Page 1514 - Steamed Vent

30th Mar 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Steamed Vent
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 30th Mar 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Sometimes one of the group dynamic problems is that some people have, well, actual Problems. Just like regular friend groups.

This arc is going a little longer than I estimated it would, so I'm extending the deadline for guest comics! They're now due on the 13th!

Our newest Spudventure is out! My squirrel grifter got quite the surprise in it.
Ironclaw Infiltrators, Session 2 - The Four Emperors: Podcast | Video
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21 Comments:

FanOfMostEverything 30th Mar 2021, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
"They let me punch the pretty things" is one of the better one-sentence character summaries I've ever seen.
Digo 30th Mar 2021, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
I definitely tire of the world where all the usual monsters are ugly. I want to fight the cute ones that are the most deadly critters in the land. :3
Evilbob 30th Mar 2021, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
Lol. Why?

There's less of a guilt-trip in killing one-dimensional, evil, ugly monsters.
Digo 31st Mar 2021, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Because it's something different than the usual trope, and guilt trips are a subjective thing from player to player.
Composer99 31st Mar 2021, 5:00 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure that was the plot of Raze's Hell.
Matiekay_13 30th Mar 2021, 8:03 PM Punch the Pretties edit delete reply
Matiekay_13
I can definitely see Rainbow Dash's point, LOL. We had an epic-level Save The Multiverse campaign once, and I made my character come from a universe where Pretty Is Evil so we could beat up evil unicorns. They all had Prismatic Spray. It was great fun! 😁
Keybounce 23rd Apr 2021, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
I'm reminded of Rainbow Dash's dream in the Tantubus episode, where she's fighting off all those changelings, and says it's not a nightmare, it's her favorite ... only to have a nightmare of a colorful happy sappy scene :-)
Cygnia 30th Mar 2021, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
We are all Rainbow Dash *nods sagely*
LoneCourier6 30th Mar 2021, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
While it’s very much important for the players to enjoy playing the campaign, I feel like they’re not taking any considerations for what their DM wants to run which is just as important given that if they don’t like what they’re dming...then it turns into a chore at best for them.
Guest 30th Mar 2021, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
Players can't play without DM, DM can't host without players. DM needs players to enjoy playing the campaign, players need the DM to enjoy hosting the campaign. What's needed is for the DM and Players to find a place where they're both enjoying the game.
aylatrigger 30th Mar 2021, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
Needs to find a happy medium. If not, you really should do different groups...Or choose a different GM whose style does fit well enough.
Guest 30th Mar 2021, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
Yeah I feel like the comic has been too "about" how the DM needs to change to suit their players, and not putting enough focus on the DM getting to be happy. I genuinely haven't been enjoying this arc anymore because I keep waiting for that to get addressed and it keeps not being addressed.
Ereshkigal 30th Mar 2021, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
I don't mind it. Mostly because one of my players once pulled me aside to tell me that I didn't *have* to plan sweeping epic campaigns. She liked the random week by week hijinks. And it was honestly so freeing to not feel like my players expected a Big Story.
Evilbob 30th Mar 2021, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
I think what a lot of DMs don't realize is that they are not the sole author of the story that is a RP campaign. Players are very much authors too.
Even if you don't have a Big Story planned, if your players want it or expect it, even unconsciously, they'll start introducing plot hooks and threads that can easily be weaved into a Big Story.
A Hat with a Smaller Hat 31st Mar 2021, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
I think that's part of the problem the players need to bring up.

There's just a general lack of communication between what the players want and what the DM wants or thinks they want. Which keeps leading to these situations where the players grow tired/annoyed about a situation and the DM getting frustrated about having to toss out his work week after week. Obviously that's partially DiscorDM's fault for our DM's obsession for writing no-win scenarios, but there just needs to be more discussion overall about what everyone is looking for in this game.
Draxynnic 30th Mar 2021, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
I think Twilight's just pretty much summarised something that I commented on a few updates ago...

How DID the GM expect the party to solve this one? We know that the original Nightmare Moon thing was supposed to be an epic campaign to restore the Elements of Harmony until Twilight logicked her way into claiming that they'd already done so, but this seems to have been intended as a one-off. Chrysalis was presented as too far beyond the party's power level to fight, and that army of changelings was too strong to fight, especially since they hadn't had even a short rest after the battle it took to get there in the first place. What were they supposed to do?

Well, Twilight thought about the GM's setup and came up with an idea that made sense given what had been established thus far... and as Rainbow commented, the GM had a freakout. Obviously that wasn't what the GM had in mind, but it clearly wasn't anything the players came up with.

