Page 1086 - Across the Fourth Wall

5th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Across the Fourth Wall
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Sometimes the solution is just working with the problem.

The problem being that deep down, Pinkie is nobody's fool but her own. (For the most part.)

Also, what's this – a podcast update for the Dusk City Outlaws campaign? And it's the first part of a long, multi-session series finale?!
Tales of New Dunhaven Session 17-1 - The Leverage Job, Part 1: Podcast Video

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Digo Dragon 5th Jul 2018, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
See, I like this approach. I like when the GM asks the players for input on how to screw with the characters, because players have different ideas on what is okay and what crosses their "line".

I'm in this online pony campaign and the GM had us meet/befriend the Tantabus (we named her Rem). Rem feeds off fears, so she'll cause a nightmare in a pony's dream and has the pony confront it. It feeds Rem, but has a potentially useful side effect of helping the pony confront and understand their fear. The GM has talked with some of us on the side about what our characters have for fears, so that he knows what we would be willing to play through to frighten our characters. I look forward to the night my character has a nightmare. :3
ksclaw 5th Jul 2018, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Ooo that sounds interesting! Keep us updated on how it goes, please? If you want to, of course.
Digo Dragon 5th Jul 2018, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'll try to remember. So far one PC has been fed upon (voluntarily). His nightmare was a fear of being replaced by those he cares about.
ThatGuest 5th Jul 2018, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
One of my DMs once asked if it was okay if my character got his hand cut off. I agreed if my bard could get a robot replacement one to wear a glove over like ROTJ Luke.
Matt Reverse 5th Jul 2018, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Matt Reverse
I'm with you on that. I always had this narrative that even when playing the villain, a GM and a player are not enemies, they just want to have fun. it's a game, after all.

And I'd have the same mindset if I was Pinkie's player in that scenario. The game itself should be fun, and I'd be willing to compromise my character's trait for that.
Enigmatic Jack 5th Jul 2018, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
I like the approach in general, but I'm not sure that I like it HERE. Mostly because I don't really trust the guest GM, and given how things have gone thus far in the arc I worry that it would be the guest GM trying to manipulate the player instead of just asking for input. The fact that he also apparently didn't run any of it by the actual GM bugs me a bit too... it's one thing to blindside players with the unexpected in a campaign, but doing it to a GM (especially one who asked you to come in because they admitted to having problems with previous campaigns) just seems like a step too far for a guest.
CCC 6th Jul 2018, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, the last panel of the previous comic did show that whatever Discord had originally planned for Pinkie (and had informed the local GM about) wasn't going to fly. What we're seeing here is Discord improvising.
Digo Dragon 6th Jul 2018, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yes, it does seem like the GM is losing control to Discord over the session.
Needling Haystacks 9th Jul 2018, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
Heh, Rem, I get it!

This reminds me of a plan I had for integrating changelings into society... of course then the show went and messed that up while raising further questions. I'm still hoping to work it into a characters backstory as to why they didn't change earlier than they did.
BackSet 5th Jul 2018, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Time to outdiscord discord before he even shows up...


The opposite of laughter isn't really the constant rage pinkie was feeling. And she was able to laugh, albeit maliciously, at the game if keep away in the original.
Toric 5th Jul 2018, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
I think that the show chose a mixture of irritation and apathy as the “discorded” version of laughter
TyrantViewer 5th Jul 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
If we can interpret the element of Laughter to be about having fun and making sure everyone is- pinkie's reason d'etre or rather considering the giggle at the ghosties she did in their first adventure, the element of laughter is about raising people's spirits, a good friend isn't just about being kind generous and etc, but also about cheering up your friends and making them feel good too.

That being said, Discord's curses are about reversing the PONY not the element- AJ becomes secretive and unhelpful- pinkie will become irratable and a downer, making people around her unhappy becomes her default reaction- Changes like this are in opposition to their elements, but they are built off of the personalities of the Ponies rather than tailored to fight the spirit of their elements
The Old One 5th Jul 2018, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie's element is the joyful laughter shared between friends. An uplifting moment that binds and enhances.

Her dark side? Malicious laughter. The kind that taunts and belittles. Cruel and insidious, even haunting. The last thing you hear as you run away.
Discord 5th Jul 2018, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
"I am the terror that flaps through the night.
I am the annoying song that you just can't get out of your head.
I am...obviously in the wrong place."
Here let me help you.

Sorry I'm late. Took a left and right when I should have took an up and down.
On the bright side, I showed a certain joker what crazy really means.
Digo Dragon 5th Jul 2018, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
You could of made it to the correct destination had you rolled yourself 90 degrees clockwise.
Professor Harmless 5th Jul 2018, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
See? I told you we should have squared the hypotenuse at Albuquerque.
Malroth 5th Jul 2018, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Wait, Dischord fights crime in St Canard? This explains SOOOOO much.
Guest 5th Jul 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm... I like this. While the trick with Applejack might've been a bit underhanded, I do like how this little arc is starting out at least. Because, as fun as it has been to watch our group kind of run roughshod over the GM, they have been kind of a bit too in control of the various situations they've been in. The GM's getting to the point where they're visibly frustrated because they just don't know how to handle their players.

Enter Discord who does what very experienced, very clever GMs do that our GM hasn't; play into the personalities of the players themselves. Work with their own peculiarities rather than try to tie them to the world logic that they've been repeatedly thwarting.

I realize that, to be an MLP comic, that this has to turn out to be a bad thing somehow, but I do hope the group, and our Faust GM, does walk away from this learning something. The GM felt it necessary to bring Discord in to help deal with this group... that in and of itself does say something about our players.
Emtu 5th Jul 2018, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Pick your poison, pink one.
Jannard 6th Jul 2018, 2:28 PM edit delete reply
That was actually brilliant. If DiscorDM is being earnest, then it's also a relief, although it wouldn't make some of the shadier stuff just go away. If not, it's both brilliant and positively devious.
Everglue Horace 7th Jul 2018, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
This also brings up a good question about what someone of inconsistent ever-changing character considers a personality altering curse. I kind of wonder if Pinkie is a different sort of genius like the last king of Eden, or the Air King from EOTE series.

The reason her clones were considered indistinct from the original Pinkie Pie to the other ponies in the show but not to the observers, watchers, or audience of the series, is one of those things has less to do with pattern recognition or actions which were used to justify the execution of the clones based on appearance or dislike of actions beyond personality.

I think the trick here, for this Pinkie character is a matter of ethics. Values can have differing definitions.

For example, Loyalty could have different meanings to someone who follows Tsun Tzu's 'art of war' or Machiavelli's 'The Prince' I've read the former, but observed the latter in action. Neither goes out of it's way to define Loyalty and one could ascribe differing meanings.

One could have terrible, distasteful, or conflicting morals based on what tales or stories they've been exposed to such as 'silence is golden, but duct tape is silver,' 'whomever has the gold makes the rules,' 'this is no world for escapists,' or 'during an interrogation you're the one in charge.'

However, it is the ethics that direct one's actions. For instance, keeping the peace, loving all, trusting a few, doing wrong to none are not actual duties one has to abide by, they're a choice that not only amuse actors, bards, tramps, and thieves, but are observed to reduce conflict.

Ethics are why there's nothing more dangerous than an honest man, amusement is not the same as judgement and judgment (unlike discernment) is like dark magic a borrowed power that has its cost.