Page 451 - Beating the Dead Horse

7th Jun 2014, 6:00 AM
Beating the Dead Horse
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 7th Jun 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Wow, nearly had an update derp on this page. I can't believe the internet missed out on this hilarious joke for 15 whole minutes. Tragic.

The next Fallout is Dragons is a massively epic four-hour session that I'm splitting into a two-parter, both parts of which will be published in the middle next week (when hopefully I've secured less abysmal upload speeds).

54 Comments:

Razomyure 7th Jun 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Razomyure
I feel the DM's pain here, I've had to revise my lore stuff mid-paragraph before so that the players would actually pay attention... It's good practice for improv, though, which is very much an important skill, so it's not all bad.

Hmm... Story time. I've got two ideas so I'll just put both. Tell about a time when a DM front-loaded info and the players ended up missing something very crucial (and, of course, the aftermath). Alternatively, let's hear some interesting out-of-character (and perhaps out-of-context, too) one-liners spurred by in-character events.
Digo 7th Jun 2014, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
The last GM that ran us on Shadowrun infodumped us so hard that we didn't start playing until about 90 minutes in. eah. An hour-and-a-half of infodump. And he pretty much killed everything canon with the Shadowrun setting. By the 3rd session the campaign became the love child of Mad Max and Robocop.
Specter 7th Jun 2014, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Info dump: We heard about a long and tragic war, the (what I suspect was the entirety) of a kingdoms backstory, and the quest we had to do. But the DM was talking so loud, that we couldn't hear the Pizza guy ringing the door bell.

Out-of-Character one liner: After getting said pizza, our player who paid for it was a little more then agitated because of the pizza guy and his little, discussion, of how rude it was for him to be standing their for about two minutes. Well, he wanted to relive some stress and thought to troll the DM for a bit. Infact, when we saw this messenger run by, the player (now gladiator), stopped the messenger, and said, "You think it's rude to be wait!? F*** YOU PIZZA GUY!" Then he prompted to beat the messenger to death and loot his body.

...

Turns out the messenger was a private food deliverer for the king, and was delivering his mid-afternoon snack, pizza bites.
Akouma 7th Jun 2014, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Akouma
Funny thing, I actually DON'T feel the DM's pain on this one. I've always had a group that actually likes looking at the world that's been built and exploring it in-depth. I mean, these are people that in an Iron Kingdoms game we are a mercenary company. Our job is to run around fighting things and be payed for it. We have a tendency to yell at our DM when he skips out on lore bits or anything remotely world-related.
Venellian 7th Jun 2014, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
In-character: the bard was at -1 HP and stabilized, and was riding on the druid's donkey (they were at level 1). The druid's player said that as soon as he (the bard) got well enough to walk, he would push him off.
Sure enough, an hour later the Bard went up to 0hp, technically well enough to walk... And so we ruled that the Druid pushed him off, causing 1d6 damage (because the bard didn't want to get off).

Ever since then, the Druid's player has been saying (well, mainly it has been us saying it to him): "but not enough to deal damage."
Druid: "I slap him, but not enough to deal damage."

It's really funny.
Adens 10th Jun 2014, 5:05 AM edit delete reply
Can I use this? I'm going to use this if it happens in my sessions.
kriss1989 7th Jun 2014, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
*expliains how being a warlock works first session, blah blah blah, lore lore lore, mechanics and how those work*

*2 years later (we are on year 5 btw)*
"Wait, what was done with my soul?"
evileeyore 7th Jun 2014, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
evileeyore
Razomyure: "Tell about a time when a DM front-loaded info and the players ended up missing something very crucial (and, of course, the aftermath)."

One time? Just one time? Try every time I've ever run a game! And it's not like I front load all that much, maybe 5 minutes of exposition, maybe.

What's funnier is the one time the group (Monster Hunters Game) was pursuing a enemy through the woods after dark (they'd finally gotten a jump on a creature that was killing college kids and draining their blood - so obviously a vampire). The follow the tracks to a cave and the group huddles up to make sure they've all got the corret equipment...

The all compare notes and had literally geared up to each fight a different monster. Not a single one had paid enough attention to know it was a vampire. One had silver, one relics to fight a demon, one had spirit fighting scrolls, and one was prepared to kill normal people (he thought it was a psychopath trying to fake up the vampire angle - the only one to even get the whole vampire angle despite each victim having no blood and obvious bite marks).

