Page 1101 - Natural Riposte

9th Aug 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Natural Riposte
Average Rating: 2 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 9th Aug 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
I look back fondly on the moments my character became a fatalist in the face of the DM's latest world-ending seemingly inescapable crisis. A PC can't keep up their heroic spirit 100% of the time, and it feels true-to-life to break for a little while. It probably wasn't as fun for my fellow players, though.

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



Cygnia 9th Aug 2018, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
You tell him, Fluttershy!

Wondering now if there'll be an aside comic soon with the GM echoing similar concerns to Discord.
Foxy Loxy 9th Aug 2018, 6:12 AM HAH! edit delete reply
Seriously. I know that he's just going to instantly say she becomes cursed to get back at her... but then I wonder how it's gonna be handled after that. She really knew how to play her role as a keeper of the heart of flame. But I REALLY hope this turns out better than it did in the cartoon...
Rastaba 9th Aug 2018, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I don't know. I imagine you as being plenty fun to watch finally break and become fatalistic. Especially if you are as eloquent about it as Fluttershy is here.


Someone else will probably come up with a better idea later but figured worth a shot.
Winged Cat 9th Aug 2018, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Not too long ago, I was playing Mafia in a forum. I had expected this to be like other such games I had played - you look for evidence, press the inactive or suspicious, and thus try to find the mafia. I happened to have drawn mafia, but I knew this forum typically had multiple competing mafia factions, and I knew everyone else in the game knew it.

Except...early in the first day, before many people had even posted, pressure came upon me. I stated that I didn't find anyone suspicious yet, because there hadn't been enough posts.

This got me flagged as suspicious, with a third of the players voting against me. Turns out, some of the others were frustrated with the fact that I insisted on trying to get actual evidence. They favored randomly taking people out on the first day and swore they got useful info out of it - when I had seen this not be the case for multiple games. Moreover, they press anyone who doesn't play exactly the way they think the game should be played, claiming playing in any other fashion makes people suspicious; again, checking the results, this has been a poor measure of "who is the mafia" in practice. (They have tended to take out everyone but their core group first, game after game, regardless of whether their core group had mafia or not.)

And then I found out they were so frustrated they decided to cheat and leak the identities of my mafia faction. I informed the GM (who was still not sure, last I heard, how they found out) and left the community.

I am informed that this erupted into a meta-game of Mafia, wherein the cheaters are trying to hide and disavow what evidence has leaked, coming up with other ways to justify knowing what they know - and having a hard time of it. I am not the only player who was objecting to their behavior even before the cheating, so while the current game is still ongoing (the GM hasn't gone public with the evidence yet, investigating via PMs until the game ends - one way or another), it is possible they may not get many outsiders to gang up on in future games.
Archeo Lumiere 10th Aug 2018, 2:21 PM Still in this despite dying edit delete reply
Yo, you may want to check SV.
Winged Cat 11th Aug 2018, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Done, AL. Didn't think anyone from there was here. You're the least directly affected, though.
Summoned Singer 11th Aug 2018, 8:13 PM This is Archeo edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
Mind checking back in once more? I need your Discord.
MooseImperium 9th Aug 2018, 12:08 PM MooseImperium edit delete reply
Ever played The Battle of Polytopia?
Construction allows you to destroy stuff.
Forestry allows you to clear forests.
Spiritualism grants Grow Forest.
You can salt your fields.
Emmerlaus 10th Aug 2018, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
I remember doing it once, as a child. I was playing Monopoly with only two players I think. I bought a terrain pof each colors and managed to get all three of a other color... then waited. Refusing to trade terrains or anything. When we finally asked me why, I said that theoricly, I already won. Because if he cannot increase the value of his terrain by putting houses or hotel, he is bound to get blood drained each time he step on my three terrain with no real way to recover.

I was proud of realizing this because I didnt hear anything about that before and came up with it on my own... but of course, you only do this once otherwise, its not fun anymore.
Dragonflight 11th Aug 2018, 1:53 AM edit delete reply
A bunch of us were in what we called the "Psiworld" campaign. It was a Villains and Vigilantes adventure loosely based on Anne McCaffrey's books "Pegasus Rising," and "Pegasus in Flight." The idea was that psionics were just starting to emerge in the world. Technically it was set in the same world as her Rowan series, but somewhere around the end of the 21st century, long before the star-spanning series happened.

Anyway, we created characters who had deliberately-clumsy powers. Not a single "streamlined" psi in the group. And we had a lot of fun with it. But something started to come out in the wash the longer we played. The NPC's were absolutely adamant that the world not know about psionics until the "right time." There were several incidents which the government supposedly spent ludicrous resources covering up.

Okay, that happens a few times and you think, "Oh, it's kinda like the X-Files. There are people who know who will try to keep it from coming out." Except... That it was taken to ludicrous lengths. On several occasions, when the PC's thwarted a terrorist incident and saved a whole arcology in a stunning display of psionic power, the whole thing was *somehow* swept completely under the carpet. *Thousands* of witnesses. No one talks, no one posts a single video on a social media site... In short, nothing can or will be allowed to happen until it's "time" in the GM's storyline. We're just along for the ride.

At that point, one of the more sarcastic players in the group decided enough was enough. And he got the rest of us to sign on for it. In the middle of a nationally-televised hostage rescue in which the President of the United States had been kidnapped by terrorists, the Psi team not only does not even remotely *try* to hide our powers, we deliberately *flaunt* them as overtly and obviously as humanly possible.

