Page 787 - Hyperbolic Trajectory

6th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM
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Hyperbolic Trajectory
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 6th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
A little more than a week left for guest comics! Looks like there will only be a couple of submissions based on the contacts I've received, but I'm on record as kind of figuring that might happen this time around.

61 Comments:

Venseyness 6th Aug 2016, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Yep, that's just about right. I can remember when I had this cool boss set up, and while the group was fighting it, one of them called out that they wanted to do something insane that would never work that would completely break all of the boss's cool attacks for the rest of the fight. But, it's next to impossible.
I laugh, thinking it'd never happen, and wind up to disappoint him. He rolls a 20.
...I rushed through the rest of the fight just like they rushed through the tornado sequence.
Anon 6th Aug 2016, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, one tidbit I've been taught when GMing: Never ask for a dice roll that you're not prepared to have the players win.
Emptybee 6th Aug 2016, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
Or lose.
Winged Cat 6th Aug 2016, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
What they said. If winning is narratively unacceptable, or if losing is narratively unacceptable, that's a bad time for a die roll (unless crit "auto win/lose despite the odds" is off the table). Those cases are good ones for fiat.
Digo Dragon 6th Aug 2016, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Agreeing. The dice should take a seat when the outcome could be very important to the narrative.
Keirgo 7th Aug 2016, 3:01 AM edit delete reply
Actually, in the Weapons of the Gods system there's a thing called 'style rolls'. Basically, it assumes that yes, success is guaranteed, but how AWESOME do you look doing it? There's no doubt you're gonna succeed, for instance, in defeating this weakling mooks, but does it look like you tried or were the equivalent of a living tornado?
Chilli 8th Aug 2016, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
Which is why I try to make sure that neither outcome is narratively unacceptable. No single event, no matter how momentous, should decide the fate of the entire campaign.

JSchunx 6th Aug 2016, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
I once spent about 3 hours putting together a barbarian chieftain, about 16th level, for the party to face as a sort of chapter boss.

My brother, the party cleric, challenges this barbarian to single combat, at which I scoffed, knowing that this guy could mash him to pieces.

Still, he goes forward with it, they face each other, roll initiative, he wins. His action? Plane Shift to the negative energy plane. Chieftain rolls a 2 on his will save. 1 round washes hours of planning down the drain.

To say I was frustrated would be a slight understatement.
KiraFan05 6th Aug 2016, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
Was running a Dark Heresy(WH40k) game, where the players were Inquisitors. Had them encounter the main villain three sessions in. Badass Chaos Marine. Feared across multiple systems. They catch him when he's leaving and blow up his shuttle. Just as planned. He decided to "fight" them as a means to pass the time till his replacement shuttle arrives. Basically my way of introducing him as the main villain. Figure they'll get beat, because he's a melee monster who has multiple ways to straight up ignore ranged combat. First round starts. Player throws haywire grenade. Short circuits the guy's power armor, deactivates his shield. Mfw second player puts his powerfist thru the now helpless Chaos Marine's head.
Jennifer 8th Aug 2016, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
Shouldn't that haywire grenade have worked on the powerfist too, though?
Meddy 9th Aug 2016, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Helpless? Disabling a power armor doesn't immobilize the wearer unless he's *really* encumbered. Even with penalties, a Chaos marine should still be able to act...

Things are looking less good for him if it was a termie armor, because these prevent you from dodging even when they work. And if he didn't wear a helmet...
Shouldn't have prevented the CSM from parrying, however.
Big Lurker 6th Aug 2016, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Once ran the Age of Worms adventure path (3.5 D&D) for my group. The final battle; heros vs. the worm god Kyuss, reformed into a physical form. Length of battle; less than a round, Kyuss didn't even get an action. While I want my players to win (by no means do I consider myself an adversarial DM), it would be nice to have a challenge slow them down...
Draxynnic 7th Aug 2016, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
For the final encounter of Red Hand of Doom (3.5 D&D, don't read the final paragraph if you want to avoid a spoiler), my group had a pretty good idea that the next fight we were going to get into was going to be the big one, so we took the time to prebuff before going on. I was playing a wizardess with the Stormcaster prestige class - the signature ability of which being that her lightning spells also do sonic damage from the thunder and have a chance to stun anything that takes damage from them.

