Page 837 - Flocking Together

1st Dec 2016, 5:00 AM in Pinkie Pride
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Flocking Together
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 1st Dec 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
Yyyep, this arc's winding down now. It's been interesting, having a more purely antagonistic character on the player level of the story, rather than just bouncing everybody off each other.

Probably should've called for guest comics seven pages ago, but I can still keep trucking through to the next arc. If you have any pages stashed away for such an occasion, feel free to send them my way and I'll run them if they're good, but don't feel pressured to crap something out in less than two weeks.

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



ANW 1st Dec 2016, 5:41 AM edit delete reply
Well, this fight over the table is over.
What about you guys and gals out there?
Any fights over the table stories you have.
Did it end well?
Smarty 1st Dec 2016, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Long story (very) short and leaving a lot of drama out

and no

let's just say one player was used to having an unfair amount of spotlight than others and wasn't getting it because that wasn't how I rolled
Marin 1st Dec 2016, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
I don't think I've ever seen drama/fights at the table end well. They tend to, at least, kill the campaign in progress, if not break up a current group of players. I -wish- things could end with a sensible chat, but that's been rare in my experience.
Amanda M 1st Dec 2016, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Our Ravenloft game has been going through that. I made a Warlock whose backstory is that her closest friends at the orphanage died because of her (indirectly), so now she's obsessed with gaining power so it never happens again. Trouble is, that makes everyone else suspicious even when it works out for the group. Cut to the session before last and we finally have a hand of Strahd to give the Swamp Witch (who, I might add, gave us 2 whole freakin' levels), but with a flurry of notes being passed around, the Druid decided to run off with it to Madame Eva since no one trusted me to not instantly run off to the Witch with it. But since no one told -me- that, I see her jump on a horse and immediately Misty Step right behind her. We gallop off, fighting over the hand, and basically everything goes insane. GM calls a reboot (i.e. "you get the hand, but the horse freaks out and runs right back to the group, tossing you off."), and there's a lot of arguing. Then it's made clear that the power the witch was going to give us (which I thought we needed the hand -for-) was the levels she gave us already, so now Senna is all, "well F the witch then! If she's going to be stupid enough to pay up front, I have zero impetus to hurry up with my end of the bargain!" which completely gobsmacked the entire party. ;D

And I told our recapper later, stop painting me as the bad guy. I'm giving you guys the ultimate carrot for her - dangle the prospect of power in front of her, and she'll do whatever you want. She's the most basic psych profile ever, and you guys are treating her like ultimate evil without even RPing trying to change her mind. Land sakes, if this was our other campaign, my cleric would be non-stop proselytizing all over her.

I think it's also the problem of secrets in campaigns. I have zero problem separating player knowledge and character knowledge, but things happen to me that the other PCs don't see, but the players now think I'm 'secretive' because I don't overshare at the breakfast table about a dream I had. YOUR PCs DON'T KNOW I HAD ONE IN THE FIRST PLACE SO THEY SHOULD NOT BE BOTHERED, ugh.

Touchy subject, as you can tell.
Newbiespud 1st Dec 2016, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
Really? You just ask for stories of potentially painful drama?

Like... what?!

There are so many things wrong with this, ANW.
Amanda M 1st Dec 2016, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
I mean, we're all discussing everything like adults at least, so while there isn't super great party cohesion, there's plenty of player cohesion, which is the more important part. ;D The GM decided to table the Ravenloft game for now since he's on fire for a completely new concept that we'll all kind of build together, so everything's working out anyway!
Boris Carlot 1st Dec 2016, 8:50 AM edit delete reply
Sure. Wasn't a very interesting story, but we had a player who was acting like a dick and we didn't like playing with him, so we stopped inviting him to games.
aylatrigger 1st Dec 2016, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
The major ones that I can think of did not end well. One was mainly due to a lot of crap happening irl and led to two players leaving the group and breaking up. Another was due to my being naturally gifted in making horror games apparently (I don't read any horror and had never played horror before...) leading to one of the players breaking down and crying. And another led to another player leaving because he did not like conflict. ...Tabletop games generally do not have 'no conflict' and I could not gm for that, and no one else was willing to gm.
terrycloth 1st Dec 2016, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
We've had a couple. I mean, we argue all the time but there were a couple that ended with people screaming at each other and actually angry, or storming out of the room.