We stop the terrorists, free the President, and destroy several major downtown city blocks in a major dustup involving a couple dozen terrorists and more active and visible psionic power than you could imagine. All of it being broadcast on the nightly news.

What happens? If you guessed *nothing*, then you win the prize. The GM wasn't ready to have Psi be "revealed" to the world, so the whole thing was "explained" post-event to be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the rescuing team to distract the terrorists.

At that point, we had enough, and called the GM on it. He admitted to railroading the entire party because he wanted specific things to happen at specific times, and nothing the party did was going to change the timetable.

That was pretty much the end of that game. The moral of the story, since MLP usually has a moral, is that the GM should never tie the main plotline to a rail. If the Players work hard to make something reality, reward them for it. There's nothing wrong with making it a hard goal, or having forces in play that threaten to move the goalposts a few times. But if they keep at it, let them have the win.
FanOfMostEverything 9th Aug 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy Wins
Moral Victory

(And I can't imagine the usual DM will be thrilled with this outburst...)
HappyEevee 9th Aug 2018, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
The problem here is it's not Fluttershy who is refusing the obvious trap... it's Fluttershy's PLAYER who is refusing to play the game. The player is making no attempt to give Fluttershy an in-game, in-character reason for resisting Discord's temptations, she's just flat-out refusing to play the game at all. Maybe it's because she's uncomfortable, but then she needs to just tell the GMs that.
Ben Meagher 9th Aug 2018, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
Not really, discord in universe is playing a game with them, this is a legit tatic, and like she said, he’s being obvious (yes their earlier phone call could be called metagaming material but that’s nit picky)
Discord 9th Aug 2018, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
You want the fun gone, so be it.
Just know that I'm putting one of my worst curses yet on you.
Digo Dragon 9th Aug 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
You're just salty because she out-witted you.
Winged Cat 9th Aug 2018, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Yeah. At the very least, you could ask her what particulars of curse she wants. Let her select from a range (that doesn't include "no curse" or weak enough to effectively be no curse). Even if she is calling you on railroading, giving her at least some choice would soften it.
The Old One 9th Aug 2018, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
My goodness, that was almost Deadpool levels of meta. And sooooo deliciously cutting.

Direct pressure, mate. It'll stop gushing soon.
KSClaw 9th Aug 2018, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
I'm just wondering who is gonna end up with a nervous breakdown first. Twilight or the DMs.
Dakkath 9th Aug 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
"Look out! HERE COMES TOM!!"
Aeshdan 9th Aug 2018, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Now this was Discord's test... and it looks like he just failed it. The others he legitimately outwitted or talked into their curse. If he'd been willing to let Fluttershy win her round, let her go uncursed, then I would have held him freed of the charge of railroading. As it is, it looks as though he's going to prove Fluttershy right.

Of course, he hasn't actually said what the "prize" is going to be, so maybe he'll surprise us all.
Stephen 9th Aug 2018, 7:52 AM Well... edit delete reply
That IS how it happened in the cartoon. Fluttershy being such an understanding doormat that he has to just brute force mind hack her.
Greenhornet 9th Aug 2018, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
You know...
A GM can play a dirty trick on a player by SUGGESTING a curse so he goes through the game saying things like "My character forgot to buy rations? Darn that curse!" and "Orcs, again? Darn that curse!"
tolich 9th Aug 2018, 7:40 AM edit delete reply
When the DM smiles it's already too late.
Digo Dragon 9th Aug 2018, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
And if the DM frowns and flips a table?
HappyEevee 9th Aug 2018, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
Then it's time to start rolling up a new character sheet.
Sir William 9th Aug 2018, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
At a different table
Emtu 9th Aug 2018, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
I always loved this part in the actual episode - just the fact that it's /Fluttershy/, of all ponies, that outwits Discord, so he just says "fuck it" and cheats.
Needling Haystacks 9th Aug 2018, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
I have seen alternate character interpretations that suggest Fluttershy wasn't really so incorruptible but was actually being shrewd. It's a bit of a stretch but I could see it.

I have another idea myself but I'm saving that until I can write it into something.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Yeah I think you're confusing modern Fluttershy with classic S1 flutters. Just a hunch.
albedoequals1 9th Aug 2018, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
Good job, Fluttershy. It's refreshing to see someone avoid the obvious trap. I only wish more characters in fantasy settings would just refuse to play by the villain's rules. Most of the time they practically beg to be tricked.
emmerlaus 10th Aug 2018, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
That kind of thinking is dangerous and lead to paranoiac players, if the threat isnt recognized.

But if you meant when someone is recognized as the bad guy though and they still dont try to outsmart him, thats just dumb however...
albedoequals1 11th Aug 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Yes, Discord introduced himself as the badguy. Anyone still listening to him talk at this point is just letting him win
Pablo360 9th Aug 2018, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
About the author's comment: I don't know, Eloy from TFS at the Table is pretty entertaining, but when you really examine him he's quite the fatalist.
terrycloth 9th Aug 2018, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Any time your plan is 'take the fun out of it', you're doing it wrong.
Tempestfury 9th Aug 2018, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
Seriously! I fail to see understand why there is so many people who are praising Fluttershy at this moment in time, when she has willing performed the single, worst act that ANY player can EVER do.

Knowingly and willingly ruining another players fun.
Rastaba 9th Aug 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Technically she is ruining the sort of secondary co-guest GM whose whole purpose and intention is to trick and deceive’s fun...mind you, I understand your point but felt a need to point that she is essentially trolling a troll.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Yeah no, calling the secondary GM a troll is dismissing the work **both** of them have put into making this session work. No matter how Discord presents himself, and how unorthodox his approach to the gaming experience is, he is not simply there to ruin it for the lulz.

