "We surrender."

NMM: "... What?"

Pinkie: "Yep, you win, and we lose. That means you have to punish us."

NMM: "... the hell?"

Pinkie: "Ooh, yes! Punish us GOOD! Punish us like bad, BAD ponies! (swoon)Take me my kinky goddess of bondage!" (Flying tackle hug)

NMM: "... Uh... You know what? I just remembered, I left... thing, on... back on the moon... and I'm really ahead of schedule anyway... the moon was actually nice. I'm going to go take another few decades of vacation. Now." (Poof)

Rarity: "Well done Pinkie! You bluffed her good! You must have rolled a natural 20 a good three times in a row!"

Pinkie: (sad) "I didn't roll at all... I wasn't bluffing. (Sniff)"
Ranubis 14th Feb 2012, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
DM: "Well, this seems to be wrapping up nicely. Now the party can be forced to work for NMM at the threat of Celestia's death, so we get some sessions of them doing odd jobs like taking over Ponyville and hunting down any resistance movement. Over time, they grow stronger and stronger, until they can finally defeat NMM in an epic high-level battle, then restore Celestia to the throne, or take over Equestria on their own. I have so been looking forward to building off this campaign! And it makes sense, really. I mean, how could some level one adventurers possibly take down a god-level villain?"
magewolf 14th Feb 2012, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
ah just got weird looks from some co-workers caus ah saw the sparkle in twilight's eye's and said outloud:
yay friendship cannon!
gindranis 14th Feb 2012, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
Shoot them. (with the friendship cannon)
Kelvin360 14th Feb 2012, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
What do I think will happen?

Rocks /fall/. Everypony /dies/. :D
Steel 14th Feb 2012, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
well in the now old game I was in (sniff its alwasy bitter sweet when the adventures over isn't it?) there wasn't over much of a story, big evil temple so go fix it ya doofs. Where we got most of our story is how thew PC acted and interacted. It was goofy but fun.
Digo 14th Feb 2012, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
If it's anything like my games... the dice are going to explode:

There were the players, fighting for their lives against a huge green dragon on it's own terms-- the basement level of a floating castle. Oh sure, the castle was kept sturdily up in the air... but being the basement level, the only way out was either through the (now) magically locked door at the base of the stairs or the cavern exit that has an annoying 5,000 foot drop!

The fight was going badly for the players, but because they numbered six versus the one dragon, they kept moving around, forcing the dragon to spread out it's attacks and not take down any one player. The dragon too wasn't in the clear winning lane. It only had so many hit points and the players were prepared before they got here.

As things were looking grim all around, the dragon decided to leave and cut its loses in case the players got a few more lucky hits. However, the dragon made one tactical mistake and gave the players each one attack action before it flew off. The players all rushed in to attack!


The dice exploded into critical hits! The dragon let out a gasping yelp and fell at the feet of the heroes- dead.

True Story.
Lyntermas 14th Feb 2012, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
Twilight: It turns out that I have the Elements right here.
AJ: Uh, Twilight, what are you doing?
Twilight: *I'm gonna make a Bluff roll. Play along.* Celestia had a contingency plan in case the Elements broke. She would allow us to absorb their power to defeat you. should surrender now.
Rarity: *...Darling, not even a natural 20 would have her believe that garbage."
Twilight: *She's a god-empress and we're level 1, what options do I have?*
NMM: Do you expect me to believe that you could properly wield the power of the Elements, even if I hadn't just crushed them beneath my hooves?
Twilight: Uh, sure we can. Uh, take AJ here. Her honesty helped me to survive when we were falling off the cliff face. Making her represent the Element of Honesty.
GM: Shards from the Elements start to glow and levitate. Part of them start circling AJ.
RD:...What the hell?
AJ: ...So, Twilight, who do our other friends represent?
Twilight: *AJ, I don't know what's happening. I didn't plan on this even working, how am I..."
AJ: *I know, Twi. But these Elements are reacting, so just roll with it.*
Kaleopolitus 14th Feb 2012, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
... I think you just broke Newbiespud's plan :O
Bronymous 14th Feb 2012, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
Actually, Im hoping Newbie is a member of the Shyahamalamnan family and throws in a ridiculous twist. Remember, just because we saw it happen in the show doesn't mean anything REMOTELY similar has to happen here.

But it probably will. If so, I demand that Orbital Friendship Cannon find its way into the dialogue.
Dragonflight 14th Feb 2012, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
Orbital Friendship Cannon? This isn't a Nanoha crossover, is it? :)_
Pinkie 3.14159265358979 14th Feb 2012, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
God, I hope he isn't part of the Shyamalan family, because that man fucked Avatar the Last Airbender forever. That bastard.
CrowMagnon 15th Feb 2012, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Thankfully, he only ruined the prospects of live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender (which is always a risky gamble to begin with) and in the process made Legend of Korra that much more tantalizing.
Keairan 15th Feb 2012, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
Well, Cthulhu did take credit for making that movie suck.
Ember_Glow 14th Feb 2012, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
After this episode, will you be going straight to the Discord two-parter or to another episode?
Lycanthromancer 14th Feb 2012, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
If you think players NEVER appreciate a good story, you are demonstrably wrong.


Also note that that link connects to some seriously AWESOMESAUCE stories. Go go SilverClawShift!
Hennith95 14th Feb 2012, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
Just a note about the comic in general:
Ever since getting to the castle, the DM seems to have given up on descriptions. I'd like to see a little more of how they'd describe what the screencaps are visually showing us. For instance, the purple cyclone thing that teleported the elements away was never addressed in dialogue (actually, I don't think anyone mentioned teleporting at all). The only thing telling Twilight that she got thrown back from the elements in the previous strip is the fact that the DM rolled and a "POW" sound effect.

Beyond that, I'm really liking your interpretation of this show as a D&D campaign. I'll have to see if I can talk my friends into a pony campaign some day. :)
Derpmind 15th Feb 2012, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
I remember a Darth and Droids comic that was just screencaps for most of the pannels, and then at the end someone said how great the DM's descriptions were. The joke was that the pictures we see are actually partially the DM's descriptions. I can't find the comic page where that happened though.
banjo2E 15th Feb 2012, 2:28 AM edit delete reply
@Derpmind You're thinking of

@Newbiespud The DM is going to have a hard time convincing the players that Dash is Loyalty. Beyond that? Surprise me.
Derpmind 15th Feb 2012, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
It's not how I remember it at all. Meh.
David 15th Feb 2012, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
Derpmind, I think you actually might be thinking of
Derpmind 20th Feb 2012, 8:57 PM edit delete reply
I guess I got them both mixed up in my memory.
Lyntermas 14th Feb 2012, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
...Well, I had meant to "never" let him have another moment's peace, but since you're just so appreciative I'll let you have it.
Bronymous 15th Feb 2012, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
I notice that Big Bad's tend to make big Proclamations, and then they end up failing, and they kinda look stupid.

In the case of NMM, she actually says "The Night...will last...FOREVERRRRR!" and proceed to laugh her ass off, not once, but TWICE in the show. And she says it EXACTLY the same both times. In any DnD Party, that's enough for a running joke for the rest of the campaign.
banjo2E 15th Feb 2012, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Oh my god, Pinkie Promises...
DHos 15th Feb 2012, 8:35 AM edit delete reply
I think that what happens in the episode will happen here.
Arcana 12th Jun 2012, 6:53 PM It looks like Twilight... edit delete reply
Sparkles. B)