Page 754 - Candy From Babies

21st May 2016, 6:00 AM
Candy From Babies
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
<<First Latest>>

Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st May 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Cute and adorable is kind of a tough sell in a tabletop game. In a system where half the rules are devoted to violence, anything that's deliberately too cute rings alarm bells, and things that are "merely" "cute" become boring or annoying. One way to go about it is to establish a character with hardcore traits first and then reveal the cute qualities. It can be disarming if done right.

The rewards are potent if you can pull it off. Players will go to greater lengths for a character that legitimately warms the heart than for a character that is merely good.

44 Comments:

Masterweaver 21st May 2016, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Masterweaver
We're talking about the Wuvcats aren't we.
Digo Dragon 21st May 2016, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I personally think those go in the annoyingly cute category. XD
Well, maybe not annoying in of themselves, but with how many times the party tries to weaponize them.
Newbiespud 21st May 2016, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Newbiespud
I think I more had Golden Crown in mind when I wrote that.
Classic Steve 21st May 2016, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
Darn it, Google isn't helping me with "wuvcats" or "Golden Crown."
Someone 21st May 2016, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
Golden Crown is one of the NPC's in Spud's "Fallout is Dragons" campaign, a little filly crimelord who used to rule the town of ribcage with an iron hoof. She was also terribly adorable.
Wuvcats is a name given in the same campaign to the cat-critters from the "Return of Queen Chrysalis" arc from the IDW comics.
Evilbob 21st May 2016, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
...
...
...

If you guys got suckered by a cute filly crimelord who ruled a town with an iron hoof... I don't know what to tell you.

I mean, unless that crimelord and iron hoof part was a hyperbole...
It ain't cute to be evil, or violent, or sadistic, or autocratic.
SMITE EVIL!!! Or I guess, attempt therapy if you have the time and resources...
Digo Dragon 21st May 2016, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I had a hard time trying to think of Golden as cute. All I could get is "Comely with a decent mane comb."
Space Jawa 21st May 2016, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, not ALL of them got suckered in by the 'cute' filly crimelord.
you know that guy 22nd May 2016, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
Golden Crown is a standard 3-out-of-5-stars Chinese restaurant. Not fast food like Panda Express.
j-eagle12212012 21st May 2016, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
Butters is both cute and resourceful
How many other creatures can whip up love cookies at any given time with no opposable thumbs
Digo Dragon 22nd May 2016, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wonder where Butters keeps them?
Dragonflight 22nd May 2016, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
My favorite "She's cute and harmless looking. GET HER!" moment was an old Marvel Advanced Supers game I was in. The PC's were in training on an island maintained by the worldwide Hero community. We were up against the NPC trainer team, which included several young men with speed, flight and attack powers, a technopath, an old man with a stick, and a harmless 14 year old in a sundress.

The PC's made the classic mistake of ignoring the girl. What they didn't realize is that her power has a two round warm-up. Once it's active, and you fail your Psyche roll, you can't hurt her. No matter what, even if you *know* surrendering leads to horrible outcomes, you just can't help yourself.

This played well later in the game when the PC's encounter Adonis, who has the really unfair double-combo powers of Emotion Control and Pheromones. He hits you in both your Psyche *and* Intuition. And as a rule, your defense will be worse in one of those. He had a little girl with him who had the power to reach into people's minds and alter their perception of reality, causing instant SAN loss, to use the Call of Cthulhu term.

But the moment we saw them, we *immediately* pounced on the girl, taking her down before she could drive anyone mad. Then it was just a matter of using ranged area-effect attacks on Adonis until he fell down.