Fluttershy's player in this specific instance is being an insufferable [imagine a word here] playing a weird control game. Let's not forget that this is, still, the setup of the module, and that's inching very close to going off the rails only to spite the secondary. Because how likely is the campaign going to end if they all fall to the curse? Of course the players would keep going, likely still as a party, trying to break it.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
I would argue that the entire comic so far featuring DiscordDM (at least, the little segue between dms where they outright admit the point is to drive apart the players) imply this is him ruining things for the lulz (or rather, For The Game The DMs Want regardless of the players), but this can be argued to death (and already has in this comic's comment section), so I'll leave it at that.

I also find it laughable that FLUTTERSHY (who, might I remind everyone, ran off screaming because she saw this bull coming a mile away) is being called the one playing a weird control game... When, last I checked, it was the DMs exercising their nigh-absolute authority to force these outcomes (through trickery and dm fiat, zero use of the game mechanics where the players could conceivably give input or change anything) who had all the cards here. This isn't some pre-published module - it's a Homebrew campaign with a set story the dms are forcing, and there's way less spite from Fluttershy than there should be, tbh.

Also, I find it more likely that the party becomes nigh-unplayable with all the curses active (if the show's plot is any indication), given their ability to do anything or even work together properly has been so effectively shot. At this rate, they need to roll up new characters to continue playing anything remotely enjoyable- which is entirely the dms fault for inflicting such heavy tolls that, as Fluttershy pointed out, would be inflicted no matter what the players and their characters did.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Alright, let's go through the curses.

Applejack has meta knowledge she isn't allowed to share. That's not going to impede the party strictly speaking, because the party couldn't expect to receive meta knowledge at any point to begin with.

Rarity is under forced encumbrance, which is going to have significant effects in gameplay, but isn't fundamentally going to affect the interactions between the players given how she is still well allowed to work with the others.

Pinkie Pie's change of character into essentially John Matrix is unsettling without context, but also doesn't preclude her from pulling her weight in skill challenges.

The curses will obviously create an unexpected dynamic, but they by themselves are hardly going to tear apart the players on an OoC level.

Now about Fluttershy's player running off screaming - they did so ICly, rather than OOCly. The big difference being that right up until this very page, the player had no qualms about accepting the budding plot of the module, because as I've mentioned before, players can always sit out if things are not to their taste.
Players do generally agree to the idea that the GM has control over the adventure, and while some players can easily reach a point where they are unable or unwilling to accept that specific arrangement, at its core, the game is based around the idea that the players play along, while the GM provides a fair challenge. We can argue about how fair this challenge is for hours, however I maintain that this is likely still the setup, the module's premise, rather than the actual challenge of the module. Whether or not the amount of GM Fiat in use is fair is a personal preference, however, rather than an iron law, and this is how some RP groups mesh, and others don't. This seems to be a breaking point, which is fine, not everybody needs to bow and kowtow to the almighty God Emperor of the Campaign - *but* there is a certain etiquette to this kind of disapproval, and Fluttershy's player is *not* actively taking an OoC moment to clarify that civilly, but flat out breaking out of IC to complain at the DM.

No matter how this plays out, Fluttershy's player is now frustrated over the lack of choice, and that frustration is likely to spread. Rarity's player has very early on remarked how this kind of thing can sour the mood around the entire table, way back in the first module. And there, Twilight's player *could* accept to follow the rails for the sake of the story that would unfold.
Flutershy's player would by this point have a collective game experience of players going along with things, because that is what the game climate has been for the most part since the beginning. Right now this is a break that comes legitimately out of nowhere, especially with the tone they're carrying into the game at this moment.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
He literally admitted trying to make her feel guilty so she would blame herself for falling for his trick rather than blaming him.

Yes, that's a troll.

Yes, that's ruining the lulz.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Given that Discord is trying to ruin her fun and making her feel guilty... what's your point?
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
Define "ruin her fun". I'm not convinced that Discord's actions are specifically tailored to give the players - let alone Fluttershy's player - an intentionally bad time.
I will concede that there is a distinct chance that Fluttershy's player, as written in this arc, has a different idea of fun than the guest DM does, but that is hardly Discord trying to ruin their fun the way you describe it.

The part about making her feel guilty is a diegetic tool that the GM has. To elaborate:
Imagine a scene in which Fluttershy is facing a skill challenge with a hidden target. The GM has already decided - for whichever reason - that she will succeed, and even if the player is unsure what they're exactly doing (say, working out a puzzle), after a couple of strategic rolls the GM proclaims "You manage to unlock the door and find a room full of treasure." Depending on the execution, for instance by adding more window dressing, the player will feel they have a competent character - possibly feel competent themselves, depending on the sell - and be happy about the success that has been predetermined. A GM that manages to pull this off would not nearly be criticised as much as Discord is in this scene - certainly to an extent, because some people are legitimate puritst, but others would laud the GM's ability to mask the works behind the screen well enough to give the players a satisfying experience *despite* the fact that the choice has been made in advance.

"Making her feel guilty" about falling for Discord's trap is exactly the inverse of that feeling of success. And, to finally actually make my point with all this, therefore is meaningfully different from being a toxic, abusive [imagine a word here] that just wants to play the players' feelings, like an actual troll would.

