Page 1091 - Pantheon Huddle

17th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Pantheon Huddle
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th Jul 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Discord's bit in Panel 3, in-character, just means that elsewhere on the internet, like on an imageboard or something, someone unconnected is typing up a story for a different audience.

But who am I kidding? That's just a thin veil over a bit of brushing up against the fourth wall.

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



Discord 17th Jul 2018, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Ah, Rarity.
You know, you're kind of my favorite right now.

The generous thief.
Who got herself blacklisted from her guild.
Who at the Boring Brisk Ball, took out BlueBlood who was the mastermind of the thieves guild.

You won the chaos jackpot.
One on one.
I'll just need two more days to prep it.
But trust me, it will only feel like two minutes.
BackSet 17th Jul 2018, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
"I've got something special planned" is codephrase for "I'm just gonna revert her back to her original character concept before the generosity thing and take it up to the 11.

Also, you missed the last strips comments section. Tough luck.
Discord 17th Jul 2018, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes choas don't need me. I just didn't feel like that day.
Read:Preparing something bad for the Comment Section.
Everglue Horace 18th Jul 2018, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
I'm not entirely sure I like the idea of any DEITY like Discord, Kobal, Leo, or Loki being alone with Rarity.
BackSet 18th Jul 2018, 3:27 PM edit delete reply
I'm now imagining rarity's face photoshopped over hulk as he smashes Loki, who's face has been photoshopped over with discord.
Everglue Horace 18th Jul 2018, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
OH MY, If only I could remember that one children's story about those seven generous Russian thieves that broke into heaven to steal a miracle. Oh well, I'll just have to console myself with the knowledge they didn't need to use any of their special skills because the gate was left wide open like an obvious trap.
Digo Dragon 17th Jul 2018, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
GM: "I don't fully trust you're doing this fairly."
Discord: "Ok, let's compromise. I handle the next player without supervision."
GM: "I fully trust you."

Tempestfury 17th Jul 2018, 7:25 AM edit delete reply
More like

GM: "I'm not entirely sure my players will be able to actually be able to enjoy the game"
Discord: "Alright then, how about you handle the group personally for a while, give them more to do, whilst I deal with Rarity alone?"
GM: "Hmmm, well I do have an idea of what they could possibly do..."

Again, I really don't see the issue with Discord that a lot of people are having. He's playing the character, going easy on them, and willingly listening to the other GM's concerns.
Digo Dragon 17th Jul 2018, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The problem I have with Discord is that he's side-stepping the GM's authority and a previously agreed upon story (did not mean to sound Zecora just now).

I'm not against the idea that Discord's player is pushing the players to act out of character using his powers. It could lead to good role-playing experiences. However, Discord isn't familiar with the players personally so they could push things too far (even if not intentional). The GM should continue to supervise as the GM knows what lines not to cross better than Discord does.
Needling Haystacks 17th Jul 2018, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon: Yeah, I kinda agree. It's not so much an issue of trust in intent as it is trust in ability here, I feel like.
Winged Cat 17th Jul 2018, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
If you ever worry
that in all your hurry
you may let slip a rhyme?

Do not get in a rise,
no need to apologize:
they happen all the time.

Poems and verbal imagery
keep happening naturally;
to indulge is just fine.

Best to let it go,
for surely you know,
don't stress on every line.
Shoeless Pooh 17th Jul 2018, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
I can see that being the case (with Twilight especially, I think that might come into play), but I think everyone is overall worrying about the issue too much.

Remember, the players are grown enough that they can roll with the punches in this case, and I imagine that the GM has told the DGM about the players enough that he's crafted a few ideas about them.

Unlike Gilda's player, the DGM has a firm grasp on what too much is.
Tempestfury 18th Jul 2018, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm... I guess you have a point on that Digo. A GM as intense as Discord is playing it can be a little difficult to handle if you don't know what you're doing.

