Page 1475 - Cartoonish Stakes

29th Dec 2020, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Cartoonish Stakes
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Newbiespud 29th Dec 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Probably the easiest and most disappointing mistake to make as a DM is to say to yourself, "Okay, surely now the players will start taking this seriously."

We took this holiday week off as far as Spudventures go, but next week we'll be starting our Vampire mini-campaign in earnest!
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11 Comments:

dragonfly9078 29th Dec 2020, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
My current party for Curse of Strahd has a habit of undercutting serious or dramatic scenes. Just last session we finally got to Castle Ravenloft. Strahd does this whole "You're free to look around, but be careful where you step, there are things lurking in the shadows, Muahaha!" speech complete with ominous evil laughter, and when he's done I just go "Oh, that's very kind of you, thanks!"

Then just a few minutes later when he leaves the DM makes a big show of talking about how he doesn't walk out the door, describing how he turns into a bat and flies off, and our cleric makes a remark that I won't repeat because of possible spoilers, which distracts strahd just enough that he rams face-first into the wall.
Digo 29th Dec 2020, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, you have to be able to read a room as well as know your players to do anything serious. When your sessions start with a kirin filly stuck in a vent, you know what you're up against.
Wulfraed 29th Dec 2020, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
... A sudden, spontaneous, chimney fire?
Winged Cat 29th Dec 2020, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
...recalibrating aim so the next one hits a window, not a vent?
Sensei Le Roof 29th Dec 2020, 2:42 PM edit delete reply
Do they have trample?
Jennifer 29th Dec 2020, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
They're ponies. It should be a racial feature.
The Old One 30th Dec 2020, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
4th wasn't big on combat maneuvers that weren't tied to some kind of "cooldown"
GD 30th Dec 2020, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
Well, none of the Mane 6 are a robot or a carriage, so I don't think so, but two of them definitely have Flying, Dash probably has Haste, I'd be surprised if Pinkie didn't have First Strike, and given "Bucky McGillicuddy and Kicks McGee," Applejack probably has Double Strike.

Twilight (in this form) probably just, I dunno, draws some cards?
Jannard 29th Dec 2020, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
That got me thinking how there seems to be more leeway for bathos and heckling when playing D&D than when watching movies (save for when the movies do that themselves of course). I mean, I know some people like to gather to watch movies with the intent of heckling them, or sometimes you watch a movie that's bad enough that nobody can keep up the serious facade. But in any other case, heckling will usually be met with courteous acknowledgement, silence, or even outright hostility.

Then again, in collaborative storytelling it's harder to keep tension and immersion above B-movie level, especially if the expectation has already been set within your group, or if the DM doesn't have a solid grasp on pacing and buildup. It is of course more of a D&D thing than, say, a WoD or Call of Cthulhu thing, but that may be because of the audiences each game has built over time, and the fact that the more popular one will always attract more of the less serious players than the niche ones.
Winged Cat 29th Dec 2020, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
In tabletop games, the players are talking anyway, so the heckling doesn't necessarily interrupt anything. Movies don't stop for the audience, so those who don't have the movie memorized can miss (sometimes critical) dialogue due to any audience chatter, heckling included.
Keybounce 30th Dec 2020, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Hmm, "Cartoonish Stakes"?

I'm currently in a game based on Epithet Erased, with a character that is an expy of Darkwing Duck, with an Epithet of "Lucky" to deal with all the crazy that DD did.

What did we do last session as soon as things started to get serious? Went off the rails through a massive mesh of gears that the GM did not have mapped or planned, and had to ad-lib. GM expected us to take this seriously. Of course, since we did not go through the puzzle rooms that the NPC of the tower had set up, we were not considered worthy of as much information as we were expected to get. So, information starved, we left, barely better informed than when we arrived.

And after that, when we got to what should have been a massive boss fight? Used Lucky (plus first action) to wrap the boss in my cape before they could do anything, and with the aid of the rest of the party took her out before she could use (what turned out to be) her massive assassin skills. GM told us that we really did not want her to have gotten an attack off, and the implication was that if we had done nothing, she'd have just gone past us. To the NPC that still lives on that island and did not die :-).

So we took the serious information gathering less serious, and the assassin more serious than was expected. Go figure.