And either that means that - as you did - Fluttershy's player is conflating the two levels of interaction there, which means that the game this DM, Discord, is running may not be the game for them, or that they randomly chose to be contrarian because they doen't like the guest DM's style. Which in either way is at the very least inconsiderate.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Besides, it's not the guest DM that is trying to entrap Fluttershy's player, but Discord is.
Lethologica 9th Aug 2018, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
All right, let's review.

Did Fluttershy decide to ruin the game dynamic by throwing a tantrum? No. She decided to ruin *Discord's* fun by not giving him the satisfaction of turning her defenses against her. There's no indication that she's going to refuse to play the curse or interrupt the other players' experience in any way, contra all the alarmism on that score.

Has Fluttershy's player accused the DM of anything? No. *Fluttershy* has accused *Discord* of certain manipulative behaviors. All the player has actually said about the DM is that he's up-front about Discord's behaviors. Note the careful distinctions between "you" and "he" in Fluttershy's remarks. Note also that the DM hasn't broken character - he's speaking in character dialogue, not text boxes.

If Fluttershy's comments on Discord sound dangerously like player commentary on the DM, well, that's a two-way street. Was Discord only talking about Applejack, the character, when he took advantage of "Applejack's" desire for "meta-knowledge"? How about with Pinkie Pie, or Rarity? When the DM talks about testing "the strength of their oh-so-vital friendship," on what level is he really talking? It sure seems like the line between Discord's commentary on the characters and the DM's commentary on the players is getting blurry.

And it worked in those cases, because the DM understood the players, and Discord understood the characters, and that made for fruitful interaction on both sides. But that's not the case here. Discord chases Fluttershy around a bit and starts saying progressively nastier things about Fluttershy, completely inaccurate nasty things. Where is the temptation? Where is the understanding?

And if we try to read into Discord's words, the way he himself seems to do, the way people are intent on reading into Fluttershy's words...I mean, what does it sound like the DM is saying about Fluttershy's player?

So either we're reading the IC conversation as such, in which case Fluttershy has made an appropriate response to Discord's failed temptation; or we're reading the IC conversation as a proxy for OOC commentary, in which case the DM went much further than Fluttershy's player in the wrong direction (on multiple levels). We can't only treat Fluttershy's comments as proxy OOC commentary - that's not a fair or consistent reading.
SliderEclipse 10th Aug 2018, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Are we reading the same Comic here? from the moment Fluttershy was brought back into the game for her solo segment she has actively and intentionally been trying to derail the plot. Before our GM here could finish telling her about the location she immediately chose to flee, and refused to stop until Discord told her she reached a Dead End. He was never even given a CHANCE to try and do anything as she refused the moment she was given a chance to. Before that even as she literally RAN AND HID from her GM and Discord before they even began putting things back into character.

From there lets look at how things went. the GM tried to set the stage for her (through shut door I might add), and she refused by having her character run from something she logically should have NO REASON to avoid In Character before he can even finish. Discord takes note of this and decides to take over and follow her train of thought, like a good GM should. After all, by this point Fluttershy has yet to actually say anything's wrong so what GM wouldn't just roll with things at this stage? He has them chase her as she's expecting and gets a dead end set up so he can actually get something to happen. sure this is a little railroad-y but what is Discord to do at this point? he has other players waiting for this to finish so he can't exactly sit there and wait for her to stop running. Her first reaction is to immediately assume a fight, with a trio of so far completely harmless butterflies might I add.. as a DRUID whose backstory heavily implys if not out right states that she loves animals. Odd but still not exactly something to give warning bells about she is in effectively a dungeon after all. Discord tries to talk to her now that he can and tries to work IC based on what he has seen of the character so far, even stopping his talk to make sure she's hearing it and starting to get a feeling something's not right here considering he actively voices confusion at that moment. Then Fluttershy's player drops all pretenses of actually Playing her character and breaks completely into OoC talk in a very condescending way, Note that up to this point Discord has gotten exactly two panels of actually trying to play the game with her by this point. TWO.

And thus, we get to this comic, Discord clearly displays a sense of confusion in panel 1. Those words can even be taken as a sense of him being shocked and upset at what shes saying. then we get nothing but panel after panel of her being smug and blatantly insulting him and his plot and effectively says "I know how this is going to go so I'm not going to let you have fun"

At this point, with all that happening, his outburst in the final panel, especially with him saying "Win" and "Prize" in quotes, seems more like he's just done trying to GM for someone who wouldn't even give him a chance, I wouldn't even be surprised if next strip has him saying "you get no curse" and walking away leaving a smug Fluttershy who goes on to ruin the session because "nothing I do matters" and a very concerned GM because of how bad this suddenly got.
Lethologica 10th Aug 2018, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
One at a time:
-There is nothing wrong with being in the bathroom.
-Fluttershy had a logical reason for running from the butterflies, in character, that Discord!DM found compelling. So you're the only one complaining on that point, indignant on behalf of someone who doesn't even agree with you.
-Fleeing is not "refusing to play the game." Fleeing PCs are part of the game, and DMs can play with that in many ways. I'm not saying the dead end was the wrong way to play, but by the same token, running wasn't wrong either.
-Anticipating a fight with Discord's butterflies is not the same as wanting to fight butterflies in general.
-Discord's temptation is nonsensical. It doesn't fit "what he has seen of the character so far," and it doesn't fit with any prior research Discord!DM would have done corresponding to the info he had about the other characters/players. Yes, Discord confused by Fluttershy's silence...and Fluttershy is confused by this completely off-base psychoanalysis. (Replace with "Discord!DM" and "the player" if you want to look at it from an OOC perspective, but I don't think that's charitable to either side.)
-Discord responds to his confusion by going on a fishing expedition, casting about with even more ridiculous psychoanalysis and hoping to land on Fluttershy's weakness. This is what makes plain that it doesn't matter what Fluttershy says. Whatever she says will be turned into a reason to curse her.
-On this basis, the player explains her understanding of, and approach to, Discord. She's not going to let *Discord* have fun. That is a perfectly reasonable IC justification for Fluttershy. To the extent that Fluttershy's player is walking the line with OOC, Discord!DM has been as well.