Before we went in, she used this to enchant all of the primary weapons of the fighters to do lightning (and hence, also, sonic) damage.

We meett what we think is the big bad, and the fighters charge in and do what fighters do while the spellcasters hovor nearby (my wizardess also had the Mass Fly spell). He goes down, and then we find the real climatic encounter of the module as the true Big Bad comes in. The fireworks of the Big Bad's arrival alone takes one of our fighters into unconsciousness and leaves the other so badly injured that we know he's not going to stand up to a round of the Big Bad's attacks, or to the attacks of opportunity he'll receive if he tries to withdraw.

So he grits his teeth, determined to go down swinging, and makes a full attack.

Remember that stunning thunder and lightning that I'd put on everyone's weapons? The fighter lands a couple of hits, and the Big Bad promptly rolls a natural 1 on the save. We didn't give it a chance to recover.

And that's how the Aspect of Tiamat, an avater of the God-Queen of Evil Dragonkind, got hacked to pieces without even being able to fight back
Thor 6th Aug 2016, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
This is why natural 20 on a skill check is NOT an automatic success. If you want something that you know will challenge your players use skill checks. When they try and do impossible things and roll a 20 let them sort of succeed.
It's important to remember that just because a player said that they were going to make a jump check to jump 200ft across the ocean onto a fleeing boat and then rolled a 20 doesn't mean you need to let them do it.
Of course if it's an attack roll a 20 will make anything they call work. Unless you put your foot down and say that it's not a legal called shot or action.
Draxynnic 7th Aug 2016, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
It's worth noting too that in the d20 system a natural 20 is always a hit, but not always the best result. Scoring a crit requires a second successful attack roll.

So it's worth thinking about what a critical hit represents, and if what the PC is trying to do is something that would be harder than a critical hit, it might be worth having them make a confirmation roll on top of the 20.
Digo Dragon 6th Aug 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I tried to think of a guest comic idea, but my muse has been a bit dry this month. I have a few jokes, but not very long ones to really be a "comic". Maybe something last minute will happen. Maybe not.

That's the frustrating thing with being a creative DM. You want cool ideas for your campaign, but you can't really just summon them up when you feel like it. You have to patiently wait for that inspiration to hit. Forcing the ideas to show just gets a jumble of unripe thoughts. :3
Winged Cat 6th Aug 2016, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Huh. I thought for sure you were the other one. Send me a message (over on FIiMFiction if you don't have other contacts for me) and maybe I can spark your muse.

I know the inspiration lull, but over time, I've found ways to overcome it. (This is something I have been consciously training since before I was 10. I don't recall exactly when I started, but I do recall assessing the world and deciding a trained imagination would be useful. I have since been proven extremely correct: in addition to use for RPGs and writing stories, quite a bit of my professional success - software architect, inventor, and entrepreneur - is due to this ability.) Now I rarely come up dry if I have a few days to think about it. (It still happens if I only have a minute or two: I'm not [i]that[i] good yet.)

I can't fully put my technique into words (at this time), but it involves going over all angles of a situation in rapid order, looking for aspects that often have something that can be drawn out to the desired narrative end (comedy, a certain aesop, or whatever I'm looking to do). Kind of like spinning a d20 (or more) with unfamiliar symbols, looking for associations on each symbol, then trying to grow ("build something", except that you're just feeding it fuel/feedstock and seeing what shape it takes) symbols that have the right sort of possibilities.

Ironically, my friends in a Dungeon World campaign say this leads me to overthink what's going on between sessions, when on-the-spot improv is the point. They may be right, but I'll still take the basic plot it inspires.
Digo Dragon 6th Aug 2016, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Do I have your FimFiction contact? I don't know that i'm following you.
Winged Cat 6th Aug 2016, 10:41 PM edit delete reply
I meant that, if you don't have any other way to contact me, it's pretty easy to find my profile page and send me a PM from there. I suspect you already have an account on that site, but I'm not sure what your username would be there.
Digo Dragon 8th Aug 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm DigoDragon on Fimfiction. Fairly easy to find me. My avatar there is a changeling (I need to update that).
Mykin 6th Aug 2016, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
I'm more or less in the same boat, Digo. Though my issue is that I have tons of good ideas but I have no way of really turning them into good comics. I can't really make them work with screen-caps and my drawing skills aren't good enough that I feel like I can resort to that to get the comics done.

