Page 577 - Boycott Movement

4th Apr 2015, 6:00 AM
Boycott Movement
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 4th Apr 2015, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Whenever I find myself retreading a familiar story, one of my favorite tricks as a writer is to take all the lessons learned from the old story and make that the starting point, to take the past conflicts and gotchas and completely null and void them. "Okay, the characters aren't going to fall for the same tricks as last time. What now? What are the motivations, conflicts, and stakes that take us forward?"

Naturally, when you're writing fanfiction crossover remixes, retreading is all you do and this trick comes in very handy. But it's also a neat little tool for writing in general, to build upon common lessons and create new challenges. I mean, yeah, I'm basically just describing subversion/aversion as a writing tool, but there's more than one TVTropes way to look at things.

43 Comments:

Digo 4th Apr 2015, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
AJ nailed it in the final panel. Ponies are not intelligent creatures on average. :D

Jennifer 4th Apr 2015, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Horses are extremely skittish, too, which accounts for the constant panics.

Newbiespud completely nailed what I was going to say as I read. He's great at turning my expectations upside down.
Digo 4th Apr 2015, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
Yes, that is one thing he does really well with these comics. :)
Ponikon 6th Apr 2015, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
I read Jennifer's reply in FemShep's voice.

Damn you, Jenny Hale.
Captain Snark 4th Apr 2015, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
A <b>pony</b> is smart. <i>Ponies<i> are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.
Disloyal Subject 5th Apr 2015, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Try [brackets].
Raxon 4th Apr 2015, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I often use alternate character interpretations. Seeing how many different motivations I can come up with for the same action is a good exercise.

In fact, being able to name several alternate motives for a single action while staying in character is not only personally entertaining, but it will teach you more about the way the character thinks, and if you examine your theories, it can say a lot about yourself as writer.

In other words, I advocate the Roshi method of training. Pick the most complicated and difficult way of doing everything. When the restrictions are removed, you will find your mind much more powerful.
Toric 4th Apr 2015, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Same. My preferred method of character meditation is to randomly pick an actiony or iconic scene from a mainstream cartoon, anime, or tv. series and drop my character in the middle of it. What would they do? What choices would they make? Why are they even here in the first place and should they be?

It allows one the luxury of fantasy, what-if questions and new opportunities to find out about one's character without having to generate an entirely new situation for a simple thought experiment.
Specter 4th Apr 2015, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Specter
As with most days, I try to learn something new. Today, I must ask, what is the Roshi method? Cause it sounds like something I know, but I need to explain it to others because most people I know are rather narrow when it comes to character motivations vs. alignment vs. archetypes.
Toric 4th Apr 2015, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I believe Raxon is referring to Master Roshi in DragonBall, where he puts Goku and Krillin through convoluted, seemingly pointless, and overly difficult tasks to accomplish goals that are ultimately very simple. It inspired creativity, deviousness, and hunger-based motivation.
Digo 4th Apr 2015, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
Hunger-based motivation usually works on me.
Raxon 4th Apr 2015, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Also seen in Ultimate Disciple Kenichi, but to a much more hellish degree. Morning runs? Eff that! You're gonna drag a tire behind you! And your teacher is gonna sit on it! Walking to the store? Swing your hands into the air with each step, and drag these balls and chains from your ankles!
Toric 6th Apr 2015, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Don't forget running on your hands while your master holds your legs in a dead sprint or swaying back in forth over a blazing fire in vertical crunches to avoid being burned. And while we're at it, creating a massage chair out of your disciple's pain and frustration powered by them running on a weighted treadmill with restraints.
Blueblade 7th Apr 2015, 3:28 AM edit delete reply
What motivation do you need other than "Why not?" Or "because I can" ?
Guest 14th Sep 2015, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
Anyone who isn't retarded, or a poorly-written character (such as deadpool), needs more motivation than that.
FanOfMostEverything 4th Apr 2015, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Definitely a technique to bear in mind, especially when my own major pony crossover is several seasons behind. Thanks, Spud.
ANW 4th Apr 2015, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Thinking......Nope I got nothing.
So how about Ask the Pony.
Today, She is mostly a Seamstress.
Here she's the noble thief.
It's Rarity.
Malroth 4th Apr 2015, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Malroth
Why Ponyville?
Rarity 4th Apr 2015, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Do you mean why I stay in Ponyville?
First, It was where I was born and raised.
Second, it's where my friends and family lives, and I will not leave them behind.
Winged Cat 4th Apr 2015, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
Has there been enough of an enduring boost in business, to make up for everypony now expecting the Element of Generosity (and her friends) to save their hides whenever disaster looms?
Rarity 4th Apr 2015, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Oh more so then ever.
Of course that's only in Ponyville.
Everywhere else, it's about the same.
j-eagle12212012 4th Apr 2015, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
Ok miss Rarity

