Page 801 - Snacking On A Storm

8th Sep 2016, 6:00 AM
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Snacking On A Storm
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Sep 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: Winged Cat

Guest Author's Note: "And there you have it. Whether or not this is canon is up to NS, who has said he is avoiding Discord and Princess Twilight for a while so this may be long forgotten by the time Discord appears in non-guest strips. But if the original campaign had counted on Celestia and Luna (Nightmare or otherwise) eventually being incapacitated at the same time, Discord could well have been planned as a Bigger Bad. Fortunately, if you want chaos, you can just let PCs be PCs.

"Has anyone else run into such a thing in actual campaigns, where the DM only needed to let PCs be PCs to drive the main plot along, with little need for planning beyond the next session or two for dozens of sessions in a row? I know some of my best campaigns, as player and as DM, were where the players and player characters were set up by the DM to do this."

Newbiespud's Note: That's the last guest comic! Thanks to everyone for submitting and helping out!

21 Comments:

ANW 8th Sep 2016, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat, once again good job.
If I didn't know this was a guest comic, I would have sworn that NS did it himself.
4.5 out of 5
Winged Cat 8th Sep 2016, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Thank ya, thank ya!

I promised there would be more than zero Discord mentions by the end, and here you have one. :)
Digo Dragon 8th Sep 2016, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Cookie for the comic. Was interesting. :3

PCs being PCs... yeah that's too easy for me. My old local group were usually into the stereotypical "murderhobo" antics if there wasn't anything immediately pressing for their attention. But letting them drive the plot that way was fun for them and me. I got to experiment with many homebrew monsters due to them meddling with cranky wizards that don't appreciate a party kicking in their front door. :3
Digo Dragon 8th Sep 2016, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
This is completely unrelated to anything, but amusing: I was thinking about the silly idea of a pony town named 'Ponyville'. So out of curiosity I did a little Googling...

There is a town called Humansville in the US state of Missouri.
Crystalite 8th Sep 2016, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
I used to live there. It is, unfortunately, rather boring in comparison to Ponyville.
SRP 8th Sep 2016, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
There is actually a FimFiction story mentioning this and actually founding a New Humansville.
Winged Cat 8th Sep 2016, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
Well yeah, I figured it'd be easy for you, Digo. ;)

And thanks!

(Not surprised that there is a Humansville.)

BTW, I have started work on the script for our collaboration for next time. I'll try to get you at least the first few this weekend, so you can see the general direction.
Mirsellus 8th Sep 2016, 8:44 AM edit delete reply
I am currently running a Star Wars game where I just put the player in charge of a colony during the rise of the Empire. I'm just making the local factions and free-forming the sessions, letting them do whatever they want. The most planning I have to do is a Random Event that happens once a game.

Were like 5 games in now, and half the group has made friends with the imperial navy, the other half are friends with the non-human half of the colonists that have no legal rights.

They sure do make their own Chao's.
Digo Dragon 8th Sep 2016, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm sure you meant "Chaos", but the apostrophe keeps making me think of those little critters you raise in Sonic Adventure 2.
Winged Cat 8th Sep 2016, 8:30 PM edit delete reply
I'm not the only one. I was wondering what breeding things from Sonic 'verse was doing in a Star Wars campaign.
Binary Toast 8th Sep 2016, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Have we ever progressed the plot, just by doing what we would have done anyway? Yes. Ooooh yes.

In the very first dungeon of the campaign, we got this flaming greatsword, belonged to some heroic type ages back, you know how it is. It had this large black orb on the pommel.

Fast forward several levels, and we've just cleared a boss encounter, and are presented with a large black orb. Now while he told us afterwards it would have somehow happened regardless, the first impulse of our greatsword-wielding barbarian was: "I touch the little orb, to the big orb."

Cue ascendant troll godling breaking free of his prison.
Dragonflight 8th Sep 2016, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
I've had players in my latest campaign occasionally bemoan that they solved a problem with intelligence and charisma. Because by using social skills, even though they still get the xp, they don't get the loot! :)
TheStratovarian 8th Sep 2016, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
In one campaign, a pathfinder one, currently going on. We are running through a temple of madness after being forced to dock the ship for repairs. The old place was once a nexus to the gods of the sea before a whole bunch of nasty things, eldritch things, (evil fey, aberrations and outsiders.) took the place over.

The local populace was being raided for sacrifices to the water beings there, driven mad before being drowned. The party, being what they are, has been systematically cleaning out the place both out of a hatred of what was a rescue of the latest raids.