Guess we learned something from that training island...
Digo Dragon 23rd May 2016, 5:34 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I just remembered that scene from the movie Men in Black, where Will Smith hesitates in the combat training room on shooting the aliens and then just caps one in the little girl because she's holding those advanced science books. Good reasoning too. XD

But yeah, cute and harmless generally is dangerous.
Lalli-is-best 23rd May 2016, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
You know, I could never tell if Zed approved of that decision or not. When you're part of a diplomatic organization, it seems like randomly shooting monster-looking creatures is exactly what you DON'T want your agents to do.
Dusk Raven 11th Jul 2016, 5:49 AM edit delete reply
I don't know if this is MIB canon or my headcanon that I just kinda developed, but the way I think of it is that J basically held his fire and thought before shooting, unlike the other potential recruits, even if his reasoning was "out there."
Blueblade 23rd May 2016, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
I for one thought of Flotsam
Specifically Flot in a Box. (A.K.A. Weaponized cuteness)
ANW 21st May 2016, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Does who know the website Push the Button, great.
Now for those that don't.
They give you a choice to push, or not.
They give you a positive thing, like you will never be able to become sick.
But, they always come with a negative, like you will never be alowed to go online ever again.
To get the positive, you have to accept the negative. You can't have just the positive.

So here's mine:
You get the best skill of your character, along with anything needed for it.
For example, if the skill needs you to be a master fire user, you are now a fire user.

But, you also get their worst flaw. If water hurts them, it hurts you as well.
And no amount of training or anything can get rid of it.

And all it takes, is a push of a button.
As Howie would say, Deal or no Deal.
ANW 21st May 2016, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
As for me, the ability to use the elemental magic is nice and all, but I like being able to see more, so no.
Specter 21st May 2016, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Specter
I will have to say no deal. Water is literally one of the few things humans need in order to survive on a daily basis, and being able to use fire magic wouldn't be great if I would end up surviving for no longer then a week (at best) without drinking water.

On another note though, it would be an astounding week of endless fire works for all around me. Silver lining in many ways really.
Digo Dragon 21st May 2016, 2:23 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I think Water Bending is a way more useful power anyway. Whips, bludgeoning attacks, saw through objects, healing, and (if you're particularly interested) the upgraded blood bending.
Sliverbrony 21st May 2016, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
If I can take my Mandalorian Miraluka Bounty Hunter from our Edge of teh Empire game, I would say deal.
Untrained force abilities as perk,
blindness whithout force ability or obsession with mandalorian tech as flaw
Dragonflight 21st May 2016, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Do you mean this site?

http://www.turnofftheinternet.com/
Dragonflight 21st May 2016, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
I'd also say that the idea here of the "double edged" power is similar to the way the Avatar is shown in the Legend of Korra and the Legend of Aang. Fire power, for instance, can be really impressive. But if you lose control of it you can hurt yourself or those you care about.

The key here, as I see it, is that it isn't about accepting a curse for your power, it's accepting the *responsibility* to learn to use it safely and wisely. It isn't just a power on charges you can whip out whenever you want. It's *you*. And you have to learn to use it safely if you want to use it at all. And choosing *not* to use it has its own consequences, even if you didn't intend there to be.
Guest 21st May 2016, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
Well, I'd have to say that my character's greatest strength is that he has the power of Persona. And his greatest weakness is that he got the power of Persona.

So I'm going to have to say "no deal." That's just too much responsibility, and I like all my friends alive and psychologically intact.
Dragonflight 22nd May 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of an old character one of my friends made that he told me about. He made "THERE!"-Man! He was built in V&V or something. Whichever of the older games has a Presence stat. And he put *everything* into Presence.

When "THERE!"-Man showed up, everyone would stop fighting and surrender, because they were all convinced they didn't stand a chance. The truth was, he was a total pushover. Technically he was a glass cannon, except that his attack power was all psychological.
aylatrigger 21st May 2016, 8:58 PM edit delete reply
Which character kind of makes this... I think I usually have most of the worst flaws, anyway. I am fairly sickly, and low fort doesn't cover it...so I have I believe 11 flaws? Also depends if you mean flaws and skills or Flaws and Skills, but based on the fire user, you at least mean skills. Anyway, I will look at a few characters I have that use Flaws or have perceived flaws. I will choose 3 for examples.

Chord (non-uber goddess version): Ability to have uber strength and use it for everything (skills, AC, saves, spells...I was very clever in my x to y usage.) Flaw: Short Temper. 'flaw': bad Int. I don't know, but I think solving all my problems with strength and having...34...would fix enough problems in my life that having anger or bad Int would be worth it. I've never experienced being angry before, so I am not completely sure.

