Page 1043 - Success Risk

27th Mar 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Success Risk
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 27th Mar 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
I just bet Xencarn's gonna be all, "This comic is about me, isn't it." And I'm gonna have to be like, "No. Yes, but no."

It's funny; I had just started this webcomic by the time the second season premiered. So while I got the joke that the writers were kind of parodying the "Twilight has a spell for everything" trope (and getting some wordplay in for good measure with "failsafe failed!")... in my head, the reasoning was always "No, you did not clear this with me first, Twilight. Stop making things up."

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Digo Dragon 27th Mar 2018, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
This is precisely why I try to remember and post actions that set up future fail-safes in the pbp games I'm a part of. Keep links to those posts too. Cause it's hilariously frustrating to be all "I remember setting up for this contingency!" and then you have to go back through 2 years of pbp posts to find that. Oops. XD

With my local tabletop it's just a matter of booking notes. For example, my Ranger has the leadership feat and I only took that because we needed an extra healer to help us overcome the fact the GM doesn't understand the concept of CRs. But the GM follows the feat's extra property to the letter of the DMG, specifically that I have a bunch of followers that I have to feed and put a roof over their heads. Well then. Since I have been working with other PCs to brand ourselves as an adventuring guild, I decided to put those followers to work. I bought an old tavern/inn to house the followers, hired an accountant to track expenses and a scholar with knowledge on contracts to ensure we get work coming in with a paper trail. I now document the entire thing in a notebook and I can easily track profits. I probably make twice the money running that business than I do adventuring.
Mykin 27th Mar 2018, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Heh, at this point, you could probably just throw money/people at your problems to make them go away. GM probably wouldn't appreciate it if, at the final battle to save the world from the evil lich that he spent months planning, you just put out a call to arms and show up with an army of adventurers that you have been collecting since you opened that guild. Would make for an awesome story, though.

Anyway, the groups that I'm in never really plan anything that far out for this kind of a situation to happen. It's usually just us grabbing an item or two and carrying it around with us for most of the adventure before being reminded that it exists and would be perfect for the situation at hand. And what plans we do actually prepared for some kind of future problem, our GM is usually great at remembering and actually keeps it in mind when he plans out his next few sessions.

To be honest, the only time the above comic is pulled is when someone is trying to do something that would be considered jumping the shark and they attempt to pull in past actions to justify the insanity. No pre-planning or anything like that, just people trying to do cool things. It never ends well for them.
Evilbob 27th Mar 2018, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
Not surprised that you'd make more money doing business than adventuring... The sole point of business is to make money, not so for adventuring.

Besides, it's like gold-mining. Those who wanted to get-rich-quick mined gold. Those who understood the importance of steady, if slow wealth accumulation, mined the gold-miners and sold them necessities.

lol@Mykin. Basically, "F*** adventuring. Let's be quest-givers instead with quest rewards." right?
Digo Dragon 27th Mar 2018, 11:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Haha, yeah Mykin has it right. Quest givers are loaded, and i'll bet all those rewards are tax deductible. ;)

Our GM for 3.5 has a terrible memory. He never writes down any magic items we get, so if we didn't take notes, then we lose out. I've created a little database of all the items I and my minion have collected just so I'm prepared. And yes, I had a few instances of "I'll use this X item to defeat the miniboss" and the GM will question where I got it. I show him my clear notes and ask where he keeps his. Haven't lost a challenge yet.

(he should be lucky I haven't cheated the system. Too easy to do so as this is practically merit-based)
Dragonflight 27th Mar 2018, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
That can backfire, you know.

There was a time a long time back when I didn't write down house rulings. And in a Mekton game, I made two different decisions on two different days for the same event.

One of the players jumped up, grabbed a model Starship Enterprise nearby, and had it orbit my head while saying in a mock-Scotty voice, "Captain! It's one huge Contrrrrradiction!"

The rest of the group lost it, I was *very* embarrassed... and I never made that mistake again. Now, I write down every house decision I make, and keep checking old notes to make sure my gaming is consistent.

On one hand, I'm sure my gaming style has gotten a lot better, and I'm sure the players enjoy a more consistent universe. On the other, I *never* let people get away with changing decisions on me, because I don't want a repeat of the Enterprise Incident.

So, yeah. Embarrassing your GM like that can have consequences if you do it too many times.
Digo Dragon 28th Mar 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It has backfired for the GM a few times. Definitely the lesson he should take away from this is to take notes!
SilverShadow4 27th Mar 2018, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
I always write a journal in Google Docs for my characters as if from their perspective. If they have any ideas or note any important clues or information, they're in a bright, bold color.
Having it in docs is just my personal preference because of the font and color options as well as the saving after every edit (I can't tell you how many times I've written a full session recap and then closed before saving it...) and being able to just link my DM so they can view and comment. I am also using a spreadsheet to keep track of my rogue's Bag of Holding.
DeS_Tructive 28th Mar 2018, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
And this is exactly why I run forums and wikis for all my campaigns nowadays. If the players want to prove their character did something previously, it better be in a forum post. If they insist their character has some very specific knowledge, despite the appropiate lore check failing, they better have it documented in their wiki page.