It usually ends up blowing over pretty quickly and not really amounting to anything. I don't think it's ever killed or even significantly changed a campaign or driven anyone away permanently (people tend to stop showing up when they're bored or too busy, not because they got mad last week).
Specter 1st Dec 2016, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
Group had stayed over at a friends house for the night (basically a game night that turned into a sleepover, or vice versa, I'm a little fuzzy on the details from something five years ago). At the end of the night the group had found a small inn to stay in and avoid the incoming rain storm. Cue us stopping and going to bed.

Next morning all of us get up and have breakfast except the DM who pulled half the night writing down what our adventure was. So us five adventurers resume our seating from last night unconsciously with food in hand and talked about what we are going to do in the campaign. We started off really well... then not so much.

Two of the players started arguing (again) about who should be leader, about our priorities, and blah, blah, blah. I was too brain dead to actually follow along.

It ended really well though. Our DM walked in after being woken up by the arguing and stopped the argument. He then said something that caught all of us off guard. He uses two phones to record what is said at the table (one from table, one to his room where there is a large recorder running). Turns out that he forgot to end the call last night and heard mostly every word. So he said "The staff at the hotel kindly express they want you guys out of their inn, seeing as how you are disturbing the other guests".

My only regret at the time was nearly choking on the soda I was drinking when I found out we were still 'live'.
Digo Dragon 1st Dec 2016, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Fights at the table don't end well. That's why they're called fights instead of something benign like serious discussion.
Delicious Taffy 1st Dec 2016, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Delicious Taffy
I recently had to remove one of my players altogether, due to severe personal differences. This has actually led to both of the games I was running being discarded, so I'm currently without a group.

That's the short version, anyway. If you'd like the longer version, I'm happy to oblige.
Aohaku 1st Dec 2016, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
I, personally, would like to hear the longer version.

For my story, let's go with the Pathfinder campaign where the GM basically banned any class capable of any form of 9th tier casting, despite only expecting it to go until level 7. But that's not the good part. No. He then turns and makes a GMPC Wizard ally who is basically the "Chosen One" of the story. A villain or important Archemage would have been one thing, but this was the sister of one of the players who was *our level* and traveling with us. And how was this justified? "Well, it makes sense that some people would be rediscovering Wizardry after the past 400 years." Freakin' what?! Then why couldn't one of us have been a Wizard or Alchemist or Sorcerer again? This in addition to heavily nerfing skill points three sessions in and an obnoxiously stupid rebel leader we were apparently working for because, "The party decided, and your first loyalty needs to be to the party," despite no one else in the party feeling that way (every single character's first loyalty was some family member, and I was no exception).

Don't get me wrong, I erred as well, and there were definitely fun memories to take away. There was just more drama and hypocrisy than I'd have liked.
TheNotoriousSMP 1st Dec 2016, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
Oh do I have a story for this.

So when I was in college my group was playing a completely homebrew system/setting (designed by the GMs) and the PCs were tasked with infiltrating the castle of one of the Big Bad's more important minions. We were able to do so mostly successfully, and while we weren't able to accomplish every part of the mission we were able to escape with another of the BB's minions who wanted to surrender and give us some important info. Everything was going great, we'd gotten back to our base safely and everything, until one of our players spoke up about what he wanted to do upon meeting with our bosses.

Now the thing about this player was that he was pretty much the definition of a That Guy. He was creepy as all hell, flirting with some of the female players even after they'd said they weren't interested, drawing NSFW pictures of his female catgirl character whenever he thought he didn't have to pay attention (which was pretty often, and almost always when he really should have been), and refused to learn more than the most basic rules, so whenever his turns came up everything slowed to a crawl. Basically, he was only part of our group because the creators wanted to test the game with as many people as possible.

