Page 462 - Party Politics

3rd Jul 2014, 6:00 AM
<<First Latest>>
Party Politics
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 3rd Jul 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
There are some things that are inextricably tied to who we commonly are as tabletop geeks. And one of them is how adventurers usually cope with high society situations - which is to say, not very well.

49 Comments:

Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
I remember in a Shadowrun adventure, my country-gal mage was never one for fashion. She was a bit like AJ that way, but whenever we had a contract that involved infiltrating a fancy party, I was the only one who came in full ball-gown regalia with hair pinned up under a tiara and everything.

Everyone else would show up fully armed and maybe with a clean t-shirt.
Disloyal Subject 3rd Jul 2014, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Heh, reminds me of the disaster I described below. Three armored soldiers and an assassin in comfy black sweatpants kinda stick out in the noble districts.
Though in a fantasy setting, that's what Glamered armor is for!
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
Yes, at least glamered wear lets you look the part. But if you're not at least trying to dress the part, then you deserve whatever the GM drops on you. :D
Sparky 3rd Jul 2014, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Shiftweave. Lets you instantly switch between five different outfits. My mad scientist oracle queen would be in a lot of trouble without being able to instantly ditch the grease-stained overalls for a courtly gown.
terrycloth 3rd Jul 2014, 11:07 AM edit delete reply
Or a hat of disguise. I've had more than one adventuring group buy hats of disguise for everybody, and routinely wear them in town, to avoid trouble with the law.

One group, though... they just kept causing massacres, so after a while any group of disguised strangers who had one gigantic person with a battleaxe and another who kept fireballing crowds was assumed to be them.
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 1:30 PM edit delete reply
Hats of Disguise work well. In Shadowrun magic items can be stupidly rare, but the flip-side is anyone can go into a Big Box Mart store, buy an outfit and some makeup, and then disguise themselves on the cheap for whatever they're doing.
Siccarus 3rd Jul 2014, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
One thing I learned about the hat of disguise, Always wear clothes on underneath, It is just an illusion spell that can be dispelled/ knocked off/ seen through with true seeing.
Digo 4th Jul 2014, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
LOL! An all-important PSA.
dracostarcloud 3rd Jul 2014, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
dracostarcloud
My characters ALWAYS show up to classy events in nice clothes. Even when I played a Druid, I bought luxury clothing for his animal companion, an allosaurus.
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Did it wear a tie? :3
dracostarcloud 3rd Jul 2014, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
dracostarcloud
Ladies do not wear ties. They wear fluffy dresses and ribbons.
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Well they could, but the thought of an allosaurus all dressed up is hilarious in my mind. That is awesome!
Guest 3rd Jul 2014, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
*slowclap*
DoubleCross 3rd Jul 2014, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
DoubleCross is thinking of getting a tuxedo partly because of personal comfort and partly to entirely disagree with this notion.
Specter 3rd Jul 2014, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Specter
I suppose my party infiltration tact would be drowned out now as a cheap knock-off, but who cares?

With most of the groups I play with, it was natural to crash the party and loot everyone there of the preciouses. One group of a rather more formal kind thought it best to try to do our entire mission WITHOUT interrupting the party in even the slightest.

To do that, we all (minus the one female of the group) dressed up as some of the parties slave butlers, and had the hardest time trying to figure out which masked individual was our mark. Leave it to say that our target was the most important figure in the room (and that our female-not-really-in-disguise knew how to act high society like).
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
I noticed in later engagements that players in my group always preferred to be staff rather than guests. I dunno why, I love being a guest. Being staff means more work to keep up the disguise.
XandZero2 3rd Jul 2014, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
^I've actually done both myself - played the part of "guest" and "servant" - and while servants usually seem to get full access to the mansion for looting and exploring, guests often get the best character interactions.

Therefore, I personally prefer being a guest too.

My greatest "guest" experience was with this Cleric I had in Dark Heresy (remember, cleric = social fighter in that setting).

