Page 980 - Secret Double Life

31st Oct 2017, 6:00 AM in The Best Night Ever, Part 1
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Secret Double Life
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st Oct 2017, 6:00 AM edit delete
Oh hey, Happy Halloween, y'all! I'm doing nothing special.

How about a Story Time? Any stories about getting excited, not dismayed, for something intensely challenging? Alternately, any stories about previously unspoken backstory becoming relevant rather suddenly?

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



ANW 31st Oct 2017, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Halloween poll time
Favorite monster
Me:got to go with vampires
aylatrigger 31st Oct 2017, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
Favorite spooky monster: mummy. Vamps have become too saturated in teen love stuff, otherwise I would like them the most.
Favorite traditional monster: dragon or unicorn. Unicorns are embodiments of rage and murder, remember.
Favorite D&D/pathfinder monster: This one is harder to pick...I'll give a few. Classical one - I like the gelatinous cube. Mostly because I love the trap of a flying invisible gelatinous cube above a pit trap. You fall, take falling damage, it slam/falls on top of you, you take slam + falling damage and are probably engulfed. As you try to get out, you take repeated engulfment damage, and may slip while trying to get out. Even if you kill it, you are still in a pool of its acid-y remains, so would still take damage.
Another I like: the Hydrus. A 1/2 CR monster that goes inside your mouth, then bursts from your stomach.
Monster I would most likely be: vampire (anemia, love of blood, burn in sun, dislike of crosses (I think they are bordering on idolatry)...fortunately I know I am not one yet because I love garlic)
Blyndpwn 31st Oct 2017, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Favorite D&D Monster: Displacer Beasts. My first character ever was one, and they've had a special place in my heart ever since.
Favorite Undead Monster: Ghoul. They're underused in my opinion.
CharginChuck 31st Oct 2017, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
I think I have to go with King Ghidorah. It's kind of hard to top a three-headed space dragon that spits lightning.
Rastaba 31st Oct 2017, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
What about a giant mechanically enhanced three headed space dragon that spits lightning?
Greenhornet 31st Oct 2017, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Gillman. "The Creature From The Black Lagoon".

But for regular, all-around beasts, I vote for wolves. They make great minions for "The Big Bad".
The Froggy Ninja 31st Oct 2017, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
Positive Energy Elemental. It's attacks heal you even above your max HP. So your thrifty wizard may decide to kite it around to keep him topped up and more durable for fights. However, if it goes over double your max HP you have to make a 13 to 22 DC (depending on the size of the elemental) fort save every round or explode into giblets and instantly die.
aylatrigger 31st Oct 2017, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
I applied a similar thing to the positive energy elemental into a gauntlet...but it didn't kill you, it just left you in extreme amount of agony from exploding and reforming five times. I used it for a LE character torturer. ...Well, originally they were a LG monk, but got corrupted by one of the regalia of evil...
Winged Cat 31st Oct 2017, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Otherwise-ordinary folk who have discovered and embraced their capacity for monstrosity.

You think it's just a werewolf, driven by blind hunger? Or just C'thulhu, with inscrutable motivations. But then you discover that you can actually understand, maybe even sympathize with the monster, and have to confront whether you might do the same thing in the same situation.

(Ideally, you come to a better understanding of why you would not.)
Hariman 31st Oct 2017, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
Dragons. And gryphons/kitsune/a few other more mundane creatures.
Wulfraed 1st Nov 2017, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Haven't fought one (you'd need a small country's army to make a dent) but Gloranthan (original RuneQuest)dragons are intriguing.

Encountering a physical dragon is quite rare -- they tend (as implied) to be large and formidable; but at the same time they prefer to settle in isolated areas and just meditate and sleep(they also don't go in for big treasures).

Problem: They dream... and their dream forms manifest (think Creature from the Id); and the dream forms roam the land, with a desire for treasure.

Rokas 31st Oct 2017, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
Favorite, how? Like, favorite to kill? That'd be zombies, vampires, mummies, any kind of undead, really. I loath the undead, despise the very concept. Make them all burn.

Favorite to have around in a setting? Dragons, I'd have to say. Even if we go with the ol' fashioned all evil dragons, they at least add spice to any setting and give it that comfortable, lived-in feel.

Favorite monster to ally with and/or be? Werewolves, if they're the variety that can control their urges to murder. Nothing is cooler than having the senses, teeth, and speed of a wolf combined with the ruthless intelligence and balancing compassion of a human. Even the regular "kill everything" werewolves make great baddies.
DM's Choice 1st Nov 2017, 2:42 AM edit delete reply
Favorite Horror Monster: Ghosts and Haunts. Nothing else provides that kind of creepy, reality-bending atmosphere.

