Page 9 - The Roleplay Trap

25th Aug 2011, 6:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 1
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The Roleplay Trap
Average Rating: 5 (6 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Aug 2011, 5:48 PM edit delete
"Sure, Twilight. I'll stop the festivities and militarize the nation because you read a story in a book."

- Princess Sarcastia

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Kino 25th Aug 2011, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
I feel bad for Twi. I don't like when the GM does that.
Anon 25th Aug 2011, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Gotta get Twilight to Ponyville somehow to meet the rest of the PCs.

Celestia didn't even have that excuse.

Which means that this DM is less trollish than Celestia. Possibly.
Zeeth 25th Aug 2011, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
Celestia is the ruler of a land of magical ponies, where even the supposedly "less" magical types can still do some pretty wild and crazy things (Pinkie Pie). Even if a Princess who rules the sun might not be able to perform some type of divination (gazing at sundogs or sunspots, perhaps?) she probably has advisors who can.
Anon 25th Aug 2011, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
If we assume Celestia knew what was going to happen, then we must also assume she deliberately withheld information from Twilight and sent her a somewhat condescending note instead.

Instead of going "You're right, here's what you must do," Celestia instead went with "Don't be silly, go perform some random tasks that I know you're probably going to find annoying and unimportant".

Still doesn't really paint Celestia in a positive light. But... I suppose it would put her on the same level as the DM.
Jeez 25th Aug 2011, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
I like to describe Princess Celestia with the sentence: "Imagine if Batman and 4chan had a child who happens to be a goddess." Actually, replace Batman with Lord Vetinari from the Discworld novels.

Celestia is a troll but even more than that she's a grandmaster (grandmistress?) of manipulation. If she wants you to do something you will end up doing it and you will think it was your idea.

Twilight reading about the Mare in the Moon and the Elements of Harmony right before Nightmare Moon returns? Her plan. Twilight having just the right buttons to push to get her to seek out the other element bearers? Her plan. Those bearers all living in Ponyville and being in charge of preparing the celebration? Nothing that can't be arranged with a couple dozen decades of preparation time. She probably orchestrated the whole Nightmare Moon thing as well, either to prank the world or to teach Luna a lesson.

Fluttershy is right, you don't want to be on her bad side. Not that she will ever let you progress that far.
Florentine 26th Aug 2011, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Hehe >.>

Still.. I dunno about Celestia being mean here. She didn't just want Twilight to meet the other Element Bearers; it seemed to me implicit that for the Elements to function, the bearers had to be friends.

What's more likely to work?

1 - My dearest Twilight. I understand your concerns and have seen the return of my bewitched sister from the moon. In order to defeat her, I need you to go to the town of Ponyville, and there befriend the following five ponies ... and be sure not to start a panic in the process.


2 - Now, I need you to go to Ponyville and oversee the preparations for the festival I have decided will take place there. Please meet with the following five ponies, who are arranging the festivities.. .. oh, and make some friends!

- If Celestia had ordered Twilight to befriend the other Element bearers, she would have seen it as a mission, researched it, and tried to go about it like a formal mission.. possible making a complete pig's ear of things. Celestia doing things the ways she did, to me, only proves just how much she trusts in Twilight, and the likelihood of her making friends (or indeed in the likelihood of one Element Bearer being inevitably drawn to the others).
Tatsurou 16th Nov 2014, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
Option 3 on what Celestia could have done.

"Dear Twilight,
Yes, I know about Nightmare Moon coming back. However, I also know her animosity is directed at me, personally, before the Kingdom itself. So for now, I want you - my promising protégé - to go to Ponyville where she won't see a connection between us and try to use us against each other.
In order to not cause a panic in Canterlot over this, you will officially be there to oversee the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration. While there, you need to make some friends, those you feel you could count on should the situation turn dire and you have to rescue me from Nightmare Moon...a task no mortal pony could manage alone.
There's no telling what might await you should this journey befall you, so be sure you bring a diverse, but small and balanced, group. Above all, make sure they are ponies you would be willing to trust with your life.
Your dedicated mentor,
Princess Celestia."
LilyK 28th Dec 2013, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
A proper comparison then, would be Yukari Yakumo, except Yukari only rules de facto, not de jure.
sstabeler 8th Jul 2013, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
actually, I generally assume that Spike wasn't reading the note 100% accurately. ( I suspect that what was actually IN the letter was a request/order to go to ponyville, and a suiggestion she makes friends. the "dusty old books" is more liekly to be Spike, in my mind.
Flatline 25th Aug 2011, 10:25 AM Devil's Advocate edit delete reply
I've done similar, and worse, in efforts to get the characters all in the same area and/or get the plot going. Every DM has a Sword of Damocles made of the tempered steel of the player's expectations. Sometimes, as a DM, you just NEED to resort to this type of trolling to make sure the story follows some kind of cohesive narration. It makes you look like a dick, but High Lord Inquisitor Baron von Killmurder Oppressionator isn't going to kill himself, now is he?
Erin Palette 30th Aug 2011, 10:11 AM Cybele Rhamnusia Nemesis, the Prussian Princess of Pistons edit delete reply
<I>High Lord Inquisitor Baron von Killmurder Oppressionator</i>

I'm totally stealing that name the next time I'm in a metal band. \m/
Masterofgames 27th Nov 2011, 12:31 AM edit delete reply
How about "Dark Lord Evisceratix O'Kittensquisher"?
Steel 25th Sep 2011, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
heh 5 days lat to the party and missing cola money but I am gonna say something here.
As a GM for a pretty young Rogue Trader game I am trying to let my Players have as much freedom as a batch of folks with a starship can use but I am also trying to install a over arching plot using the "All roads lead to Rome" methode I.E. more ways then one to get them tangled up in it further while still seemingly their own choice. As for Celestia being a troll... nah Trickster maybe but most instances of her Trolling is either A) she needs something done but can't make it an order or else bad things happen or B) she is trying to gently let some know something (I mean come on let the Pony finish the damn cup of tea befor refilling it) with out them running off to commit seppiku or C) the ponies got into trouble with out her knowledge and she is just along for the ride
Lugbzurg 25th Sep 2011, 8:12 PM edit delete reply
I should start paying attention to Applejack's warnings, from now on.
Ewyn 27th Sep 2011, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
Found your comic.
My RPG-fan side is laughing a lot now XD

"Uh-oh, DM's smiling"
I know that feeling all too well XD
Soren Kel 22nd Nov 2011, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
Hehe, if the DM's smiling then your adventure is about to get infinitely more interesting...and by "interesting" I mean your party is going to die...probably horribly.
Dan the DM 8th Dec 2011, 1:10 PM Subverting Player Expectations edit delete reply
I love doing things like this in a campaign. In order for the adventure to feel genuine the players need to start seeing it like a realistic, functioning world. Once NPCs start taking offense when players ignore them, brush off old books as legends they don't take seriously or suspect the heroes of murder when they're caught standing over the bodies of fallen people they claim to be thieves... The world feels real. And one of the best ways to impress this upon the players is to hand them what looks like normal metagaming logic and then respond the last way they expect... Realistically!

In my most recent campaign, the heroes told the authorities truthfully that a magical golem fixed to the body of an iron drider had somehow come alive and taken over a laboratory, killing everyone inside - which they barely defeated by casting it into a pool of lava beneath the facility. Seeing their faces when the guards actually didn't believe them was a fantastic wake-up call, and they quickly started devising a more realistic-sounding story. After that, they treated NPCs very differently - asking the kinds of questions DMs love to eachother... "What is this guy's motivation?"
Xander Cruize 24th May 2012, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Sarcastia needs to be a meme.