In one mission, he'd disguised himself as a noble from some backwater planet & was at a party to gather intel (James Bond style). Since he was from a "backwater planet," he was able to act however the hell he wanted, and everyone dismissed it as him being "eccentric."

So, I ended up finding the most obviously out-of-place, low-born (I could tell by the quality of her dress), shy (but pretty) woman at the party. Then, I spent the whole night dancing with her and making a grand spectacle (I think I rolled something like a crit on my dance check). Everyone at the party was so impressed with our dancing, I ended up being able to talk to all the important NPC party goers (while also introducing them to my "date" as well).

By the end of the night, I'd become addicted to an illegal drug, witnessed a high society murder, picked a fight with a douche who sported diamond teeth, and bested him in an illegal pit fight duel - but the thing I liked most about that adventure was knowing that I'd helped a nice wall-flower have the night of her life (;

I like to imagine that my character went on to visit said lady in his off-time between Inquisitorial missions.
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
I love social interactions. Looting the place is fine, but so many of my fellow PCs forget the value of information. :3

Can't say I ever got addicted to any drugs though. I got stoned once by second hand smoke, but that left my poor character ill more than anything for the next day.
Codeman 3rd Jul 2014, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
At least they wore a clean t-shirt.
Guest 3rd Jul 2014, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
Really? I'm second? ... Alright...

Story time! Talk about any time when a PC has taken an unnecessary and seemingly pointless (at the time) tangent to the DM's plot.
PikalaxALT 3rd Jul 2014, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Ugh, didn't notice I wasn't logged in. The above comment is mine -_-
Disloyal Subject 3rd Jul 2014, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I estimate 82% of all player actions. Memorable ones, though, include <Anecdote not found. Poster just realized how long he's been awake, and will edit this in 9 hours or so.>
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
It was US civil war campaign and the PCs managed to get a hold of a small train. They just beat one of the BBEG's main minions and were supposed to head to DC so they can alert the president of the plans the Confederates were making to build an iron-clad train that didn't need tracks (essentially a tank).

Oh wait! We have a train! Fried Chicken run!!

The PCs instead took their train south into Alabama in search of the country's best southern meal. This ended up causing them to face off with a brigade armed with chainguns, setting fire to the city of Huntsville when they tried to "overclock" their train's boiler, and befriending a drunken Confederate lieutenant who spilled information on where Robert E. Lee was.

Which was with the iron clad tank.

Heading toward DC.

Uh oh.
Specter 3rd Jul 2014, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Doing missions for Ditzy in a MLP campaign... Other then the fact that she mostly gave a way for players to (essentially) fast travel, they did it just to make her happy... It was fun.
Zatch P 3rd Jul 2014, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
In a game I was in, our group was going to find an old dwarf about 40 miles out in a mountain to ask him about recent dwarf disaperances. Not sure why we thought he'd know anything, though, now that I think of it. Anyway, we were probably expected to just go straight there, but I decided to find a caravan or something to protect on the way there, since there was a city nearby and it'd let us get paid for doing something we'd have to do anyway. We ended up escorting a small family of four all the way there, and ran into a pack of wolves that I honestly think were just put there because the DM didn't have any plans for us doing that.

Shortly afterwords, a bear showed up. Apparently we were in his cave, which nobody, including the druid, realized belonged to a bear. So the druid decided to use diplomacy on the bear, and got enough high rolls for it to work. Again, not really the DM's plan, and this time he decided to make us pay a bit. We were hoping the bear would take the wolf bodies as payment to let us go without a fight, but he decided those were just his since they were outside of his cave, so no negotiating with those. Then, somehow, the bear made the druid promise to come back in three months to do a quest for him. He wouldn't say what it was, either, and the group fell apart before we got to find out. In an in game 'letters home' thing my character was doing, I made a point that that was an incredibly intelligent bear, and that we were never letting the druid handle diplomacy alone again, because damn. How to you come out so far behind in an agreement with a bear?