GMing has become so much easier with the advent of digital media, it's silly.
CrowMagnon 27th Mar 2018, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
The "Unspoken Plan Guarantee" is fun in movies, and that makes it a serious temptation for players to attempt it in a game.
Joe the Rat 27th Mar 2018, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
What you need is a system that incorporates Deus ex Flashback features. From the MEGS system omni-gadgets for carrying just the right tool, to narrative stunts, or systems that let you spend resources to put in a contingency after the fact. I'd suggest FATE or PbtA systems.

Heck 3rd Ed D&D had alacritous cogitation - you use an unprepared spell slot to cast anything from your list of that level or lower...
Toric 27th Mar 2018, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
I have always said that she successfully cast her spell in the show. Is it a failsafe spell, or a “fail, safe!” spell? Celestia’s safe did fail to keep Discord out after all...
Aname 27th Mar 2018, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
I was wondering about that thing with the safe. What if it worked perfectly, but the seal was only intact while the vault was closed? And Discord knew that, so he was waiting around outside the safe (invisibly) for the moment they just barely cracked the door, so he could instantly take the elements before they opened the door all the way and saw they were gone?
Rastaba 27th Mar 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
I always imagine the safe worked perfectly. Just the problem was we are talking about a being whose very existence is often in defiance of physics, biology, and even the commonly held ideas of the constraints of magic. The safe worked to keep others out because they play by the safe’s rules while Discord just...side stepped the door in this case by the same cartoon physics he and Pinkie Pie abuse.
Goodperson25 27th Mar 2018, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
Maybe the name was backwards and it was a "safe fail" spell. Everything did work out in the end.
Space Jawa 27th Mar 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
"I just bet Xencarn's gonna be all, "This comic is about me, isn't it." And I'm gonna have to be like, "No. Yes, but no.""

I can hear him saying it in his voice, even.

And some of the very likely follow-up conversation. X^D
terrycloth 27th Mar 2018, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
The GM in one of my games decided to start tracking not just equipment, encumbrance, and gold, but our current hit points.

Sometimes he forgets to record healing, and you usually find out in the middle of combat when he tells you that 2-point hit from the kobold just killed you.
Story Time 27th Mar 2018, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
Any story about how you managed to win thanks to something of a flashback that never happened?
TheMooseImperium 27th Mar 2018, 8:12 PM TheMooseImperium edit delete reply
"That never happened!"
"You said we could use that downtime month however we wanted
TheMooseImperium 27th Mar 2018, 8:20 PM TheMooseImperium edit delete reply
...back after we beat that boss!"
"That doesn't apply to a Retcon Failsafe!"

The time it worked and actually happened, though?
"Ok, so the rest of the party now knows I'm evil and has stabbed me to death. Do I get a couple last words?"
"You can have a few last words, sure."
"That activates my eighteen Glyphs of Warding and four Symbols."
"When did you make THOSE?"
"During all that downtime!"
"You never told me!"
"Yes I did!"
"I sent an email!"

*one email check later*

"Ok, so everyone dies..."
"Well, yes, but I get better: one of the runes was Revivify."
Malroth 27th Mar 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
This is why you don't stab the evil party member, you point the evil party member at the worse evil who has managed to annoy or anger the evil party member.
BackSet 27th Mar 2018, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
"That never happened."
"Yes it did!"
"No I'm retconning it."


"This happened."
"We never saw it and you didn't confirm it with me."
"It happened!"
"No it didn't!"
"Oh come on! You get to do it!"
Xencarn 27th Mar 2018, 11:43 PM edit delete reply
Too be fair, I don't think I ever tried to retcon anything. To be also fair, I did ask a lot of OOC questions on how the game worked
aerion111 28th Mar 2018, 4:34 AM edit delete reply
Personally, the way I phrase these things (specifically, my uncertainty and tendency to 'beat around the bush') tend to give people plenty of time to stop me before I actually say anything that is 'unacceptable'. I'm sure the GMs are just as frustrated, as it's pretty clear what I'm trying to do most times, but at least I'm giving them a chance to go 'No, it's NOT reasonable for you to have spent time reading about that', or whatever, before I get to my actual point.

But, yeah, Twilight's plan here is beyond reasonable; That's not just 'needed to read up on a few things', that's 'needed to design and develop multiple expensive and complicated devices'
It feels on the same level as just 'assuming' you got your hands on a magic sword or whatever in the downtime; It might be doable, and it might be suitable for your character, but you really should be doing that on-screen, unless the GM says otherwise.