So anyway, just as the turncoat is stepping forward to be taken to a cell by some NPCs, That Guy speaks up. He says he wants to stealthily cast a spell on the turncoat, one that has a side-effect of driving the target temporarily mad. He succeeds on the roll and in the aftermath several allies are dead, the turncoat is dead, and two PCs are dead, including That Guy's.

Most of the rest of us were incredibly pissed about this, but I was the only one who did more than grumble about it, asking why the hell he'd done that. His answer was basically, "I did it for the lulz".

That was the last straw. Now I knew that since his character had died he'd be given a chance to get a res by the GM, so I quickly used a spell to bring his character's corpse to a kind of parallel plane that I had access to, then used a wish-granting device I'd gained previously to res his character and put her in a position that was basically Loki's final punishment in Norse myth. Then I left her there, returning to the party's plane without anyone knowing I was gone.

That Guy flipped, demanding to know what he'd done to deserve that kind of treatment. I called him out on all of his bullshit and refused to undo any of what I'd done. Eventually the creators jumped in and decided that That Guy would probably be better off in the game being run by the other creator, and he was sent to join them.

I never gamed with That Guy again, and when I started up a game of my own and he wanted to join I point blank refused him, citing his past behavior as my reason.
SilverShadow4 1st Dec 2016, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
This happened to my group a mere two weeks ago. We've had a troublesome player (D) that was a know-it-all, the world revolves around me kind of guy. From day 1 he would question decisions I, as the DM made. When I gave the limitations for character building he would find something and PUSH it. I created my world but as far as politics and hierarchy go, I didn't have much ready. Right off the bat he insisted on being a noble and wanted to take the Leadership feat (Pathfinder) so he could have cohorts. This was where his "I'm experienced with TTRPGs" comes in. He insisted he could handle a level 10 character with two level 5 cohorts. I stupidly allowed this. I told him that he would need to do all his own research, that it's not my job to know his character(s), it's his. Starting with session 1, everyone else took their turns in a few minutes if even that long, especially during combat. Not him. 10 minute average turns. He would always say exactly what he was going to do, why, and his characters reasoning behind the decision. I have made it abundantly clear to my party: just tell me what you want to do and if you already know what to roll for it, just tell me what you rolled. But no, every single time for each freaking character. On top of that, he wanted to do things that aren't possible in this setting because "well I could do it in 5e" so I would have to stop and double check the rulebook to make sure he wasn't screwing something up (which he often was). And then the music started. He would get "bored" when it wasn't his turn and start playing a freaking instrument. We use Roll20 so one person making sounds with a guitar or HARMONICA tend to drown everyone else out. We tell him to mute, he says "but I'm being really quiet, I really don't think it's that bad!" It just seemed like he was doing these things to intentionally piss everyone off. At one point I confronted him on his antagonistic behavior and he responded "well I was a GM in another setting and my players bugged the hell out of me so why shouldn't I do it to you?" Like WTF, dude. Finally a few weeks ago one of the other players just exploded on him because he brought out his freaking guitar again. "I didn't play it several sessions in a row, It's okay now." Uhhh. No? I said stop, that doesn't mean stop this session, that means stop forever. Anyways he started playing during M's turn and M just exploded. Of course, not only has M been with the group longer but D has also gotten on everyones nerves so everyone chimes in with the anger dam officially gone. He dropped out and messaged the group chat a few days later with something along the lines of "I feel like I've been misunderstood and am getting undue negative attention." and left all the chats and the Roll20 game.
It was insane. Good riddance.
Maybe he'll find a group somewhere that will tolerate his uncooperative BS, but not mine.
Someone 1st Dec 2016, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
She's not antagonistic, just misunderstood.
Digo Dragon 1st Dec 2016, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm working on something with WingedCat, but it is a big project and my end was fraught with delays due to life being... well i'll just say it was like an "October" and you'll probably understand.