Eventually, when we made it to the city the DM said that everything that attacked (a few groups of kobalds attacked us too) only did so to get to us, so the family wouldn't have been in danger if we hadn't gone. I think he was trying to guilt us into not doing something like that again. It failed, because I pointed out those wolves would've attacked either way, and without us the family would've died. Things happened after that that I'd like to tell you guys, but they don't really fit the story time prompt. I'll save that for one where NPCs don't give you very relevant information that would stop you from wasting time and doing something they don't want you to do anyway.
warriorkalia 26th Jan 2015, 4:32 AM edit delete reply
Yesterday. Or the day before, rather.

It wasn't much of one, but my 5th ed warlock is determined to use her Calm Emotions spell on freaking SOMETHING, and I was trying to diplomacy roll against about 6 orcs. Due to the fact that I was at the back of the group of 6 people in a 5' wide corridor, the best I managed was to use one of my two spells to cast Tongues on the rogue, who was closer, so she could talk to them. They immediately turned around and left.

Out of game, the arguing about the whole affair, whether we should bother trying to talk to them or not, took about 2 hours. For like, 3 rounds of combat or so.
Disloyal Subject 3rd Jul 2014, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
...ah, there we are. Dunno why it wouldn't show up for me until 6:12.
I really like Pinkie here; players prejudiced against the nobility are fun.
Heh, high society fiascos... Had one of those in the debut session of a Dark Heresy game last night. We, a mercenary company on a Hive World, had been contracted to kill a noblewoman who overspent, leaving her ripe for an attempt on her life by her peers - through us, of course. We went into the Upper Hive where the nobles dwelt, looking for intel on our mark, and were promptly led by one PC seeking "a watering hole where people might spill their secrets." We found a cafe, and the clientele weren't happy to see five heavily armed individuals stroll brazenly in. We tried smoothing things over by buying some hideously expensive drinks, but then one character threw a tantrum on learning that coffeeshops don't sell smokes before the veteran had a chance to share his.
The barista tripped the silent alarm, I made the Perception check to notice just well enough to see a blinking red light & drew the wrong conclusion, electing to dive for cover... And then the cops showed up to order us out.
So not only did we alienate potential sources of info and make fools of ourselves, but we also made enough of a stir to put the target on high alert. Not that it saved her.
Stever 3rd Jul 2014, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
Stever
I think she's got plenty of time to plan that birthday party ;D
Sensei Le Roof 3rd Jul 2014, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie wants to know just what is this word "plan" you speak of.
Porphyrogenitus 3rd Jul 2014, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
One of the benefits of running a Rogue Trader crew is that you have some very heavy social weight simply by virtue of your trader license. It opens all kinds of doors, and any "eccentricities" (say, running around with a brace of ornate plasma pistols and a gold-and-lace carapace great coat) simply make you that much more intriguing for the typical hive noble.

One of our missions involved trying to track down some information relating to a bit of inter-House rivalry (I cannot remember the exact details, but I think it involved kidnapping and murder). We gussied up (armored clothing instead of full-on Carapace or Power Armor, only Best-Quality guns and swords openly displayed, no heavy weapons, etc.) and started mingling.

I was running our crew's Arch Militant (think a sort of combo of master-of-arms, first officer, and ship champion), and one of our targets was making a lot of noise and wearing a very flashy-looking sword. I managed to get him to provoke me publicly and challenged him to a duel, which our respective seconds decided to hold right there at the party (far better entertainment than the music and dancing).

He was a pretty tricked out combat encounter and I wasn't expecting to win, but somehow I managed to eek out a couple of key rolls and wound up defeating him pretty handily, with a lot of flash that really impressed the crowd. That got us our first bit of intel in the aftermath and led us to a few other leads.