How well did you know Applejack and Rainbowdash before Twilight moved to ponyville?
(I consider the episode "Putting your hoof down" a flashback episode that established Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie where friends before twilight came to ponyville but AJ and RD where not in that episode)
Rarity 4th Apr 2015, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
There wasn't a pony in town that didn't knew those 2 before Nightmare Moon.
Did I knew them personally?
Let me separate that question in 2.
First Applejack. I would say I knew her good enough. I buy her apples, and she would once in a while bring her hat in for repair.
As for Rainbow Dash, I didn't get to know her or Fluttershy until after Nightmare Moon.
Specter 4th Apr 2015, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Specter
This is a good example with trying to get character motivation going. It actually reminds me of a time where the group I was in was asked to go and slay a bunch of corrupt doctors who basically stole thousands in gold and fled. Almost everyone in our group thought, "Yeah, they're corrupt, we can do this".

But I just couldn't, I couldn't think of a single reason I would do this. They're corrupt, and they appear to be the ONLY doctors in the region. They stole thousands in gold, and medical equipment isn't cheap.

Then I made the mistake of going to ask a local guard about the doctors, cause he was apparently a former patient. All he said was, "I use to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee."

... I killed those doctors without mercy later.
Mykin 4th Apr 2015, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
So you outright butchered a group of doctors...because of a meme?...Ok.
Hariman 4th Apr 2015, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
But... that arrow to the knee. It means that doctor was married!

What will happen to his wife and kids?!
Specter 5th Apr 2015, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Specter
I am well aware of the marriage thing before I saw this video, let alone murdered a bunch of doctors (I was chaotic evil, not chaotic smart). But come on, the GM actually had the doctors doing as the video said (he is the only one in the group who uses the illusions of a meme to get us to do/don't do something).

Plus, everyone else was willing to kill the doctors just because they were asked to, and they were of the "good" alignment.
Mykin 5th Apr 2015, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
Not saying it wasn't a good motivation to go slaughter things, just that it isn't every day that someone finds a way to use a meme to justify wholesale murder.

And I can believe good aligned people being willing to kill people on a whim. I've watched my group murder everyone in a tavern because we guessed that it belonged to the bad guys, so obviously everyone in there is with them. The only reason my cleric didn't stop them was because he left to go question a drunken minion that had gone outside. He only came back in after the damage had been done and he wasn't too happy with it all.

Oddly enough, the tavern owner didn't seem too flushed over it all. In fact, he was more ticked off that we wouldn't let him close the tavern early (because we wanted to search the place for clues) than he was with all the damage my group caused in the bloodbath that happened.
Lyntermas 4th Apr 2015, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Lyntermas
...And just like that, the mood for the Grand Galloping Gala is flipped on its head.

DM: Rainbow Dash, you see Spitfire and Soarin, but they seem to be engaged in conversation with the nobles.
RD: ...Alright, I'm going to try kicking a table, sending a cup flying into the air, and then catching it with my back hoof. Rolling Acrobatics...27.
DM: Um...you actually manage to pull it off, with the cup landing daintily on your back hoof. The Wonderbolts look impressed, but then are pulled away by some nobles for a photo op.
RD: Oh, they actually noticed. That's cool, I guess.
DM: Wait, weren't you trying to get their attention with that stunt?
RD: I am a barbarian at a fancy party. There's no evil plots going on, I'm not allowed to smash anything, nobody's insulting me, the rest of my party's doing their own thing, and it's clear that the Wonderbolts are here to on business, not pleasure. No, I'm going to be knocking things up in the air and catching them to stave off the SHEER BOREDOM that my character is experiencing.
DM: Well, what about the rest of you?
TS: I've apparently spent the last hour shaking hooves with really important ponies who my DM doesn't even have the names for.
PP: My bonuses don't work outside of Ponyville, and these ponies wouldn't know fun if it hit them in the face.
AJ: And in a shocking twist nopony could see coming, my apple foodstuffs aren't selling well at a fancy event.
DM: ...Well, at least Fluttershy is invested.
FS: WHY ISN'T MY ANIMAL EMPATHY WORKING? ARE THESE ANIMALS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION? SO HELP ME, I'M GOING TO CUDDLE ONE OF THESE CRITTERS IF IT KILLS ME!!!
terrycloth 4th Apr 2015, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
As was standard procedure, all the animals were replaced by changeling spies during every major social event.
Wyvern 4th Apr 2015, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
I am definitely stealing this idea. I've got no games with both upper class events and magic right now, but someday I will again...
KS_Claw 4th Apr 2015, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
But common sense is so boring though.
Exgallion 4th Apr 2015, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
These comics have made me want to try RPing myself. Can anyone help me?
Lyntermas 4th Apr 2015, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
Lyntermas
Well, one possibility is checking out the Pony Tales: Aspirations of Harmony forum, which has its own system and was inspired by this very comic.
Exgallion 4th Apr 2015, 10:05 PM edit delete reply
I'll see if I can give it a try.
Euric 4th Apr 2015, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
Haha, welcome to the club mate.