Favorite RPG Monster: I think I'd go with the big, dumb and brutish. Ogres, trolls, minotaurs - the mythical embodiment of the stupid bullying douchebag. These are for me the most satisfying monsters to overcome.
Belmontzar 1st Nov 2017, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Mythology: Dragons and wyverns have some facinating stories and legends around them as both heroes and villains. They are never simple, in the end atleast.
special mention: Dracula of Castlevania. I have watched him grow as a villian and monster for years, watched Mathias cronqvist grow and lose himself over the years of war time. His story and struggle has alway sbeen facinating as well as fun to explore and even role play.
Underused? Terrasque, Giant unkillable monsters who devour until they sleep. There is no logic, there is no reasoning, only a deep insatiable hunger.
MattReverse 31st Oct 2017, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
Who DOESN'T love tough choices?

Right now, my character's wife is a danger to the entire world and she has to die, and I'm struggling with the decisions of being on her side or not.
ANW 31st Oct 2017, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Why not go to a different realm.
She wouldn't be a danger to that one.
Maybe just long enough to deal with it, then come right back.
Digo Dragon 31st Oct 2017, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Can't remember where panel four is from. Sisterhood Social?

For story time:
Celestia's Finest is a pony cyberpunk campaign that takes place a couple centuries after the show. We are members of an elite military squad, trained to handle dangers that the Mane6 are unable to. Our first mission was a trial by fire--we retook an orbital prison station back from escapee Queen Chrysalis, who took over and brainwashed changeling and pony guards within the station.

After her recapture and transfer to a private dungeon beneath Canterlot castle, the team's unicorn medic, Rose Croix, began to visit Chrysalis regularly as her assigned physician. Rose learned that Chrysalis had almost reformed for good over 200 years ago, in part to the work of a pony named Starlight Glimmer. However, a mysterious villain that goes by Polaris, the Lord of Stars, sabotaged the planned meeting between Chrysalis and Starlight. This led to Starlight's death and Chrysalis feeling betrayed by ponykind.

The truth of Polaris' involvement is now known to Chrysalis. She regrets Starlight's death, for she dealt the fatal blow under the false belief that Starlight attacked her. Rose picked up Starlight's old torch and has given Chrysalis something she was without for so long--a friend. But old habits often die hard. Ever the pragmatic one to utilize any and all resources she can, Chrysalis feeds off the friendship between Rose and her. However, Chrysalis has taken Rose under her wing as her personal infiltrator, asking her to bring any information she uncovers on Polaris.

There's a sense of respect from Chrysalis, and she has shown the hint of caring under that cold, queenly visage. Rose's friendship with her continues to grow and while Rose does understand that Chrysalis may be using her to plan revenge against Polaris, Rose is still ever willing to continue their friendship. Recently, Rose may have developed romantic feelings for the changeling queen.

It is an exciting relationship, one that could end with Chrysalis reforming, or Rose being broken as a pawn of her revenge plot against Polaris. Only time can tell which path ultimately the relationship goes, but the wonder is not knowing which it'll be. Polaris is an enemy of Equestria, so Rose is willing to work with Chrysalis on counter-plans to this threat. How many ponies are up to the challenge of reforming the Queen of the Changelings? Is it even possible? Who can say...
Borg 31st Oct 2017, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Panel 4 is from "The Cart Before the Ponies". Specifically, it's when Derpy wins the award for "Most Creative."

(I swear I don't have every frame of the show memorized. Just most of them.)
Digo Dragon 1st Nov 2017, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Hee hee, well cookie to you for being so savvy.
Jannard 31st Oct 2017, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
First things first: reading this while listening to "Time" by Hans Zimmer made this a little over the top dramatic, lol.

As for our story time today, "excited for something challenging" was the name of the game back when our DM made us run into a maze of illusions where each character was faced with a tough choice based on its backstory and character arc within the campaign.

My character was a cleric and sort of Magic Misuse Inquisitor from a theistic society ruled by a Pope. In her adventures, she had been starting to feel a little dissilusioned by what she started to notice were fractures and corruption in the structure of her church, but she was still strongly faithful, and that was a contradiction in her mind.

