Page 743 - Buy the Numbers

26th Apr 2016, 6:00 AM
Buy the Numbers
Average Rating: 4.5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 26th Apr 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
A DM prides themselves on knowing how to predict and manipulate their players, but even for a group that's really in-tune with each other, that's not always the case.

Sometimes, as a DM, you just don't know if your players will be hooked on your idea until you throw it out there. Sometimes they like it and you can relax a little, and sometimes they don't and you have to be ready to skip ahead like you intended it.

And then, of course, sometimes the players get hooked on some minor detail that was never bait to begin with, but that's already a well-documented phenomenon.

19 Comments:

ANW 26th Apr 2016, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Story Time
Have you ever just have to give the info, because it would have been boring otherwise?
Travel or long speeches do not apply.
Toric 26th Apr 2016, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Recently did a brief "Dirty Dozen" style campaign in Pathfinder, where I had to provide information on both the Masked God and the Sun Orchid Elixir. Only some was interesting to the party, but it all tied together.
albedoequals1 26th Apr 2016, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
How about gratuitous spreadsheets? I'm GMing a game where ponies normally wear clothes (Ponyfinder) so each pony's cutie mark tends to stay secret unless they tell someone or get caught naked. It was beginning to get hard to keep track of who knew whose cutie mark, so I made a table with the PCs and major NPCs on both axes so I could just make an X when someone found out.
Platonix 26th Apr 2016, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
...do ponies normally wear clothes in Ponyfinder? I seem to recall a lot of the artwork in the player's handbook had the pony's flank exposed. Yes, there was some clothing, but mostly it wasn't that far beyond Applejack wearing her hat.

I have a pegasus monk in that setting who wears a vest, but among other ponies that's all she wears (aside from some small earrings denoting her rank as a monk). When she's travelling in human lands she adds a decorative cape that covers her flank, not out of actual modesty but so the idiot humans won't joke about her not wearing any pants...and the cape is marked with her brand.
Anvildude 26th Apr 2016, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
...Huh. That gives me an idea for an interesting alternative culture- I mean, we already know that the Zebra don't have cutie marks in the same vein as Ponies do- would other equine races perhaps have other different cultural equivalents? Maybe Asses, when in their own communities, do brands when they come of age, instead of having the cutie mark appear on its own- it's possible the Zebra mark is similarly tattoo'd or otherwise magically inked on during a coming-of-age ritual.
aerion111 26th Apr 2016, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
aerion111
While it's stretching the usual context for the 'story times' here, I frequently do it when doing straight-out roleplay (as in, no games involved)
And if the GM was a better storyteller (I'm not saying they're bad, just that they could be better) they'd probably have been better of doing it this way too:
If there's a bunch of boring details to be given, you can spin it as a 'description' of what goes on.
Hours of teaching can be boiled down to 'They instruct you in how to do X', catching up to the rest of the part can be done as simply as 'I say blah to them' (that's specifically how a certain group I'm not actually part of does it; They have a lot of players cycling in and out)
Or, in this case, the GM could just explain the important parts (I was going to explain how, but it did get kind of lengthy. Still, INCLUDING the parts to give Twilight and RD a chance to roleplay, they could get the scene finished in less than 15 minutes, and it'd be a lot easier to understand than staring at an excell spreadsheet)

But let's see, something specific that isn't a 'long speech' or other dialogue...
Well, there was a fairly lengthy battle I was part of.
Fighting's a headache in the system, since it's just a half-hearted mess for an otherwise system-less roleplay, so we skimmed over like 90% of the fight.
A day's fighting went by in five minutes, and then we spent over half an hour on the last epic battle of the day (which probably would have taken five minutes in a movie)
Anon 26th Apr 2016, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
I've had to do it as a player. Had to roll about 100-something 3d6s in order to screen a bunch of refugees our ship had taken on to make sure none of them were carriers of the bug they were trying to escape. Thankfully the Gurps chargen program has a built-in roller, so all I had to do was report how many times I massively screwed up. :)
Digo Dragon 26th Apr 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My D&D 5e group has an npc unicorn wizard traveling with them. The party loves having him around, but many of them are nervous with his preference for Necromancy spells. So, they suggested the wizard switch to a more "party friendly" kind of magic, like Divination.

The npc waffled on the idea, but then I had a thought-- RP the wizard asking each PC their personal opinions on the better magic schools and what they truly think Necromancy is about. The party liked this idea, and the PC sorcerer even suggested to have the npc ask everyone privately so that no one's answer is influenced by another.

It was a smashing good idea and the players really got into the RP. Wouldn't have happened if I didn't just throw it out there and see if they'd go for it. Sometimes you just have to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. You never know.

(In the end, the npc wizard went Divination-Transmutation-Abjuration as his primary schools to study).
Classic Steve 26th Apr 2016, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
Why even bother with the printout? Just give the grand total, minus the player characters' scores, which will be determined by die rolls.
Digo Dragon 26th Apr 2016, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Some GMs just really like the details. I've been in games that it took an entire session just to buy a non-magical item because the GM really detailed out the store, the merch all around, the purchasing process...
Winged Cat 26th Apr 2016, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
And some players. I'm in a Ryuutama game where the PCs (who each had their own reasons to gather in the home of one of the PCs) have spent 3 sessions just getting together for dinner, including details of the dinner and laying out a fairly complete floorplan of said home (which won't be on screen much more: the plan is to spend most of the rest of the campaign traveling increasingly far away from home), not even going out on their starting quest (discovered during dinner, and to start the next morning) or doing anything else that would accrue XP yet. (The PCs are finally through dinner and to bed now, so next session will start with the morning.)
Digo Dragon 26th Apr 2016, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Dinner is serious business at that table! :o
bluehelpinghorse 26th Apr 2016, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
bluehelpinghorse
Also, that way players can find the lowest performing pegasai and train them individually.
Dragonflight 26th Apr 2016, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes it can be taken to excess, however. In an old Marvel Advanced Supers game, we were in the Savage Lands, trying to decide if Stratosfire, the microwave demigoddess would de-rezz us and transport us back to North America, or if we would take the Starship Friday, which we also had access to.

We debated the pros and cons of using either mode of transport, and the dangers of each, for about two or three hours.

The kicker? Given they can both move at CL5000 space speed, it's basically planetary teleportation. It would have taken three seconds, and a handwaved scene by the GM to happen. But nooooo.... We just HAD to waste half a game session arguing the best method.

I *still* shake my head over that one...
j-eagle12212012 26th Apr 2016, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
Players taking the hook on something that wasn't meant to be... I think Spud DM's a group like that ^_^
MjaxMajoran 26th Apr 2016, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
MjaxMajoran
Another good one, man waiting for these things is gonna be tortue now... Still really love how this thing is still going strong years later.
Specter 27th Apr 2016, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Specter
*Taking a moment to find something worth while to say, thinks of something crowd related on 5th panel...*

Is that... is that Bon Bon? Right in the middle, slightly to the right.

Yeah, that's her. What is she doing here? She's an earth pony, right? She has no reason to be at a Pegasus event... unless.

*Taking off shades* She's actually a Pegasus this entire time.

... or she's selling candy to the flyers (or whatever she would sell that is part of her canonical job), that works too.
CCC 28th Apr 2016, 1:11 AM edit delete reply
She's there to cheer on her friends. After all, friendship has demonstrable magical effects in the FiM universe, athletes might as well take some advantage of it...
Dragonflight 27th Apr 2016, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Nothing like a sugar rush to get more wingpower out of pegasus ponies! :)