Le sigh.
you know that guy 8th Jun 2014, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, imagine if The Witcher had co-op.
Guest 9th Jun 2014, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
We had a good one last campaign.
We were dispatched to quell a revolution with the disguises of mine inspectors. The GM goes into all this detail about the city and we get to work pretending to inspect the mine.
Two sessions later:
Me: What are we here for again?
DM: You are here to inspect the mine.
Me: No that's just the cover story what are we actually here for?
We had to go and check my brother's notes just to work out the entire point of our campaign since we had all missed it and the DM had forgotten.
Anvildude 18th Jul 2014, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
I remember one campaign a buddy ran that was loosely based on Champions. Loosely, in that he'd constructed an entire oriental-flavour world and hand-picked "Race/class" combos that we were required to utilize. It was still pretty fun, but I almost wish there'd been some more infodump on the world and lore of things, as opposed to the infodump being all about character creation instead.



When putting lore into my own campaigns, I prefer to do it through visual stimulus (descriptors) and comments or exclaimations of NPCs. If there is reason for straight up "You know this" I prefer to couch it in a story or tale of some sort.
Guest 7th Jun 2014, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
It means that the explanation needs more SFX and VFX. Glowy things. Explody things. Glowy, explody things. Perhaps a few spiny things (that glows).
Derpmind 7th Jun 2014, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
I don't have any objection to a description of something being a bunch of facts slapped together, but if I wanted to teach someone something the last thing I'd do is assume they're just going to memorize my every word. People aren't machines that take in facts and output decisions. Even if you can't exactly tell a story with your subject matter, the least you can do is try breathing /some/ life into it.

Why yes, I do resent my country's (u.s.) public education system; how did you guess?
Digo 7th Jun 2014, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
Doing is certainly a better way to learn. In one D&D campaign instead of infodumping about a great war that happened before the start of the adventure, I had the players RP out the tragic last battle (And this was over a decade before Halo: Reach came out).

So now the PCs know much of that war because they played out a part. And things that happened there became legends of the war, so it did a bit of world-building too. :D
TheOld One 7th Jun 2014, 2:48 PM edit delete reply
That's actually pretty cool. Did you let them make up their own characters for it or did you pre-gen them and just hand them out?
Digo 7th Jun 2014, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
I pre-gen'd the characters, but I made them similar to the kind of characters they like to play, so that it wasn't to awkward.
guy 7th Jun 2014, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Ladies and gentleman, the logic that brought you 00 gundam! Yaaaay!

…But, then, I love 00 Gundam...
Disloyal Subject 7th Jun 2014, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
The explanation is wrought of explosions. It is encrusted with neon and menaces with spikes of parchment.
FanOfMostEverything 8th Jun 2014, 5:06 AM edit delete reply
The crafts-DM-ship is of the highest quality.
FanOfMostEverything 7th Jun 2014, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
Brevity is the soul of exposition. At least, it should be when dealing with short-attention-span players. I try to condense the information to the essentials. If the players show interest and ask further, great! If not, they have what they need (which isn't necessarily all the information they might want.)
Specter 7th Jun 2014, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Specter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrR9G9Vmq4s

I really have no description to say how I feel about this "20% cooler" stuff Dash, you can't even tell Rarity, SPECIFICLY, what you want on your dress.

But then again, I don't entirely care.
ADemonicPresence 7th Jun 2014, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
ADemonicPresence
despite being vague and unhelpful, dash was the least rude to rarity in that episode. she wasn't constantly giving horrible demands and lecturing her like the others.
also her revised dress was the only one with any real style, it looked like a cross between magneto and the rocketeer ran through a prism.
Summoned Singer 7th Jun 2014, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
She said 20% cooler because she got a nat20
Adens 7th Jun 2014, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
How long do you think Spud waited to use this line? ALternatively, do you think he felt required to use it?
you know that guy 8th Jun 2014, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
You could just ask him.
mistriousfrog 7th Jun 2014, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
mistriousfrog
I am lucky enough to be one of those few GMs whose players care about the lore I painstakingly write. Last time I did an info dump about a legend from 300 years ago one of my players almost cheered that I had actually put in universe legends into it to explain the ascension of a god I created for the campaign.
Raxon 7th Jun 2014, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Man, I freaking love detailed world lore! No need to bog everyone down though. Gimme a copy of your world notes. I love the added minutia and collective lore.
Digo 7th Jun 2014, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
PCs absorb info at different speeds. Handing out high-level info at the table and then giving written details for later reading works well. :)
Raxon 7th Jun 2014, 12:53 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
I will have so many notes and old folk tales and added lore by the second session that if you're not very thorough, I will double it. Not even kidding here. I am good at weaseling my own lore into existing settings.
Digo 7th Jun 2014, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
I'm down with that.
Raxon 7th Jun 2014, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
You realize, I hope, that you will find incredibly convoluted lore, and all my characters will be descendents or related to legendary heroes... Or villains. Possibly even both. I can and will create a family tree. There will be saiyens in dusguise, and I will have ranged ki attacks.