Cue the magic labyrinth, and my character is presented with a vision of an antagonist (a prince) who tells her the Church and him were actually allies, and some od the heinous things that had been done were condoned by the top dogs, you know, "for the greater good". The prince finished his speech goading her into the notion that she would abandon her church if she continued on in the path she had taken. At that point I was thrilled, and I knew exactly what my character would say: "My faith is not with our failing Church, but with the Goddess. If my clergy strays from the path, then they are enemies of the Goddess, MY ENEMIES!". This was followed by a quick battle in which I used an item-feat-spell combo to basically laser-murder a bunch of undead and take down the prince, running toward the door at the other end of the room and breaking the illusion (all of this with some angelic hero tune in the background, courtesy of one of my fellow players). It was beautifully cathartic.

My choice wasn't incredibly tough however, because I had already brought my character to a point in her development where she was at least partial to the decision she took, even if I had to consider it a bit. Two of the other players had a much harder time, but I think they didn't enjoy it that much. One of them failed miserably because his character couldn't make the choice, so his familiar sacrificed his life to save him, which left the character unhinged and led to his eventual betrayal at the end of the campaign.
Classic Steve 31st Oct 2017, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Those are some cute Rarity stills.
Clifford Snow 31st Oct 2017, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
Regarding suddenly relevant backstory, I have a couple examples.

First was a half-elf bard who took levels in Dirgesinger, a prestige class that let his songs demoralize his enemies. The other players thought he was just a angsty for the sake of angsty, but there came a point where we had to enter the Dreamscape to rescue some missing children. We came upon a pool that reflected our most powerful memories, and when my bard looked in the water, his recently-deceased family emerged from the pool. They had been eaten by undead, but the dream versions of them were whole and unhurt. The shock of seeing them sent my bard into a catatonia for a very long time.

The other was a druid I played in a sailing campaign. He specialized in controlling the weather and had stayed behind on the mainland to finish his training while the rest of his family moved to the archipelago the campaign would take place in. I had specifically designed his backstory to be as normal as possible: no abusive or dead parents, no traumatic encounters with monsters or magic, just a normal childhood, and reuniting with his family was his motivation for coming to the archipelago. My DM decided that that was terribly boring, so when we arrived on the island where his family was to have lived, we found their village burnt to the ground. The campaign ended up fizzling out, but my DM later told me that we would have eventually found my character's younger brother alive.
Matiekay_13 31st Oct 2017, 8:45 AM Backstory tales edit delete reply
I'm in a game right now where I'm a changeling bard, working for a secret group of Doppelgangers and Changelings that run a small city behind the scenes.

A party member and I had to come up with a story to get the rest of the party to join up (they aren't in the secret Doppelganger Cabinet, so we couldn't tell them the truth). My party member & the DM invented a scary assassin ex-boyfriend, but I liked the idea so much I made it canon backstory :D

Now, if our party screws up badly enough for the Cabinet to send assassins, guess who's gonna come and kill us? ;)
Needling Haystacks 31st Oct 2017, 9:20 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm. It occurs to me that one possible solution would be to string Blueblood along while secretly planning his downfall... But given what the show shows us, I'm not sure how to work with that. Some bits from the comics would help, I suppose. BB gets his day in the spotlight in two different issues.
The Old One 31st Oct 2017, 9:49 AM edit delete reply
I'm wearing a Batman mask with a Santa hat. I was going to just stay with the Bat-mask, but we got our Christmas candy in the store a couple days ago, and I am cranky about it
Mykin 31st Oct 2017, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, I don't think I have anything that fits in either topic for Story Time. But dang it! It's been a while since I shared something! So let's try this one that is also Halloween themed and see how far we can get.

Recently, I've been playing in a Pokemon game (using the PTU 1.05 ruleset) where the region we were in had some interesting type changes for regular Pokemon (like a fire/ghost Charmander, for example) along with a few fan-made Pokemon thrown in for good measure. We had just been rewarded for the last good deed we did (just a few shards and potions along with a Dusk Ball that I got because no one wanted it) and was on the lookout for a place to spend the night when we came across a Ponyta Ranch. The whole place had an unnerving feeling to it and every single Ponyta looked like they hadn't slept in days. When we asked the Rancher about it, he explained that an odd fog rolled in a week ago that kept the Ponyta spooked and away from the forest. Not to mention the strange nightmares the family had been getting during that time too. So naturally, we were tasked with getting to the bottom of it if we wanted to stay for the night.

So there we were, a small group of 18 year olds wandering around in a pasture, looking for something that could potentially kill us (and given our previous experience with a wild Rhydon, we were quite aware that we could die in this game), all for a chance to finally sleep indoors instead of our mangy tent. Being perpetually poor tends to be a great motivator for doing some really stupid things.