Basically, I'm good at coming up with things but suck at actually getting them out of my head. So I'm stuck sitting this one out. Maybe next time, though.
Someone 7th Aug 2016, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
You two guys should collab, Mykin and Digo. Digo can draw but doesn't have an idea. Mykin has plenty of ideas but can't draw. It's a perfect match, really(Okay, it's not, but still.)
Digo Dragon 8th Aug 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
That... actually could work.
Mykin 8th Aug 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
I'm not opposed to the idea, it's just that "getting them out of my head" part that makes me wonder if such a thing could work. What sounds like a good idea in my head might end up being stupid the moment I try to put it all into words. But maybe this is my low self-esteem talking, seeing how well liked Unexpected Favorites turned out to be.

Well, you have my Skype info and I'm Mykin on FimFiction if you want to hit me up on that, Digo.
ANW 6th Aug 2016, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
50 ways to annoyed your DM.
Anyone care to help?
Space Jawa 6th Aug 2016, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
1) Being a Minmaxing Munchkin who is only interested in exploiting every rules loophole they can find.
Delicious Taffy 6th Aug 2016, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
2) Complaining about your character never getting to do anything, but ignoring or outright dodging all interaction. Bonus points if your character is described as outgoing.
Delicious Taffy 6th Aug 2016, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Delicious Taffy
Hey, you're not me.
albedoequals1 6th Aug 2016, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
My gosh, yes. That one is worth ten slots by itself.
SRP 8th Aug 2016, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Your avatar fits this comment perfectly.
Balrighty 6th Aug 2016, 6:59 AM edit delete reply
2) When asked to help a new player pick out his spells, extoll the virtues of the various flavor spells like Cordon of Arrows and Illusory Script rather than the solid, more useful ones like Cure Wounds or Magic Missile he'll be needing more often.

3) You have dice and you have a table. Never roll the former on the latter when you have a nice, convenient floor instead. Aways aim to have the dice end up under someone else's chair.
Malroth 6th Aug 2016, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Malroth
Illusiory script in the wrong hands is probably the most powerful published spell below 8th level. A 2nd lv "if you see thins thing will save or be my mind controlled slave" spell that lasts Days per caster level and allows repeat saves if they see it a second time? How is that spell in any way weak?
terrycloth 6th Aug 2016, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
It's 3rd level, and it's supposed to include a weaker version of suggestion... but I guess you can have the suggestion include going back and reading it again to get re-suggested?

"I suggest you turn to the page in this book numbered 10 plus the number of times you have previously attempted to read this writing and then follow all the instructions written there."
Greenhornet 6th Aug 2016, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
4. Not trying to influence a high will power NPC, but convincing his easily-influenced best friend who then pleads your case for you.
I knew a player who did that.
Platonix 6th Aug 2016, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
5. Parties who are high-level enough to cast Plane Shift can express their dissatisfaction with any given campaign by having the entire party abandon the plot and just travel to Ysgard, spending the rest of their lives battling outer-plane barbarians daily for fun.
Malroth 6th Aug 2016, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Malroth
Or just wear a hat with the spell on it with the suggestion "I want to do what the gnome says, he makes sense." Nothing in the spell limits it to books.
Draxynnic 7th Aug 2016, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
If I was GMing, and the player gets around a high-willpower NPC by getting his more easily influenced friend on-side, I'd consider that lateral thinking to be impressed by rather than annoyed by.
SRP 8th Aug 2016, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
True, but consider having it done all the time. That could be infuriating.
Specter 6th Aug 2016, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Specter
Get the leadership feat. (Let's face it, it's very player friendly and GM infuriating)

Use the feat to roam around with the adventurer version of Tuckards Kobolds (that was a fun time).

Ask for a deck of many things.