Don't be surprised if Raxon Dunwich gets mentioned in the lore. However, he would be more of a background character. You know, basically a non evil version of Magic Man crossed with Mephisto Pheles. Legendary for being a magical trickster and all around asshole, all caught up in his own little world, forcing people to undergo trials to learn life lessons about the power of friendship and compassion, and giving gifts to those who accept such things.

So he's an ass, but a polite, friendly, helpful, gift giving ass. Who makes deals and tricks you into doing what he wants you to do by making you think it's the way to screw him over. And gives you candy for doing it. Honestly, without the early PTSD and the centuries of isolation, he's... well, not sane, but pretty much just a very tricky goofball
you know that guy 8th Jun 2014, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
Raxon plus really lazy = Yukari Yakumo.
Raxon 8th Jun 2014, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Wow, that... sounds remarkably like Raxon, as far as being super complicated and difficult to understand, with obtuse, often ridiculous goals. Darn you. I had been avoiding the Touhou series because I suck at bullet hell games, now I have to try it. As for the lying, though, Raxon never lies. But you do have to know what questions to ask. He will withhold or divulge additional information on a whim, and when he tells more, he is often thought a liar.

Yes, he will spend three weeks manipulating and abusing top level politics in Washington, all so he can have an Icee machine installed in his kitchen.
Digo 8th Jun 2014, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
It's not really different than some of my past players. Not many, but I've had the experience. The record is one player who had half a dozen PCs related through a 14,000 year old legend. :3
Raxon 8th Jun 2014, 12:48 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
No worries, Digo. I'm not going to have my character be secretly a demigod, or anything like that. It will be more along the lines of "As my father used to say, as my father used to say, as my grandfather used to say, as my mother once told me, as my brother was fond of saying, as my hairdresser said, as my sister told me, as my gynecologist said once, always keep your tools at the ready, and your hands cold."

That gynecologist being a legendary healer who prefered to tend to children, both before and after birth over a hundred years ago.

Yes, I will use the lore to crack jokes.
Digo 10th Jun 2014, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Excellent. I do love a good lore joke. :3
mistriousfrog 10th Jun 2014, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
mistriousfrog
More than lore, I think I prefer the idea of an active world. It is nice to hear about heroes who went on mighty quests and became gods from it 300 years ago. But one of the things I enjoy doing to my players is have them run into chance encounters with other parties of heroes who are on completely unrelated quests, most of which will never be brought up again. Even more so when I slip in subtle references which being RPG players, my group is genre savvy enough to pick up on. A few sessions ago the group passed by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli from LOtR while on the road, had a brief chat and then went on their way. Last session while drinking in the tavern, I had Haley and Belkar from Order of the Stick debating the best way to sneak into the city where all the rich and famous live just a table down from where the party was. Names were never used but in both cases, the players almost instantly picked up on it.

As for player driven lore, I always encourage players to write as much backstory as they want. The current campaign has a world with two superpowers on the east coast that have been at war for 30 years now. then there are over 50 tiny nations all to the west most of which I haven't even done any notes for. One of my players just asked me, "so, is it cool if my guy is the prince of one of them?" I pretty much let him design his own small country just to fit his backstory.
guy 7th Jun 2014, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Players: Pay attention to what the DM tells you. Write it down. Memorize it. And then trot it out the first time the DM contradicts themselves.
In a game, it is the goal of the player to use absolutely everything the DM says against them whenever it is at all possible.
The irony is that I am primarily a DM.
Razomyure 7th Jun 2014, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
Razomyure
I do this to myself to ensure that I don't contradict myself (I DM, obviously). Which makes it even better when someone catches me doing so.

As a player, I very much do this and use it to my full advantage.
Digo 8th Jun 2014, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
As a DM, I often rule that if a player writes down notes about something from the game, then they don't have to make an INT check to recall it. Encourages a little note taking on the important quests.
Disloyal Subject 7th Jun 2014, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I -deliberately- contradict myself on occasion, to see if they notice that what they've learned and what they thought they knew don't match up.
The one guy perceptive enough to notice ooc prefers sitting back to watch the results over pointing out the discrepancies, so excrement tends to hit the fan sooner or later.
Colin 8th Jun 2014, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
I accidentally became the minutes-keeper for the party.

Now our DM's very good at improvising. It can be necessary, but sometimes even he forgets what he's put down. As I had been taking notes for myself just to remember all the cool stuff I'd done, I was surprised when he asked me for my notes. Now he uses them to keep the lore consistent for the book he says he's going to write, while I frantically try to take notes. Why did I have to play a psion? :-P
Boris Carlot 7th Jun 2014, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Note: My character was called Wilhelm.

DM: "Alright, do a will check."
PC: "Hey Wilhelm, is it alright if I do this?"
Me: "Yeah, I'll allow it."

He let us skip the roll.