Still, I really don't think the Discord has any ill intentions here at all. I think it would be too easy of a route to go down as well.
Winged Cat 17th Jul 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
It all rests on which players the GM is worried would get bored and frustrated at what time. The players while they are dealing with Discord, or the players who are waiting for Discord to deal with the rest?
Guest 19th Jul 2018, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
He's not going easy on them, he's tricking the players, not the characters (at least for Pinkie, the plan was just "give her tge opportunity to shoot herself in the hoof by telling her having only three legs without wounds is fun). And Discord isn't listening to the DM's concern, he's distracting the DM so that he can do what he wants without concern.

A devil with smiling cheeks is a devil still.
ThatGuest 17th Jul 2018, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
Yes Discord knows what is too much and that's what he's going for. In this comic he's trying to hide behind the excuse of "This is what my character would do." to push things too far.

The other hints all point to Discord being a jerk DM who has more fun tormenting players than actually running a game. Again though, I do not hate this arc. The higher Discord rises on the asshole meter the more satisfying it's going to be when everything comes crashing down.
Needling Haystacks 18th Jul 2018, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
ThatGuest: Unknown as yet. GM knows the goal is to drive their IC friendship apart. Obviously GM doesn't want that taken out of character. I am a bit worried about Twilight or Fluttershy keeping the two separate, but we'll see how that goes.
Jannard 17th Jul 2018, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
DiscorDM cannot lose. Even "just go and mcake them happy, I'll handle this one ALONE" souds awfully suspicious
Professor Harmless 17th Jul 2018, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
While I admit to sharing some of the concerns other posters have expressed with how "Discord" is manipulating both the players and their characters, I feel it important to appreciate Newbiespud for the risks they're experimenting with in terms of storytelling.
There is nothing more terrifying or frustrating to a gamer than experiencing loss of control, or a sense of powerlessness. It's a natural and very human emotion. For an author of a screencap comic about magical ponies to tackle this sort of thing at all I feel is impressive.
So, everyone take a breath, sit back, have some popcorn, and watch the world burn. ;)
Winged Cat 17th Jul 2018, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I wonder if NS will, in this arc, use screencaps of Discord sitting back with popcorn and red/blue movie glasses.
Winged Cat 17th Jul 2018, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
So is this canon confirmation that the GM is female, or at least that Celestia is the primary GMPC?
Digo Dragon 17th Jul 2018, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Only if it's canon that you are, in fact, a feline with wings. ;)
Winged Cat 17th Jul 2018, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I would have had to appear in the comic for there to be canon about me in it. :P
ThatGuest 17th Jul 2018, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
Subterfuge didn't end in a TPK but I did kill a rogue over it. After months of using his stats to rob and cheat us and just generally make us miserable for his own lulz he tried to steal the item we needed to save the world after a 4 month story arc.

He rolled high enough to steal it with no one seeing it but I decided I'd had enough and killed his butt with the rest of the party just sitting back and watching with satisfaction. And what do you know, the crystal we needed -was- on the rogue's corpse. Imagine that.
HappyEevee 17th Jul 2018, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
A little subterfuge almost killed a party I was in, when the bard/rogue cast Obscuring Mist on the party as we were entering combat with a group of githzeri.

In a confined space where we couldn't move out of it.

Against githzeri with true seeing.

When his own party members were level 5 with no way to see through Mist.

Even though the entire table was trying to stop him, and the GM asked him twice if he really wanted to do that.

He then discovered that the spell whose description he hadn't bothered to read did not, in fact, prevent the githzeri from seeing the party, but was very effective in preventing the party from seeing the githzeri. His character went down in one hit - from a githzeri he couldn't see - and he demanded the healers get him up at once.

To which the healers said "We can't see you. We don't know you're down."

Now, the funny thing was he successfully rolled to stabilize so he was only unconscious, not dead. Meaning the Obscuring Mist stayed in effect but, not being conscious, he couldn't dismiss it. He spent several rounds trying to come up with excuses for the party to notice he was incapped (and ways to find him in the Mist) before one of the party casters worked out that he could burn away some of the mist with Burning Hands to give the Ranger line of sight to the githzeri.