Zhu Mei: The best: Takes anything, makes it better, learns how it works, gains spells. ...Look at Spark and think that + a bunch of item creation stuff to make it so you basically use about 20% of full price to make an item. Sparks can cannibalize parts from other items. ...And they can also make things they don't know the prereqs. for AND learn spells-equivalents based off those. Mei is a super-gestalt version. No Flaw, but a perceived flaw of being insane. She turned the Medbot into a killer robot. ...And the security bot into a medbot, to balance it out. The ex-medbot now bemoans its new life except when it is killing people. ...While she is dangerously insane, yes please. I would just try to make more bots to protect others from the killer bots.

Eversheets Quire Esquire: ...though this one is technically a cohort. He's got a lot of psionics going for him. He can pretty much do everything with his mind, talk, punch things, pseudo-spells, make himself stronger, give people dreams, and eventually steal bodies. Pretty nice. Flaw: Quadrapalegic...Kind of really bad. Perceived flaw: He is a bed. He can't even move except for the monk +10 ft, which I wouldn't get due to it not being in the best skill category. No. just no. I am not being a bed, and I don't think I want to do the body theft irl that I plan for him to do.
redwings1340 22nd May 2016, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
redwings1340
Benefit: Incredible technological skill and know how.

Flaw: Inability to resist the temptation to press buttons when I don't know what they do, or even sometimes when I do know what they do.

Overall: Pretty good, I think I'll take it.
ANW 21st May 2016, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Also, can you guys came up with some positive and negative options as well.
I want to have a bit of a backlog, in case I can't think of any.
aylatrigger 21st May 2016, 9:02 PM edit delete reply
Positive: One magic item of your choice. Preferably one you have made yourself or used on your character so we can hear stories about it.

Negative: Your least favorite curse (or maybe favorite if you are gm - whichever is worse for you) is on the magic item or you and can't be removed in any way. Also preferably one you can tell stories about or is homebrewed.
SilverShadow4 22nd May 2016, 12:09 AM edit delete reply
Every chair you sit in breaks. Every doorknob you touch is locked. You will always have an itchy seam. You will have ridiculous body odor.

Incredibly annoying but not detrimental in any way. Or you could go slightly detrimental with:
Clammy Hands (auto-fail against all disarm attempts). Achilles Heel (Auto-fail against all trip attemts). Etc.

Also, this was very helpful for my creative thought processes.
Hubris Plus 21st May 2016, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
The real trick is not letting the players realize that the cute character and the violent character are the same until several encounters in.

In a Mutants and Masterminds campaign I ran, the heroes worked for a government sanctioned agency for policing super-criminals. One of their interns was Faith, who they thought of as the ditsy kid who kept messing up their paperwork and hadn't thought their cape name through (Angel Dust. She could control dust). No real hostility, just a few jokes at her expense, no worse than the other interns got.

Around the same time they encountered Joy, Harbinger of the Abyss. Joy was incredibly strong and boisterous in a psychotic way. Her catch phrase was "I gots an arm!" because she kept ripping arms off of the regenerator and hitting people with them. The players generally regarded encounters with her as "hey, it's Joy! ... Oh shit, it's Joy!" She was fun but terrifying.

Towards the end of the campaign they realized that all five of the Harbingers had been their interns the entire time, using alternate power feats to fake entirely different power sets (The "Joy" they fought was actually a suit of armor stuffed full of sand, remote operated by Faith). All that messed up paperwork? The deliberate construction of an incriminating paper trail. Which wasn't even my original plan. The players just refused to spend time on paperwork when they had interns to drop it on.