On the other hand, there's trying to mingle at a party when running an Inquisitorial Stormtrooper Null who's packing a suspensor-assisted multi-laser with backpack ammo supply and best-quality Stormtrooper Carapace. Some people can't pass as anything other than what they are, so the best I could do is play the bodyguard to our Inquisitor and try not to mess up too many social encounters. Nulls are especially bad at that kind of thing.
Specter 3rd Jul 2014, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Video!

Ha. Pinkie, you have an eccentric personality, and can somehow get away with it here in Canterlot (sort of), but we all know why you really want to party (other then to celebrate a real birthday early and in game), and because you want others to Smile and Laugh with you.
frostedWarlock 3rd Jul 2014, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
So is Twilight's birthday two months from when this arc started or two months from when this comic was posted?
celestdaer 3rd Jul 2014, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Okay, so, in our AirGears game, our group had just overcome our first Devil's 30/30 challenge, and had blown our genetically modified competition out of the water, so, the DM suggested that when we got back to our hotel... for some reason, Ewan MacGregor was at the hotel too and we all decided to party, by the end of it, Charlie Sheen had shown up as well (hell if I know or remember why) and everyone was doing shots, whereas my Daddy's daughter of a character, who had spent her life just practicing her track skills was suddenly pulled aside by Charlie Sheen, had a little talk where he was the one who said pretty much the entire thing, and forced to have a drink. And I'm sitting there the entire time, going, "Uh, yeah, no. My character doesn't drink. Especially not when Dad is sitting a couple tables away."
Smokes when no one's around, sure, but that's more to explain the lighter she always had on hand, because her theme was fire, thanks to Dad being the King of the Flame Road.
But anyway, the DM was adamant that my character take a shot, he literally wouldn't let the party end until I had. Of course, I think it was more the DM's alcoholism butting up against my personal preference not to drink liquor when it gets offered, but I can't prove that. It was a clear moment when my character would have been extremely uncomfortable with the party.
Raxon 3rd Jul 2014, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Heh. I love high society events. Most folks don't know this, but many of my characters adapt well.

Now picture a barbarian in a loincloth mingling respectably at a high society dinner.
Malroth 3rd Jul 2014, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
I'm also imaganing a Top hat, Monacle and battle axe strapped to the back while he sips tea with the ladies from the garden club.
Digo 3rd Jul 2014, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Black bow-tie on the axe? :D
Raxon 3rd Jul 2014, 2:26 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Make the axe an ego weapon with a royal brit accent and a very proper personality, and I think you have the makings of a sitcom!
FanOfMostEverything 4th Jul 2014, 5:49 AM edit delete reply
Raxon, Ax Off, coming this fall to NBC!
Digo 4th Jul 2014, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
I would so fund that.
MuffinMark 3rd Jul 2014, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
MuffinMark
Funny story, last week our DM was out, so we ran a one-off campaign just using the same characters. It was at a festival being held in the poor district of the city because our dwarven warrior(Stumpy) had opened up a soup kitchen. I went into a shop to see what it had in terms of hats(this included jester hats, top hats, even a dragon hat). I ended up finding one that was made out of bacon. 3 pence later and I was proudly sporting my new bacon hat, until it started to grow. We ended up fighting the disguised chaos creature after it was removed from my head with a crowbar. The shop had disappeared in the meantime and after heading to the mage's college to inquire we ended it for the night, thinking that would be it. Then last night, because the DM couldn't make it again, we decided to continue the one-off(At this point, our dwarf decided to switch characters to a mutant anthropomorphic octopus with 9 limbs). We woke up to find glowing words in Draconic taunting us before saying that there was more to come, before hearing noise outside that tuned out to be a brawl between Templars and summoned creatures and oozes. We headed to the Mage's college, where it turned out that something had taken over the upper floors. The climb up included:
1. Our halfling rogue getting roasted by a fireball trap
2. A portion of the wall that could talk, and described the mysterious substance on it as hair.
3. a giant drooling mouth on the ceiling which after defeated spat out a major artifact that came close to being game-breaking(it ended up being a ring that only negated 30 ice damage per instance)