The party members in the line of fire included the bard/rogue, our unconscious monk and the cleric who had just stabilized him. The cleric covered the monk and said "I've got the hp, do it." The wizard fired off Burning Hands, clearing a cone of the Mist so the Ranger could shoot and hitting the cleric (who our characters knew about) and the bard/rogue... who we couldn't see through the Mist. Being unconscious he failed his reflex save automatically and was incinerated.

He blamed the party for not saving him. We blamed his Obscuring Mist for hiding his unconscious body from our sight. The wizard didn't seem one bit sorry.
Malroth 18th Jul 2018, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Which system has true seeing let you see through obscuring mist? As far as i'm familiar Obscuring mist fog cloud and other similar spells are the counter to true seeing foes.
Kayeka 18th Jul 2018, 4:24 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm gonna agree with Malroth there. The spell descriptions of both True Seeing and Obscuring Mist are quite clear on that. It makes sense, too. True Seeing is for seeing through Illusions and Alterations. Obscuring Mist creates an actual cloud of fog.
TyrantViewer 18th Jul 2018, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
Maybe it is a racial thing, I don't know that race well, but I know Koa'toa specifically have a variant of see invisibility due to the way their eyes work compared to most races and not due to magic.

Fun fact, one campain I have found stories about (but not played sadly) had two Koa'toa empires be huge movers and shakers via having them make a few alchemical discoveries (such as cheaper invisibility cloaks) and then massively abuse their racial abilities (see invis, resist or immunity to electricity) to take over the oceans and only the conflict between the two empires prevented the land from being overun by amphibious invisible lighting using commandos that practice slavery
HappyEevee 22nd Jul 2018, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
May have been a racial ability. It wasn't Blindsense, but they could see through mist/fog/darkness without penalty.
DeS_Tructive 18th Jul 2018, 4:57 AM Let's slow down a bit. edit delete reply
Okay, for all the people dumping on DGM, how about a change of perspective?

First of all, let's not forget that this is the DMs plot, their home and their roleplaying group. The GM theirself say that the "goal of the curse was... annoy the others and drive their friendship apart." We can pretty safely assume that the group is at least out of their teens, so some maturity can be expected. The problems are being handled in a mature manner: They're talking about what's going on. If stuff doesn't go as GM wants, they can kick DGM out.

We know that GM is still rather green, has had had some... bad ideas before, and was often turned back from them by the players finding more logical and/or thematically better solutions. I can understand them going for a plot where they attempt to turn the group against each other, given the themes of their campaign, and it's also completely understandable that they don't see what a horrible plot idea that is.

A plot that is based on turning the characters against each other is (at least) a questionable plot. It's not a storyline I would -ever- run, because for it to be pulled off successfully, you have to either take away player control and/or metagame them into doing what you want voluntarily. Either way, you're risking the players' enjoyment of the game, or risking player trust, which is the most important tool a GM has.

The GM asks a more experienced GM to act as secondary GM for them. Which is the smartest thing they could do after coming up with this plot.

Now DGM has been recruited as the "evil god", taken a look at this plot and went "Well, yeah, I can do that, but..." and is attempting anything they can to "fix" a horrible plot, while staying within their role. There's even some subtle clues that DGM is more invested in the PCs than GM. For example, on this page they call the characters by name, while GM is distanced, referring to them by their classes.

The metastory we've been seeing throughout FiD is how an inexperienced GM runs their first self-made campaign, and how they grow as a GM because of the issues that come up. This chapter seems to be "How I tried a bad plot idea and had my old GM help me fix it." and not "How I dealt with douchebag/jerk DM who tried to ruin my campaign." The latter isn't a message that fits well with FiM or FiD and I doubt it's what Newbiespud is trying to tell.