So, a few sessions later the Harbingers are defeated, the Abyss is driven back, and a new adventure is begun, and what's the first thing the heroes do? They start filing paperwork to get Faith out on parole. They insist she was brainwashed, visit her in prison, and put actual game time into helping her out. One even started putting points into Sidekick so that they could add her to the team. I hadn't intended on the interns ever showing up again, but the players pushed so hard on defeat-means-friendship that she became a permanent addition.
Winged Cat 21st May 2016, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure it'd work with my groups. "Cute but psycho" is a trope they've seen quite often, such that the cutest of the PCs are some other "cute but X". For example, there's one PC who's the adopted daughter of another - seemingly a kid, actually "cute but implacable" android. Then there's another PC who's the youngest of the party (12 or so) but forced into adulthood early (parents dead, raised by grandfather until he died), so "cute but (tries to be) serious".
Digo Dragon 21st May 2016, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
As an artist, I have a cheat code-- I draw the cute character being hardcore. Visuals FTW.
Truly Mad Moves 21st May 2016, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Oh, man. Fluttershy's "Eeeeee!" is the hardest I've cracked up at this comic since the DM's despair at Nightmare Moon being defeated in the first session. I never thought before about what would happen when Fluttershy first learns of the existence of Breezies... and that's flawless. XD
Lalli-is-best 21st May 2016, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
Don't mess with the cuties.
Digo Dragon 22nd May 2016, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Especially the quiet and nice ones. :3
Xaran Alamas 21st May 2016, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
I like to imagine Fluttershy's player standing up so quick it knocks her chair back, and slamming the table with her fists in the last panel, and leaning across the table to glare at RD ^^

...

now I kinda want to try drawing a guest comic of this page with the players to illustrate what I mean...

By the way, got an account. Yay me \o/
Big Lurker 21st May 2016, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
I don't know of anyone who was fooled by the 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing' from the original Expedition to the Barrier Peaks adventure. Most reaction were 'Cute? Kill it with fire!'...
Digo Dragon 22nd May 2016, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I had a DM who switched out the rabbit with a treasure box. Much more effective!
albedoequals1 21st May 2016, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
I'm in a pony game where the GM pulled off the cute trick brilliantly. My character was a little overpowered compared to most of the party, but she has a rather severe weakness for small/helpless things. So he had us find an infant pegasus in the woods, alone and apparently abandoned.

I immediately became his surrogate mother, with a couple of the others sharing the role of father. We made no further progress that session as all of us cuddled the baby, fed the baby, made faces at the baby, argued about what the baby's name was, etc. My character has been somewhat de-fanged and easily manipulated ever since because she's always trying to keep the kid out of danger.

But I pity the fool that ever tries to hurt that kid.
Specter 22nd May 2016, 7:57 PM edit delete reply
Specter
I can only imagine the fool would end up like this, just by a lot more angry ponies.
aylatrigger 21st May 2016, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
My players and groups often find the psycho cute. No additional work from the GM.

In my last game, I literally introduced an entire race by copying pictures of Shoggoths off the internet for them. Our mos kill-happy member instantly decided to go the route of diplomacy (which was actually what I wanted- but I figured the Face would go for it), and by the end of the adventure they were wondering how they could kidnap/take some of the giant shoggoths with them. ...They decided against it because the shoggoths might figure out they weren't emissaries of their goddess once we taught them how to help us run the spaceship they had taken to be their goddess... But it was a difficult discussion.
I've had another group instantly warm up to a person who introduced himself as 'the Baby-eater' and another one that decided to befriend an entire dungeon. Full of centipedes and similar. ...To be fair, part of some befriending was convincing some monsters to attack others, but most monsters were left safe on good terms.
redwings1340 22nd May 2016, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
redwings1340
As for the fine line between cute and vicious, I once threw a swarm of dancing fireflies at my players when they were in a dark and alien forest.

They all recognized that these fireflies would be bad news, but one of the characters did the roleplaying equivalent of failing a will save and followed them anyway. That was pretty fun! Turns out its hard to use a sword to kill fireflies, they had to run away once the swarm turned carnivorous and escape by jumping in to a nearby river.
Kaze Koichi 22nd May 2016, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
There's always one guy playing lawful good character that insist everything to be done "right" way, like bringing brigants to authorities or donating looted gold to chirch. Those guys normally are the pain in the ass to play with.
Come to think on this, any player that says "We are not doing that, my character would never allow that" is a pain in the ass to play with.