I appreciate that you're confident enough in your position to make a prediction on that basis. However, I am myself confident that that prediction is false: Fluttershy *will* get a curse. When that turns out to be the case, will that lead you to reexamine your position? How about when Fluttershy doesn't go on to be the game-ruiner you predict she will be? I look forward to it.
Tatsurou 10th Aug 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Based on everything said and presented in the comic, here's how I picture the next comic going.
Discord shapes the curse as "Since you seek to erase the fun, the chaos I place in you shall force you to be cruel to your friends as well" or something similar.
Fluttershy agrees to play the curse...then OOC asks Discord!DM if he's okay. He asks what she means (in DM text box). She explains he just seemed so angry...
Discord!DM: "Oh, that's not me being angry. You absolutely sucked all the fun out for 'Discord', and I congratulate you for it. Bravo."
HappyEevee 9th Aug 2018, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
Well, yes, you can just point out "Hey, this is a game and you're trying to trick us, so I'm not going to play" but then why are you even there? I mean, the point of a game is PLAYING THE GAME. As your character, that you created, the way you wanted him/her/it.

I hope Fluttershy's player is just doing this because she's uncomfortable around DiscorDM, because otherwise she's actually handling this worse than the other players so far. The others tried to game or manipulate DiscorDM right back and got tricked, which is fair if annoying to the players, and they're now doing their part and playing their curses like true Role Players. Fluttershy's player is just refusing to play at all.

I'll give her a pass if it's because she's uncomfortable, especially as it seems she's been in some abusive relationships in the past and DiscorDM could easily be hitting some triggers, but then she really needs to talk to DiscorDM and the regular GM and TELL THEM that she's uncomfortable and doesn't want to play this session. She could ask if the GM will run her character for these sessions as she's not comfortable around DiscorDM. Or, if she feels that uncomfortable, just excuse herself from the one or two sessions of this arc and have Fluttershy come down with a cold or something during her absence.

The point is, if you, as a player, are so uncomfortable with a player/GM/situation that you can't play the game, then you need to TELL SOMEONE and if necessary leave until that influence is gone. No player needs to force themselves in an uncomfortable situation and if such a situation arises, then the other people at the table need to be made aware of it so they can help. But DON'T do what Fluttershy's player is doing here and stick around but refuse to play and go out of your way to ruin everyone else's experience.

Because what Fluttershy's player is doing here could also be a particularly annoying habit of some gamers who, when they encounter an in-game situation they don't like, simply step in as the player and go full meta.
"Okay, you enter the next room and there's a closed door on the far side. You hear a distant voice calling for help, it seems to be beyond the door."
"I'm not going to open that door, you pulled out a stack of monster sheets so I know there's a monster behind it."
"Maybe, but give me a reason your character wouldn't open the door. They heard someone calling for help."
"You're just trying to push us into another random encounter. I'm not going to fall for that. I'm going to sit here and do nothing."

Fluttershy's player is not responding to DiscorDM here as Fluttershy, she's responding as herself and refusing to play the game. That's as meta as you can get. Now as I said, if it's because she's uncomfortable, then she needs to just tell the GM that. If not, then she's pretty much refusing to play an arc because she can't make/change the rules... which is being self-centered and ruining everyone else's fun just because her character can't so as she likes.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
The player being uncomfortable with Discord's characterisation is conjecture, and doesn't justify the sort of meta-gaming they're doing either way.
They verbatim announced that their strategy at this point is to take the fun out of it for the GM.

A lot of preparation went into this session, up to and including preparing a surprise GM via phone call from inside the house, and she's essentially tossing it in the bin by being contrarian even in the very early stages of the session.
I personally don't care what the justification is, this is not appropriate player behaviour. This is the point people instead sit out in order not to spoil it for the others out of respect of the other players' enjoyment, rather than call out the guest(!) GM because they don't like the rail tracks. Twilight's player ended up following them just fine in the beginning, by comparison.

I personally hope that the GM is going to talk to Fluttershy's player about this, if only to maintain group cohesion; because if this is pushing their buttons, that will create fallout further down the campaign.
KSClaw 9th Aug 2018, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
Thank you! I was having a hard time putting into words myself what was bothering me about this part and how Fluttershy was acting. I hope main DM steps in and gets thing settled, because unlike in the show, this doesn't feel fun.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
So, uh... I would like to point out that this entire thing is a Gambit on both OoC and IC levels. IC, this is a game Discord is setting up as basically a dm in the context of the game world - and his game is rigged, which Fluttershy the character can see through. OoC, Fluttershy the player has seen through the "fun" (read: mean-spirited lols at the expense of the players as they fumble about in an unwinnable scenario) the dm wishes to have, and realizes there's no ic or OoC way of beating the game without refusing to play or taking the fun out of things. Fluttershy, both IC and OoC, was not the one who started this, and honestly can't take any of the blame here.
Zaftique 9th Aug 2018, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
She hasn't seen it, though. Last I recalled, only Twilight has been left in the main gaming room, and everyone else is sequestered throughout the mansion/apartment/shack/house, so OOC -or- IC, Fluttershy shouldn't have any idea of what's going on with the others yet.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
"Mean-spirited lols [...] in an unwinnable scenario"? Are you quite frankly daft? This is a guest DM, which the original GM pulled into the game to provide a proper, creative challenge. At no point can you simply proclaim that Discord has them all entrapped and at their helpless mercy.
You may find that this Discord is not the actual canon S2 Discord from the show - they're hardly in it to satisfy a massive ego.