It'll get done though. I owe it to WC cause it's a marvelous idea.
Guest 1st Dec 2016, 2:10 PM Lalli-is-best edit delete reply
And friendship triumphs! Huzzah!
Evilbob 1st Dec 2016, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
Actually, if you haven't been crapping anything out in two weeks, you would probably be feeling an incredible amount of pressure. In fact, you should consider going to the emergency room. Long-term constipation is a very serious health concern and can be potentially lethal, causing septicemia and sepsis...

What's that? You meant comics? You should definitely go to the emergency room then! How does one end up crapping com...? Never mind. I don't want to know.
Rooker 1st Dec 2016, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
5e Tyranny of Dragons.
Who am I kidding, it's still an issue. None of us know what the hell we're doing and some of us try to pretend. My roommate ran Tyranny of Dragons and it started out alright. Then things wound up gradually centering around our Paladin. To make sure the group had things to work with, I made a Necromancy Wizard (mainly for damage with a penchant for research), and a Utility Bard for problem-solving and diplomancy (I think? I don't know for sure how to use the word correctly). After the first chapter, the Bard went from being de facto leader of the group because he pretended to know what he was doing best out of the party to being an afterthought by the DM, even when I stated I was trying to do something. I wound up dumping the Bard entirely after the conclusion of Hoard of the Dragon Queen because every single encounter either the Wizard or the Bard were forgotten in turn order or other "do you want to do something" situations and the Bard had ultimately suffered the most breaks in his usefulness because murder was not his primary purpose. Plus I never rolled well for him in battle, that was frustrating.

Now it's my turn. We're doing Princes of the Apocalypse and we have a Halfling Rogue, Goliath Fighter, and Tiefling Warlock. I just added an Aarakocra Monk as a DMPC (really should have done a cleric, I know) to help the Fighter at the front. I still get into arguments with my roommate, but now things are the reverse. I swear I'm not trying to stop him from playing his character, but I haven't been able to figure out how to reward his skills besides extra loot and first dibs. He has a Wand of Magic Missile from the Lance Rock encounter the rest of the party doesn't even know about. He also will avoid combat and then complain about having less EXP when his RPing did not enrich the story or solve any problems.

I'm doing a lot of blaming of the Rogue, but I'm just so unsure what to do for him so he doesn't end up like my Bard. The campaign books aren't extremely helpful from the things I've read either. Early game stuff does not appear to offer much in the way of puzzles or noncombat encounters unless a fight is changed into such. What are things I can do to reward the Rogue so he doesn't accidentally fall behind because he's being a good Thief?
SilverShadow4 1st Dec 2016, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
Reward small XP amounts for successful thefts? Oh, you snuck by this big bad without so much as a peep instead of having to fight him? Half XP (since it's not a kill but still a victory)
Or something like that, maybe.
Amanda M 2nd Dec 2016, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
We just ignore XP entirely. We'll level as a group after fighting a huge boss, or perhaps a few smaller bosses and some really good RP. Works out for us, and keeps things on a balanced playing field. :) It also removes the impulse to murder and steal just for XP gains. Now they just murder and steal because it's character appropriate............... sigh. -_- My little murderhobos. Glad I always have Revivify in my pocket.
Digo 2nd Dec 2016, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
As I've been on pbp games, I find that removing the exp and doing levels based on plot does make things run a little smoother. Rather than exp rewards for cleverness, I've been awarding "coupons" good for a bonus to a roll or something.
terrycloth 2nd Dec 2016, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Individual xp is always a mistake. It tends to reward people who are already getting rewarded by having the GM's attention for their shenanigans or otherwise by having the game focus on things they like, and punish people who don't have enough to do for not having enough to do. "Oh, you were bored? As a punishment, now you're also be useless!"

It's just a terrible idea all around.
Rooker 3rd Dec 2016, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, guys. I'm not sure how much it will help, but I'll try to figure out what to do about the XP problems. The group happen to like their XP as a measure of their succe--Oh, oh now that's making way more sense. I'll have to hijack XP and give them something else to measure by. Inspiration bonuses and unique loot might just work.
Thanks, everybody, thanks a whole lot for the suggestions.