And speaking of doing stupid things, it wasn't long before we found the fog in question, with a pair of spectral blue eyes peering out at us. So naturally, my character, Tristan, just straight up walks into the fog before the rest of the group decided on what they wanted to do.

Now granted, Tristan did have a plan. Our GM had encouraged us multiple times to befriend Pokemon rather than battle them in order to capture them. A lot of times, though, it was really hard to figure out what it would take to befriend some Pokemon, so Tristan got into the habit of using his Ralts' telepath ability to help him piece together what he should do. Add in the fact that Psychic Pokemon are good against Ghost Pokemon, which he had a feeling that that was what he was up against, and he felt confident that he would be safe.

Until his Ralts refused to come out of her Pokeball. In fact, all of his Pokemon refused to come out except for his Phlask. The one that wanted to set the world on fire.

Despite the fact that he was now separated from the rest of his group, that he had the worse Pokemon for this job to work with, and that he was starting to feel like he was being squeezed by the fog itself, Tristan decided to accept the challenge and move forward. Eventually coming across a ghostly Ponyta that his Pokedex called a "Coltergeist". His attempts to pacify it didn't seem to work all that well when the fog that the Coltergeist controlled started to choke Tristan. His Phlask tried to defend him but was quickly ignored by the Coltergeist that was slowly approaching Tristan, looking straight into his eyes even as Tristan desperately tried to figure out a way to save himself.

It was at that point, when it seemed like Tristan was going to pass out, that a Growlithe appeared out of the mists and chomped down right into the Coltergeist's leg. One of the other players discovered that his Growlithe had an ability that would let it attack Ghost Pokemon even if it couldn't see them and quickly ordered it to attack before telling me to use the Dusk Ball we had just gotten at the start of the session. The one that I had completely forgotten about until it was brought up.

So, with the few seconds he was just given, Tristan digs up his Dusk Ball and immediately throws it at the Coltergeist. Instantly, the Pokemon and the fog were all sucked into the ball as it falls into the ground.

It rolls around once.

Then twice.

Then finally came the iconic "Ding!" sound.

And just like that, Tristan caught himself a Coltergeist. With it safely in a Pokeball, the Ponyta were able to relax and everyone was able to sleep without having any weird nightmares to keep them up. Well, expect for Tristan, who kept getting weird dreams until he decided to just stare the moon with his Ralts for the rest of the night.

Oh, and just a little side note, after the session ended we figured out what kind of nature the Coltergeist had: It was Cuddly. So basically, it just wanted to give everyone a nice, big hug. Yeah...
Tatsurou 31st Oct 2017, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Alt-Script time!

AJ: Rarity, before we go any further, ah need ta ask ya somethin' 'bout yer backstory.
Rarity: Oh? Go ahead.
AJ: Ya said it was the Thieves' Guild that helped Rarity back then. But is Elusive the Thieves' Guild?
Rarity: ...I'm not sure I follow.
AJ: Simple question. Is Rarity's loyalty and dedication to a group, or to an individual?
Rarity: Well, to the group. She's never met Elusive before to...oh!
AJ: Now ya got it!
RD: I don't.
Twilight: The question isn't choosing us or the Thieves' Guild. The question is choosing us or Elusive...and specifically, if Elusive's current plan is for the good of the Thieves' Guild and Equestria. Because if it isn't...
Pinkie: Oh! Oh! Then Rarity's loyalty to the Guild would require her to take Elusive down!
FS: But how would she do that without getting taken down by the Guild herself?
Rarity: Simple. I take his place as Elusive.
DM: ...okay. Now how are you going to manage that?
Rarity: Very carefully...
Space Jawa 31st Oct 2017, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat 31st Oct 2017, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Suddenly interesting backstory? That just happened in last Sunday's game.

Star Trek campaign, I'm playing a Romulan, who managed to steal a ship and become its captain (because almost everyone else on the crew wants a lower profile for various reasons). This is post-all-series (Star Trek Online era), so the Tal Shiar (Romulan secret police) are not as powerful as they once were, but are still to be feared inside Romulan space. We happen to be headed there, when someone comes along to capture our ship.

Being the captain, my PC winds up face-to-face with the hijacker, who has the crew restrained. Said captain just smiles and calmly implies he's Tal Shiar...enough to unnerve the guy, though he jokes about how there are several fake Tal Shiar claiming he's got a huge bounty on his head. My PC just prepares to give his ID number so the hijacker can verify...drawing it out to give the others enough time to counter-ambush, stopping just short.