The GM has repeatedly seen their careful work voided by the players' creativity, and turnabout is, as they say, fair play. None of us know what ultimately the module Discord has planned encompasses, and just perhaps this is meant to be a legitimately hard puzzle. You know, like the Friendship is Magic reveal in the very first module.
Were this legitimately a roasting session for the players, there would be many worse things the GMs could do, right up to and including Rocks Fall Everyone Dies. Discord *may* be here to teach the players a lesson, but as a character, he is about as toxic as Trixie was in her debut episode - before picking a fight with Twilight for no reason, mind.

If Fluttershy's player dislikes the puppet master act, fine, but that is no reason to be smug about letting the guest know that.
Klimpaloon 10th Aug 2018, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
If we go back to page 1099, we can see Fluttershy's player talking to herself before the DMs arrive, and it certainly sounds like she's spent the last few minutes defusing her panic attack with reassurances that she'll be okay and she instantly slips back into panic mode the moment DiscorDM shows up. Fluttershy's player is far too emotional to really consider the 'sensible' option of leaving for the rest of the session--I know first-hand that when you are highly invested in a game that has backed you against a corner, if you find a solution that hurts the game but gives you a victory, it's hard to rationally tell yourself "it's just a game" and move on. I once played a game of Werewolf in an online forum over a period of a couple months where I'd spent the whole game adding fun insanity to things and over time became so obsessed with having some modicum of control that I literally decided to use the rules for quitting the game as a mechanic to hurt the other players. A few hours later I came to my senses and requested to the GM to change the circumstances of my departure to not have those negative consequences, but by then I knew that I had gone too dark to trust myself in ever playing Werewolf again. Fluttershy's player here might be breaking the spirit of the game by refusing to be railroaded, but she is also having a positive moment of catharsis that she likely never got when dealing with her own personal trauma--if you're going to have your emotions interfere with gameplay, that's probably the best outcome you can get.
Big Lurker 9th Aug 2018, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
I love this page. I must admit, part of my head Canon for the cartoon involves this episode. I always felt that Discord respects Fluttershy more because he couldn't mess with her head like the others; part of the reason he's actually friends with her...

Best Line: 'Mot at all. I am weak and helpless, and I appreciate their understanding...'
Selphie 9th Aug 2018, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Fluttershy is not under any obligation to try to make this game work, especially with an emotionally manipulative GM. The GMs have an obligation to discuss with her to ensure that she is willing to participate, and to abandon or alter their plan if not. In her place, I wouldn’t trust either GM to fix this; the regular GM has proven a doormat for DiscordDM, so Fluttershy’s player is exposing his awfulness while staying true to the fiction, identifying IC reasons for distrusting Discord. If DiscorDM weren’t guilty of Doscord’s own failings, he would be willing and able to work with her or to recognize and respect her discomfort, even though it impedes his fun.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 1:42 PM edit delete reply
You're right, they're not. They should, however, respect her fellow players' - and that includes our guest DM - experience more, if only out of common courtesy. If Discord were to toss the kind of fit Fluttershy's player is right now, the game session would end right then and there with a few very awkward looks around the table.

There's certainly a give and take on both sides, nobody's debating that, but a GM this creative and dedicated is not fundamentally awful. Fluttershy's player may legitimately disagree with the play style and the setup for the module's plot outline, but that is what I've been arguing before - that is when you as a player are at liberty to withdraw from the session, which is always an option.

Inversely, the other mane5's players are not under any obligation to accommodate for Fluttershy's player's whim either. At this point, insisting to antagonise the guest DM is plainly and simply rude.
Needling Haystacks 10th Aug 2018, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
I don't see this as a fit yet, it depends on what happens next, I think.
Kereminde 10th Aug 2018, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
"the regular GM has proven a doormat for DiscordDM"

I don't . . . think . . . so, I think DiscordDM is running ahead of complaints and the regular DM is taking mental notes as it'll be their job to "push back" through their own NPCs or situations.

Then again, I also don't think Fluttershy, or her player, are trying to ruin the game. I think she's opted not to try to be the unmovable object to the irresistable force. More like air, offering no resistance and letting it do as it will.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
While one can take Fluttershy's dialogue as an OOC conversation, it also works 1:1 as an IC conversation. Fluttershy's Player AND Fluttershy are both dealing with an entity they realize has the power of a God and is trying to create the impression of blame for later self doubt and finger pointing. When your character is facing such an overwhelming threat, your character's only option is to find a way to win by losing. Find a way to make your lose cost your enemy in a way that might grant you victory later. So while players should not want to ruin each other's fun, Fluttershy (the character) should be trying to ruin Discord(the character)'s fun. This allowed her to only grant Discord a partial victory AND allows her to gain some leverage to undo even that victory.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
You could just as much argue that another option would be to take the imminent "defeat" in stride and dignity - and I can't imagine the players expecting a play along the lines of

"Alright, we all got cursed, we all lose, see you next week, and have fun coming up with new characters."