From looking at the other comments, it's clear we've all had jerks in our groups. Of course we did. Roleplaying isn't a hobby that attracts the most stable personalities, and lot of us have issues that can come to bear while playing and can make us varying degrees of intolerable.

But that doesn't mean we should project our negativity in to how we read stories that are generally on the positive side of life. DGM deserves the benefit of doubt about their motives, as does GM for trusting them.

P.S.: If DGM -does- turn out to be a jerk DM, you're all free to relentlessly mock me for the rest of the series. I'll reserve the right to say "I told you so." when his goodness is revealed.
Alex 18th Jul 2018, 11:52 AM Agree edit delete reply
This, all the way.
Bombom13 18th Jul 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
I don't know if you're right, but I really want you to be!
TyrantViewer 18th Jul 2018, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
I like this take on it because it doesn't treat DGM as an inevitable jerk, and everyone else as idiots for letting him into their house, but instead makes everyone reasonable.
DocBeard 23rd Jul 2018, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Honestly, this. I'd be disappointed if Dicsord ends up being a jerk, because this is addressing so much of what our regular GM's needed for a long time; a willingness to bite back against players who run roughshod over a campaign, and to put them in situations where they have to earn a win.

Every time a player's said, "Hey I think that's uncomfortable for me.", especially Pinkie, DsicorDM's capitulated. Pinkie knows that DiscorDM is half DM and half villain and his plans are negative for the party, even if he didn't specifically say what his evil plan was. He DID completely change tactics when his original plan for Pinkie made her uncomfortable OOCly, which was the right thing to do.

CelestiGM's issue isn't the nature of the threat, which is exactly what she asked for. Her issue is player agency; DiscorDM is very into showing how clever he is, and he even admitted she had a point, thus "Hey why don't you run an encounter while I do Rarity's bit.".

A bad DM sucks, believe me, but we've seen no real evidence that DiscorDM is anything but confident in a way CelestiGM isn't.
Winter Quill 18th Jul 2018, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
So, if Celestia is the GMPC (which I fully approve of) does that mean the GM has a tendency to roll a 1 every time she has to fight. I would get behind that as a running gag.
TyrantViewer 18th Jul 2018, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
Or, the GM just built her to optimize diplomacy or something, relying on her template/race/ alicorn godliness to balance it out, but that means that whenever combat does happen, if a foe could ever concievable be a threat to celestia, they win- I could see the GM not seeing the issue but then going along with thing like this collaboration- Like having the wedding have another player show up to play Chrisalis and then realize that their character can actually beat his goddly GMPC because he never considered combat
Guest 19th Jul 2018, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
You know, with a bit of recolor, the author could use screencaps from "Rarity Investigates" to put Twilight in the "guard interrogation" scene, and present it as Discorded Pinkie telling the story.

Silly idea, perhaps, but imagining the face of the others as Pinkie (trying to do her best Batman voice) describes Twilight as a Noir-style Femme Fatale is hilarious to me.
Guest 19th Jul 2018, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
The story of the lost guards encounter, I mean.
Archone 19th Jul 2018, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
This is making me think of TWO campaigns I've been involved in in the last few weeks. The first one imploded after the second session; the GM was extremely short tempered, shut down player protests by accusing them of trying to cheat or apply "rule hacks," then when a player mentioned wanting to discretely discuss a problem after the session the GM insisted on stopping the session to hash it out immediately... and then got pissed, did a table flip, and that was it.

The second one has a GM who openly encourages creativity, lets the players explore and offers only mild nudges when necessary, and has made the game truly an enjoyable experience thus far.

I'd like to emphasize the importance of that last bit. The game is enjoyable. Games should be enjoyed. DGM is making the game enjoyable for the players. His focus is on making the game enjoyable - when the GM worries about the players getting bored and frustrated, DGM immediately suggests the GM take over things with the main group while the DGM handles a brief solo session with Rarity's player. So far this comic has not involved any extreme OOC conflicts, merely a bunch of friends coming together to have fun. The DGM is a friend of the GM, here to help them have fun.