Digo 7th Jun 2014, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Heehee, that's funny. :)
Fred 7th Jun 2014, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if any of the information from 'Testing, Testing, 1-2-3' will become FiD canon?
CmndrHurricane 7th Jun 2014, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
a wonderbolt history lesson. this seems familiar somehow

I'm so hoping for a rapping Pinkie
FanOfMostEverything 8th Jun 2014, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
"Okay. Twenty percent cooler. I think I can handle this. Pinkie, here are my notes on the Wonderbolts. Make a rap out of them and I'll give you a few thousand XP."
Night Sage 7th Jun 2014, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
Night Sage
With me being the gamemaster within my groups, I sure hope I have been making sure not to drag out info dumps for too long. Only did about 10 sessions with my group, and lately haven't had our schedules sync up again to allow us another session.

In Shadowrun, the concept of "nat 20" doesn't exist per se, however, the more successful dice you have, the better your information you receive.

Instead of the info dump itself, here is the story of how the largest info dump I had to do, to date, occurred:

My mage player was looking into a subject matter in an extensive archive. I don't have the papers in front of me, so I forget what it was he was looking into. He casted a spell that he created (I allowed), that can help him find the knowledge he seeks. He got 6 successes, thus lowering the target number required to find the information, from 12 to 6, and gave him 3 extra dice to roll for the next roll. Those 3 extra dice pumped him to 21 dice to look for the information, he added dice from elsewhere too. He rolls, all failures. I'm nice and allow one free rethrow (unless their failure is needed, or can cause some funny stuff to happen. My player looks forward to it when I tell them they can't use their free throw) per player, per session. So he uses his free rethrow, and once again, all failures. He is really desperate to get this knowledge, he uses his character's karma, to reroll all failed dice. He drained his character of karma to do so, and goes to roll all 21 dice again. he was a tad bit angry, so instead of rolling normally, he threw all 21 dice against the wall. I wasn't happy about that, but I was laughing my arse off at the result.

All 21 dice landed 6. That made him more angry, as he knows the rules "any dice that touches the floor, must be rerolled" and all 21 dice were on the floor. All those dice landing on 6 put me in such a good mood, as well as everyone else, because we were laughing, I allowed the roll.

I told him that he has every book about the subject in question, including some books he didn't even know would be helpful for the subject matter.

I gave some information, quite a bit actually, and just handed my notes I had about it to him, so he can copy it down. While doing so, I was improving some information. Other player started looking bored, so I told him, "hold off on going home after session so I can tell you more."

I asked him what he does next. He asks if the other characters were in the archives with him, and they all agreed they were, and were bored. He then turns to everyone and proceeds to say: "And my mother told me getting angry and throwing things wasn't the answer to my problems."

I took that and proceeded with: A hooded figure comes walking over to the group. Around his neck, you notice the symbol of the archives you're in, and assume him to be the archive manager. He proceeds to say "You made the mess, now you get to clean it up." Looking over at where he was pointing, a large pile of books were no longer on their shelves. The mage was so angry, that when he threw the book he had in his hands, he sent some of his magic with it, which caused the entire section of books to fall. Yes, miraculously every book he had needed for the subject, had landed on top. None of you took notice of this, because the mage was too enthusiastic about finding the books, and everyone else too bored to notice. It takes you all 4 hours to reshelf the books, then you were allowed to leave the archives.

My group was still laughing to even care that their character's time was just wasted. They simply told me "Our character's aren't happy. But we sure are." A good minute passed before the laughter finally died down.
Digo 8th Jun 2014, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Wow, the fact those dice mocked him like that from the floor. That is a Kodak moment.
Night Sage 10th Jun 2014, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
Tis truly was. I was just thankful that the room we play in, doesn't have any small crevices that the dice could slide under. Made finding all 21 dice a lot easier.

Look on his face when we realized all 21 dice landed 6: PRICELESS
Xzienne 8th Jun 2014, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I'm a novelist generally, so when I first started a game, of which no-one in the group had played before except for two players who hadn't ever played 4e, I asked the players if they wanted me to build them characters. Well, everyone agreed, as I was building the world from scratch anyway, so I set about designing them all. Including a page or two of character backstory that I was going to use in game.

Well, freaking NO-ONE read their stories. Not a single person remembered anything; in some cases, even their own names flew over their heads when I introduced NPCs from their families or critical characters from their past.

We ended up dumping everyone's stories and just playing on, but it still leaves me a little sore.
Night Sage 10th Jun 2014, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
That is why I am against the GM creating the characters. It is one thing to help with character creation, it's another to do it for them.
Eyepoppee 8th Jun 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Nice use of the beat panel there.
Crystalite 10th Jun 2014, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
I'm glad today glitched, because otherwise I would've failed to see this, buuut...

WHERE'S TODAY'S COMIC!?