Failing forwards is a fairly well-understood concept, and Fluttershy's player is at this moment not willing to do so, independently from whatever Discord has been attempting.

Trying to take the moral victory away in a game that has so far been a neutral, albeit unorthodox, affair is pompously moving imaginary goal posts for success.

"No, you're not *really* defeating me, because you had to GM Fiat me into submission." Since the very crux of any RPG has always been the players pitted against the Game Masters, I'm sure.
Guest 10th Aug 2018, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
I think you need to look IC as well as all of this OOC analysis.

Sure you can say the player might expect the session to have some kind of failing forwards built into it (although that term only applies in cases where failure was not railroaded).

However I think you are giving the scenario itself too little credit. Forget that there exists a higher power that might cheat to help the players win (aka forget it is a game with players and a DM). Instead focus just on the In-Game reality of characters facing a god like adversary.

The only way I can see the characters overcoming that obstacle is by changing the goals of the adversary so that they are no longer the adversary. In canon Fluttershy tries this tactic twice on Discord and it works the second time.

So yes, you can read into it on an OOC level if you assume that Fluttershy's Player knew that DiscordDM had the same personality and railroad plan as DiscordCharacter does. However that might be too harsh of an assumption about either Fluttershy's Player or DiscordDM since the text has an in-game reason for unfolding this way.
Guest 9th Aug 2018, 3:23 PM edit delete reply
Ah, that moment where my character became desperate...

It was in a Pathfinder campaign. We just had rescued a PC from Hell (she was an half-devil whose archdevil father wanted to use for a scheme) and just got rail-roaded into losing to the obvious betrayal from the Demon who helped us get into the right place.

So we needed to go to this great Archangel guy to ask for help, because the end of the world was a bit upon us. Thing is, our group had stolen the Archangel's sword because they needed it to save the PC and the Archangel wasn't willing to help.

So, my character, who was already fed up that there was a ton of NPCs more powerful than us in the world, but who were all busy doing **** like selling manuals of stat increase rather than lifting a finger to save the world, not to mention how the group's fighter straight up told my PC that he'll let the world burn if we didn't immediately rescue the half-devil PC, his in-universe girlfriend, is here, and we try to negotiate with the Archangel, trying to get him to help our world despite our actions. We argue, we negotiate, we offer reparation, we plead. But the Archangel just tell us he won't bother because mortals aren't worth it.

So my PC kinda give up on life

And my little Monk/Wizard, dwarfed by the angel both in power and in actual size, with only two other people on his side, in the middle of the Archangel's court, surrounded by his army, in his fortress, in a plane controlled by him and his allies, just starts to insult the dude to his face.

He straight up chew out the Archangel for his passivity, his imbecilic decisions, his lack of care for everyone on a world's that's dying, his transparent attempt at shifting the responsibility, anything to get the jerk to react. I actually screamed at a few points.

My DM was legit surprised to see my PC this angry when he's usually stoic and logical to the extreme.

In the end, our ruckus managed to convince a different Archangel to help, with the first one going "fine, you can try."
Torquelift 10th Aug 2018, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
I love it. When you've got nothing to live for and everything is screwed, call the nearest God a wuss and see if they try to prove you wrong.
If they don't respond, they're not worth the title, and if they kill the PC, they're only killing a mortal.
Shenkyei Rambo 9th Aug 2018, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
that's muh gurl! yay lol
DuoScratch 9th Aug 2018, 5:20 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if she quite realizes just how stupid she just was? Discord now holds more power over Fluttershy than he ever did before, because she's choosing to TRY and meet him on HIS terms. Rather than playing her character, she's meta'd a result where she's "beat" Discord, but she's actually in the worst possible possition, his headlights. He doesn't even have to curse her to use this to his advantage now, she's chosen to play the game a different way, so now he can run her along a different set of rules.

I really hope the creator doesn't go with the railroad tactic the show went with, cuz right now he's in a position to do it far better, and FAR more evilly. ;p
Departure_Dave 9th Aug 2018, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Remember that the moral high ground she's standing on is built from the bathroom toilet.
Quade 9th Aug 2018, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
And this is why throwing a godlike entity at your players like this is really awesome and fun in a comic, but the exact opposite in an actual game. When the only way to have your character obtain anything remotely close to victory is to just not engage, that is the least fun moment I could imagine in a campaign.
Guest 10th Aug 2018, 12:39 AM Amen, brother/sister/person edit delete reply
Seconded. Godlike beings tend to take the wind out of sails, and there's not much to do against them besides either not play or do whatever shenanigans the dm planned out. Players don't get agency, railroads for days.
Aeshdan 9th Aug 2018, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
I would like to express my disagreement with all the people saying that Fluttershy is trying to ruin the game or behaving badly.

First, she's not actually refusing (OOC) to be cursed, she's merely refusing to accept the guilt for that curse. If the plot really requires her to be cursed, then DDM is free to curse her. But he's going to have to come out and admit that there was nothing she could do to avoid the curse.

Second, from her end this would look an awful lot like railroading. The Elements were stolen, her wings were taken, she's been isolated from her comrades, Discord has chased her down and cornered her, and is clearly trying to trick her into saying something he can use against her. All without her being able to do anything to prevent or change it. That is, in my opinion, very dangerous territory to be treading.