Here's a tip: get a good group. Preferably one that wants to play and has done so before. A group can make or break your RPG experience, being the social game that it is

in the same vein, be careful of making a game with family/friends who aren't fully on board. You will very likely go well for a session or two, but then slowly descend into the endless abyss of oblivion.

Also, if you are Gming, go light on setup and just start with a dungeon. It will make your life so much easier.
Disloyal Subject 5th Apr 2015, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
There are literally hundreds of options. Pony Tales is a good starting point, being a d20 system designed to be accessible to newer gamers. Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition recently came out, and it's also a nicely streamlined d20 system. It should be much easier to find a group for if you'd rather play in person than online, given its popularity.

There are also so many others, if you enjoy those but want to try more. Exalted, Shadowrun, Warhammer 40K Roleplay (subdivided into Dark Heresy, Only War, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, and Black Crusade, plus fanmade supplements like Mon'Tau), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Deadlands, Mutants and Masterminds, GURPS... what are you interested in, primarily? 1d4chan and TVTropes can often give you some idea for the feel of a game's setting & mechanics if you want to poke around before you get started, and D&D3.5's core rules (and Pathfinder's; the two are largely compatible, though mixing them can exacerbate their balance issues) are freely available online.

edit: those last two, D&D 3.5 & Pathfinder, are kind of infamous for their issues with a bloated amount of options in character creation (there are over a hundred base classes in 3.5 supplementals, and hundreds more prestige classes... and that's without even getting into the feats...) so they really aren't the best starting point - but the link to 3.5, at least, is just the core rules plus a few optional bits tucked to the sides, so you *could* start there if you really wanted. I did, but 5e is a lot more accessible. Aspirations of Harmony, of course, is totally free, being fanmade, and Wizards of the Coast offers most of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons as free PDFs, but with some goodies like premade adventures withheld for the paid versions.
There are forums like Giant in the Playground and the Pony Tales forum (probably Wanderlust too - a successor to Pony Tales, but I've yet to take a look at it) that often host Play-by-Post games, and /tg/ usually has a gamefinder thread running for all kinds of games. Roll20.net hosts plenty of games, and I've heard good things about it; there's also something to be said for just making time to hang out at your local comic shop and seeing if they host any games you might be interested in.
Dragonflight 5th Apr 2015, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
There's also Ponyfinder, which is someone's attempt to do MLP:FIM with just enough difference that they won't get sued. It's compatible with Pathfinder, but is also capable of being entirely stand-alone from anything else. And you can clearly see where the MLP influences are, so it's extremely easy to import the game into an Equestria-based pony game.
eric_electric 6th Apr 2015, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Actually, Ponyfinder is a campaign setting for Pathfinder. You'd still need the Pathfinder rules to run it.
terrycloth 6th Apr 2015, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
You can get those for free on the web, though. I've been using d20pfsrd.com but there's an official site too.
hariman 4th Apr 2015, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
Tropes are not good, but tropes are not bad either.
Mykin 5th Apr 2015, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
"Sure, because stuffy nobles love apple pie."

Don't be so quick to dismiss ideas, AJ. My group has convinced a group of guards that nobles love spicy hot wings before in an attempt to get into a mansion. Granted, it ended with us nuking the place...literally. Look, all I'm saying is that you can find creative ways to use food to your advantage here.

EDIT: I didn't like what I wrote on character motivations and, after some thought, I've changed my opinion on it all as well. I don't mind a DM handing out character motivations like this as long as it makes sense and both parties agree to it. I'm not a fan of it if it forces someone to go out of character in order to stay with it because said motivation is important to the plot of the campaign.
Blueblade 7th Apr 2015, 3:25 AM edit delete reply
When I read this comic I immedietky thought "Friendship is Dragons would be great at cinemasins" The I proceeded to laugh