Either the GM needs to give the players a few more hints as to what they're expected to do, or the GM needs to be more willing to roll with it when the players come up with a good idea that the GM didn't anticipate.
Otterfriend 30th Mar 2021, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
I think the DM's plan for the session was fairly straightforward. When Chrysalis was revealed, the PCs were expected to fight their way to the Elements of Harmony, and then unleash multi-colored destruction on Chrysalis. As I read things, the "boss fight" would have been not Chrysalis herself, but the changelings guarding the elements- presumably some of them would have had unique special abilities to make things more interesting. However, whether because the PCs had exhausted more resources than the DM had expected or because the players were sick and tired of running combat after ten rounds of repetitive and confusing changeling-smacking outside, the players declined to face the final fight, and roleplayed their way out instead. The GM was caught off balance, because, after she had set up a complex encounter for the PCs to show off their combat powers, the players decided to ignore it and declare that they were triumphing by the power of love, but, after determining that the whole party was fine with this, went ahead and allowed this.
Warlock 30th Mar 2021, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
In a good life lesson to many a new GM, and an old echo of the wisened grognards:

If you need to have the players succeed at something, never leave it to chance. If the only clue is going to occur if they get a perception roll to land right, or that only the weapon of a single player can harm such a creature, you *probably* should have a number of backup ways should that dice land on a 2.

Also, anything that a GM comes up with best akin to Terminator. Judgement day cannot be stopped... only delayed. Whatever you have got as an idea can get tossed around, molded, ignored... but it can always come back later at the least expected time in the least expected ways.
Composer99 30th Mar 2021, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
Dare I say, the Great Commandments of GMing (in no particular order):

(1) Only give it a statblock if you're prepared for the PCs to kill it.
(2) Only make the players pick up the dice if you're prepared for them to succeed.
(3) Only make the players pick up the dice if you're prepared for them to fail.
(4) Always ensure that the PCs have multiple methods by which they can learn plot-critical information or achieve plot-critical objectives - including methods they come up with themselves that you didn't think of.

It feels like in this arc, the DM didn't have (4), and perhaps to a lesser extent (3), fully enough in mind.
Cliff_Robotnik 31st Mar 2021, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
On the note of Two and Three:
My players fail a lot in combat... But when they start rolling for absalute silly out-of-combat things, like turning a wrecked Riverboat a cult was using to hide weapons in, into a Landship, it's multiple 20s in a row.

Yes, the above happened.

As a random gag, tho, the player opted to if never got around in installing breaks, so they have to pull some silly shit every time they wanted to stop.... And as they are using it to pass through a desert, that usually means DRIFT THE BOAT SIDEWAYS INTO A SAND DUNE.

WITH DEJA-VU PLAYING EVERY SINGLE TIME!

The lunatic behind this is a Dwarf Artificer(In power armor) that's sort of a agent of Fantay SCP/MIB... Policing horribly powerful magics, containing dangerous artifacts, slaying unlawful Outsiders, and all Abberations... And hating on elves even more so then normal dwarves... And this was not the last nonsense she's pulled off due to nat20s on craft rolls... She invented a "Steamthrower" with a high-pressure backpack Steam Engine in order to boil her enemies alive, aswell.

The other party member, a Zen, moral, Avatar:TLA type wondering bard, was absalutely horrified about the existence of the Boil Gun.

Even the Artificer's Goblin Explosion-fetishist of a sidekick was kinda freaked out by it.

Their Hobgoblin archer/Utility-crafter/Roman Soldier/NPC applauded the weapon as it would prove extremely effective in making their enemies surrender rather then fighting.






Draxynnic 31st Mar 2021, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Yeah. The GM had just discussed the changeling fight as a learning experience... and then presented the players with what was almost a literal wall of changelings.

And that's kinda part of the problem if that was actually the GM's intent. The number shown was... well, if they're not minions, it's basically an impossible fight, and if they ARE, it's still a promise of a long and hard fight, but more in the "repetitive and grindy and will wear down the PCs AND the players" kind.

My interpretation as an observer was that the changelings swarming the hall was exactly as the PCs appeared to interpret it as - a 'you can't go this way' barrier. Maybe the GM was expecting them to find a way past it, but they found an alternative solution instead, and the GM was basically put into a position where she had to accept the offered resolution or accept that the PCs were going to fail this one. Again.

If the intent was for a quirky miniboss squad fight, there probably should have been more signs that was what they were facing, and less minion changelings. A small group of changelings that are in their natural forms but still obviously look different in some way. Maybe a monologue about how the minions outside slowed the PCs down long enough for the Changeling Miniboss Squad to figure out where the party was going and beat them to it. And then the fight could be on.

But even then... realistically it's still the same encounter, unless the GM handwaves some magic that grants the equivalent of a short rest: "you feel invigorated as you enter the hall, as if you had a short rest", perhaps. So if the PCs have already used a lot of their encounter powers, then even the miniboss squad might feel like too much to take on.