Try to recreate the peasant railgun.
Space Jawa 6th Aug 2016, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
11) Asking your DM for the same thing over and over, just worded a little differently each time, in an attempt to wear them down and accept a request they would certainly deny under any sane circumstances.
Digo Dragon 6th Aug 2016, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
15) Asking your DM if he could pause his current campaign to run a specific setting style using a specific RP system he's had only some experience with because you have this totally awesome character concept you're dying to try, even though the concept requires house-rules for the very system you suggested, and then when the DM comes through and has the set up just right, you never show up to a single session. Ever.
Blueblade 6th Aug 2016, 8:53 PM edit delete reply
16.) Ingoring all of the characters that the DM made specifically for you to interact with whilst trying to learn the entire background on a random NPC who the DM didn't even have a name for. *cough* Fallout is Dragons *Cough*

Mykin 6th Aug 2016, 9:21 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
46) Tell your GM that you're bored with the current campaign and want to switch to a completely different rpg system. Complain enough times until he does so. Bonus points if you can get other players to join in with you or get them to switch to a system that requires someone (preferably the GM) to have to buy all the rule books for the new system. After two sessions, Tell your GM that you're bored with the current campaign and want to switch-

This, in a nutshell, is my game store group on Mondays. Though, admittedly, I got to play a lot of different rpg systems because of this.
Blueblade 11th Aug 2016, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
46.) Trying to loot the same room multiple time despite multiple failure and straight out not being there anymore

45.)Being inconsistent

46.)Repeating yourself

47.)Repeating yourself

48.)Repeating yourself
The_Hittite 7th Aug 2016, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
Any character using Old Man Henderson as a role model.
Lalli-is-best 6th Aug 2016, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
A DM who makes you SUCCEED when he's mad? Maybe they should make him mad more often...
Steel Resolve 6th Aug 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Nah, he made Fluttershy succeed, far outpacing Dash in every way. Out of spite.
Blueblade 6th Aug 2016, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
I thought it was more like he was just done with this $#!¥ so he was trying to wrap everything up as quickly as possible.
Huor 6th Aug 2016, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, I had completely misunderstood the comic. I thought that the DM was sarcastically addressing RD, but that's clearly Fluttershy being responded to.

So once again, RD gets upstaged and somepony else earns the ticket. I still haven't figured out how Pinkie is going to upstage her. Mare-Do-Well, maybe?
Winged Cat 6th Aug 2016, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
By being Pinkie. That's all she really needs to do.
Ace Jackson 8th Aug 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Ace Jackson
Don't want to completely spoil the surprise, assuming I have it on lock like I think I do of course, but do you remember what the DM described the potion as being capable of doing? Frankly, I feel sorry for RD's player right now. If I'm reading the situation right it's going to be a tough in game retribution for the whistle.
Anonoma 6th Aug 2016, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
"I am the Dead Sea incarnate."

I'm gonna use that one.
Luminous Lead 7th Aug 2016, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Haha, it's going into my vocab too! So much salt!
nathan400 6th Aug 2016, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
nathan400
Either I'm missing something, or you might've meant the Red Sea. The Dead Sea does have the cooler name, but it's just about the most peaceful "sea" in the world. Its ridiculously high salt content means no marine life, and it also raises the water's density making it much easier to float in it.

The Red Sea was the one that Moses split to allow the Hebrews to cross it and then drown the Pharaohs' pursuing army.

I don't see the wrathful connection either way, and that's why I wouldn't be surprised if I'm just missing something.

One thing that's important for me to say is that I wouldn't bother nit-picking if I didn't enjoy the web comic enough to pay attention to the small details. So yeah, please don't take my (or indeed anyone's) criticisms too personally.
Kyman201 6th Aug 2016, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
You ever heart the adjective "Salty" to describe someone in a coarse and aggressive mood?
Kyman201 6th Aug 2016, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
*heard the adjective. Can't edit for some reason.
nathan400 6th Aug 2016, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
nathan400
Oh yeah. That makes sense.
terrycloth 8th Aug 2016, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Only recently. Where did it come from?
terrycloth 8th Aug 2016, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Only recently. Where did it come from?
Malroth 8th Aug 2016, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Malroth
Well in the Navy we used the term to describe those who have been in long enough to become permanently coarse and agressive but i still diddn't get the dead sea gag untill it was explained.
Archone 7th Aug 2016, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
"I am the Dead Sea incarnate."

...You're in a real pickle now!