We have declared that this campaign be used whenever the DM can't make it. All because I bought a bacon hat...
ShadowDragon8685 4th Jul 2014, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
ShadowDragon8685
The second-most-recent Shadowrun character I made was reasonably prepared for social events. She never got to break out the ZoƩ cocktail dress, but she had it. The idea was that it would be fancy enough for use at society things, where she might conceivably be hired as a bodyguard, or just go to mingle on her own.

It probably never would have been used otherwise, though, as the other members of the party consisted of a pair of fraternal twin Technomancers with the social graces of a pair of ostracized twins, and a duo of Free Spirits with all the social grace of literally alien beings.

And a ninja.


But hey, *I* was prepared! Pity the game didn't last more than four sessions.
kriss1989 4th Jul 2014, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989
Is my character good at social functions? Depends entirely on the character. And I mean the Character, not class/skills.

Once I played a diplomancer cleric who couldn't blend into high society. He was polite and charming, sure, but he was a country preacher and fith son on the family farm, and while he knew plenty about how to be polite and how to treat a lady, he "don't know nothin' bout how ta do at a fancy dinner deal."

On the other hand, a fighter I once played as vicious and merciless fit right in at a formal ball. He was the second son of a noble, and only went on adventures to secure his own private fortune since he wasn't likely to inherit. Since he was nobility, he knew all about formality and courtly charm. He couldn't negotiate for beans, but when it came to simple talk and the empty flattery of the nobility he was a pro.
Darth Malice 4th Jul 2014, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Stalker's Mask. Why worry about being overdressed or under dressed when I can pick the best looking guy in the room and turn into him?
Darth Malice 4th Jul 2014, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
Bonus points when I pull off my assassination, heist, or giant disruptive illegal gesture while still looking like that same poor schmuck
aeroz 4th Jul 2014, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
In our current Vampire game we did the usual "meet-n-greet". Now my character is insane, and I dont mean wacky like say pinkie pie. No he is actually insane. At the time I hadn't entirely nailed down specifics, but he was prone to random manic acts with no concern to how it might harm him.

So at this fancy dinner party he went over to the hottest woman there (who was a powerful noble) and do his, as he put it, "mating dance"

Long story short, we were attacked and he became known as the guy that took the dead bodies home with him.

"CORPSE PARTY"
Specter 5th Jul 2014, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
Specter
How can I find stuff like this with the same name?
Disloyal Subject 5th Jul 2014, 3:59 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
A-Ha! That's a game system I haven't started the Mane 6 or derivatives thereof in... Twilight --> Tremere & Pinkie --> Malkavian, those are fairly clear... Venture and Brujah for Rarity & Applejack, respectively? I'm out of practice, but their Disciplines seem like good fits. Brujah for Dash, too, because not many clans get Celerity, especially sticking to core, and... Eh, screw core, but Brujah still suits her better than Assamite. Though if non-core is in, then Fluttershy seems like a definite Salubri - kind healers, closest thing vampires have to saints, with some anger issues over the whole you-ate-our-progenitor's-soul mess with Tremere. That could make for an interesting conflict with Twilight.. Yeah, I may use those as NPCs, or even PCs, if I ever play Vampire: the Masquerade. I already have pseudo-Latin names for them from when I was converting preextant characters into a custom setting's pantheon...
Altessia 6th Jul 2014, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
You wouldn't apply Venture to both business-pony? Applejack even has an easy diet restriction, "May only feed from applejack-drunk earth ponies"
Mjax Majoran 22nd Feb 2016, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
I have never once played a game of DND, but after years of hearing about it, I managed to get this far and love the comic, Best thing I have seen that was pony related in 3 years in fact! So this is a shout out to any new readers that make it this far!