Some of the group is doing this for the old temple relics. (The wizard)
Others for the fact everything seems to want to eat them first, and satisfaction of rescuing. (The brawler)
Some are doing it for the approach of it as a threat to the campaign and long term goals. (The fighter)
Or because its an affront to the pantheon (The cleric.)
Or just because its an excuse to shoot stuff. (The Gunslinger)

Everyone has a different reason, and we paused last week on something rather nasty, that basically has to go because its part of why the seas are so rough, and damaging everything. (and why the group had to make emergency repairs to the ship.)
aylatrigger 8th Sep 2016, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
aylatrigger
'Let the PCs be the PCs'...ALL THE TIME.

Usually my Loony group is to blame for that...I expect plot derailment, towns burning, and random things to occur, so I mainly just worldbuild for them.

But even in one of my more rp groups I have had plot elements contingent on them acting how I expect. For instance: in a previous game I had them arrested, which would lead to another plot point. I expected to be able to arrest them after they killed a Necromancer. They could have left the dungeon without doing so (either by avoiding the boss fight or just knocking him out). But that would be uncharacteristic of them.
Grant 8th Sep 2016, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Seems to me this would have been a better way to introduce Discord than how the episode actually did it. A couple of kids squabble in front of a statue and he's out? Not considering any fanon justifications or canon created after the fact, only what was shown in the episode itself. Having Twilight try out some strange spells she's not familiar with and accidentally cracking open his prison would make a lot more sense.

Twilight's powerful and talented, but also inexperienced and maybe a bit rash when it comes to something new and unexplained about magic.
Winged Cat 8th Sep 2016, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
In the show, there are many important ponies; it doesn't have to be the Mane 6 who are responsible for most significant events. Also, Celestia would have warned or possibly intervened if Twilight was getting into that sort of magic. (Even as an alicorn she still hasn't yet, not Discord level. Yes, that's including a certain season-ending fight.)

In a RPG, the player characters matter. It makes much more sense for them to cause this kind of thing, even if inadvertently.
Grant 9th Sep 2016, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
Celestia didn't get involved in Twilight's time traveling business (or even know it was happening) in It's About Time. Admittedly that episode established that you can't change the past, but it's not like Celestia knows every single thing Twilight's up to. Then there was that time when Trixie had that powerful and evil-inducing amulet (that she just bought at some shop) in Magic Duel, so Celestia doesn't have every single bit of dangerous magic locked away.

So if some random magical necklace, or self-aware book of spells showed up, well it'd be within Twilight's character to take a look at them before she writes off a letter to Celestia. And if she accidentally cast some spell more problematic than she realized? Well, Lesson Zero and Magical Mystery Cure show that it wouldn't be too strange for her.

And I agree, it doesn't have to be Twilight. It could be Luna, Cadance, one of the villains etc. I'm just saying that Twilight accidentally letting Discord loose through magical experiments seems like stronger writing than it being caused by a few effectively powerless kids squabbling, something that no one seemed worried about considering how the statue was just left out there.
Winged Cat 9th Sep 2016, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
I got the impression that Celestia may have been unaware school kids were being taken on tours of the garden, or allowed to get that rowdy near it. She may have been under the impression that the garden was a place of static peace, and thus one of the most secure places to put Discord. One of the random bureaucratic slip-ups that eventually happens when one manages a kingdom for a thousand years.

(Yes, the garden could be viewed as more secure - in terms of not exposing Discord to chaos - than a warehouse of dangerous things, because thieves sometimes try to steal from such places, and sometimes those heists get chaotic. Likewise, earthquakes do damage to enclosed spaces which can lead to another type of chaos, but outdoors, just make sure Discord's base is weighted to not topple over. Celestia wanted Discord gone for as long as possible, with as much confidence as possible.)
LegendofMoriad 8th Sep 2016, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
I think you've described my GMing in a nutshell. Most of my games start with teh we of interactions between major factions and NPCs. I then leave my players to promote an actual plot.

...which is often inciting a conflict of some kind...

Your mileage will vary, or I commend you, because I know the kind of patience it takes to deal with players like mine. You hear that Nate?!?
Robin Bobcat 9th Sep 2016, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
I had that in a 1920s Gangster/Eldritch Horror game I ran.

"Wait.. that was a plot hook? I can't believe we fell for that!"
"This is why one must use the right *bait* on plot hooks."
"ooooh..."
Rastaba 9th Sep 2016, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
Rastaba
I'm with Pinkie...AWWWW. Guess she can't catch her cotton candy cloud and eat it too...