("But all those other alleged Tal Shiar didn't give you their ID numbers so you could verify, did they? My number is..." Dramatic pause to buy one more turn, then lights blink as the party sets their plan in motion. "...Krys, if you please!" Cue ambush beatdown from other PC Krys who had been explicitly waiting for my PC to signal her.)

So of course, my PC was faking it, he's not actually associated with those bad guys, right?

Let's just say, resolving certain backstory is related to why he's taking the party to Romulan space for a visit. And the Tal Shiar never (so far as they can help it) let an agent retire.
Ravian 31st Oct 2017, 9:05 PM edit delete reply
I had a player I presented with a challenge. They were a fairly fervent follower of their god, who was dying. They were out adventuring looking for a cure, but there was also another sect of the faith that had decided that the solution to the problem involved a massive war and targeting arcane magic users. They were essentially one of the biggest villains of the campaign. Everyone loved to hate them including this player who was firm that his god (a generally good deity of healing and renewal) would have wanted a different way.

Then I dropped the bomb when during an important meeting of the god's faith, that god gave their blessing and go-ahead to the extremist sect's mission. It wasn't a trick or a scheme, the god had literally decided that given the choice between dying and extreme methods, they were willing to go extreme.

Player was absolutely floored. It's one thing when you discover your heroes weren't as amazing in person, it's another when your deity literally tells you to go commit genocide. (as most magic users are born with their gift)

It's a shame that that campaign never concluded, they never really had the opportunity to decide what they were going to do now. From what I could tell they were kind of caught between the question of trying to find an alternative so their god would no longer need to support the extremists, or give up on their god entirely because they failed to practice what they preached.
HeresyIncarnate 31st Oct 2017, 10:47 PM Story Time edit delete reply
Interesting enough, I got one similar to Rarity... though definitely from the other side of the tracks.

My character is a Paladin, of our settings homebrew God of Fire, Summer, and Passion, raised by a large paladin order, and full and openly supporting of the agenda, hunting demons, fighting injustice, that sort of thing.

Our campaign is at the point, where we're all pretty top dog, like, our current BBEG is a demon who aspired to godhood, and is -this- close to attaining it, to the point that he's already super hard to kill, requiring weapons capable of hurting gods, and we just happen to have one in the form of a blade embedded with a primordial shard from our previous BBEG(More of a fragment of a primordial we fought, but still.)

See, he attacked our head temple, inside a demi-plane, dedicated and empowered entirely by our god. We do the big damn heroes thing, slay his forces, rally the defenders, yada yada, we encounter him in the central temple.

Our God comes to help us attack him, awesome, we destroy his current form, though we know he's got two more in the wings according to prophecy, and he deals a nasty blow to our God. Koroku's like "Nah, it's cool, takes more than that to kill me." and then we come to the dilemma.

Unlike Rarity, I didn't have a choice in losing those that raised me. Turns out, the shard we found was a curse, rather than a blessing. With a command to kill those closest to us embedded in it. Our God is dead, and I killed him. The entire pantheon of our setting is thrown out of alignment, by the loss of one of four seasonal gods, and the entire order that raised and cherished my character has been at best weakened, and at worst, completely shattered.

And I love every second if it, because that's what's already happened, but this story is current, and the campaign's not over yet.

What matters now is how we rebuild, what matters now is how we react, what matters now, is how we ride on the flames of vengeance, stand for what we believe in despite the loss of our divine patron, and burn that wanna-be god of shadows to a crisp so hard he feels it for eternity and beyond... whether we slay him or he slays us, he's going to be covered in cinders for the rest of eternity.

The campaign is coming to a close, and the events of out upcoming sessions will change the setting forever. And one way or another, we're going to leave our mark on the results.
ZzzDJ 6th Nov 2017, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
I may have told this one before, but here we go.
In a Pathfinder game, I had a cleric of Sarenrae... with basically no backstory. No family, orphaned, raised by the temple, decided to go adventuring. I admit, I was a bit lazy in creating it, and was eager to just start playing.
The game was sort of thrown together quite suddenly, and the DM was ambitious, but new, so I "got away" with it... because he had his OWN plans.
At one point, while trying to cast "Hold Person", I instead cast "Finger of Death"... see, turns out, I'd been abandoned as a child at the temple of Sarenrae by cultists of Zon Kuthon, god of pain, torture, and darkness, to INCUBATE the new Avatar of Zon Kuthon, and I had finally gained enough power for it to wake up a bit.
It was quite a shock, but I loved how it made my bland backstory suddenly very intriguing, and our campaign just a bit more urgent and complicated... alas, we never finished it though...