Third, there's the point that this whole thing is blurring IC and OOC to an unusual degree. Discord is, effectively, a GM incarnate in the game, which means that Fluttershy's calling him out could just as easily be a denunciation of Discord the Character by Fluttershy the Character as a denunciation of Discord the Player by Fluttershy the Player.
LordIce 9th Aug 2018, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
THAT's my girl. Go, Fluttershy! He can take everything but your dignity.
ChaosBringer 9th Aug 2018, 9:09 PM edit delete reply
Why do I assume Fluttershy won't be 'Discorded' but will think she was?
Lethologica 10th Aug 2018, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
At first glance, that seems like a difficult scenario to achieve. The arbiter of whether the character is cursed is whether the player and DM think the character is cursed. There's no objective arbiter to say "no, actually, despite the DM saying your character was cursed, and you thinking your character was cursed, they actually weren't." So I'm not sure what it would look like for the player to *think* they're cursed while not actually *being* cursed.
ChaosBringer 11th Aug 2018, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
Maybe Discord getting 'flustered' then tapping her head and implying she is cursed?
aylatrigger 9th Aug 2018, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
I am reminded of why I thought pony gods stole powers from the D&D realms...

"The three layers of Hades were called glooms for good reason; they were realms devoid of emotion, hope, and peace. Gray land and gray sky throughout, with no sun, moon or seasons to break the monotony. Any color other than shades of gray would be obvious against the background but would fade to gray in a week or two. And like bright colors, beings would begin to fade also. At first they would feel the drain of emotions leaving only sadness, ennui, and defeatism."
Discord brings about the powers of the plane of Hades.
dziadek1990 10th Aug 2018, 12:32 AM edit delete reply
As always, super-good choice of faces!

Her relief and confidence and amusement, it amuses me so.
Cryognosis 10th Aug 2018, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
Some of the things being said is Fluttershy bashing Discord for being a "No more fun guys!". She's not bashing THE DM, she's bashing THE CHARACTER. Notice how she suddenly shifts into referencing Discord as if he was a different person from the DM. DM-Discord lost his cool and took it personally, but Fluttershy wasn't going at him so much as char-Discord.
Capn_Boxers 10th Aug 2018, 3:39 AM edit delete reply
Once again, the other players choose to challenge Discord and he gets fair wins over them. Which them acknowledge and then they accept the challenge of their curses. Fluttershy just says 'nope, you're clearly doing all this by DM fiat' and refuses to engage. If you aren't here to play, recuse yourself from the session, girl.

Honestly, I hope Discord doesn't curse her. It would be much more interesting to give her an item that she will be convinced is cursed because she doesn't trust him but is actually quite helpful, or just return her to the party unchanged and let her new attitude be her curse.
Aeshdan 10th Aug 2018, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
Actually, I'd say that Fluttershy did try to challenge DDM just as much. When you're up against a demon/dark fae/Jackass Genie who will try and twist your words into an excuse to curse you (which is clearly what Discord the Character is, whether or not Discord the Player is), running away and refusing to give him anything he can work with is a perfectly legitimate tactic. Heck, Discord taunted Applejack for not doing that, for trying to outwit him even though she'd been warned that her answer would come with a cost.
albedoequals1 10th Aug 2018, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
I expect Rainbow's response is going to be pretty similar.

Discord: "So, let's talk about your curse."
RD: "Nope."
Discord: "You have to pick something."
RD: "What's the roll?"
D: "Excuse me?"
RD: "What do I roll to beat you?"
D: "There is no roll, it just happens."
RD: "Then it's not a game, is it? I didn't come here to watch a movie. Let me know when we're doing D&D again."

And at that point, Rainbow's player leaves the building, and the other girls will have to convince her to come back OoC on a later date.

Twilight will probably do the same thing as Fluttershy, but she won't admit it out loud. She'll look for ways to sabotage things without getting caught.
albedoequals1 10th Aug 2018, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
This also sets up the Discord redemption arc perfectly to be an OoC drama. Normal GM wants to let Discord sit in on a couple sessions as a player, but all the regular players protest because he's such an !@#$#@$. Not sure why Fluttershy would give him a second chance, but the rest is all there. :P
HappyEevee 10th Aug 2018, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Players storming out of games because they don't like the way the GM does things rarely results in everyone else getting together to coax said player to come back while the GM bashes their head contritely on the floor for upsetting the player's feelings.

It far more frequently results in the table finding a new player who isn't such a drama llama. Even if you're all good friends, Player X who throws a fit and storms out on everyone else tends to find themselves getting left out of things because the others just want to have some fun together without the constant threat of Player X getting mad and storming out halfway through a session. Again.

I've been on both sides of an episode like this. As a member of the table where another player stormed out, we were actually kind of relieved she decided to walk out because her anger and arguing with the GM for the whole session was just making the session miserable for everyone. She ended up not coming back because she was too mad, we found another player and moved on.

As the player who once blew up at the table after some railroading, no one came begging me to come back. Once I'd cooled down, I went to talk to the other players who said "Yeah, you were kind of a jerk, you should apologize." So I did. At the table, to everyone, including the GM. They forgave me and we went on with the campaign and ended up having a lot of fun with it. It hurt for a while, but I realized that I needed to consider everyone's feelings and not just my own; if the other players were handling the session, frustrating at that point though it was, it wasn't my job to yell at the GM even though I thought I was speaking for everyone.
albedoequals1 10th Aug 2018, 9:28 PM edit delete reply
I'm not saying that's what RD *should* do, I'm saying that's what she does. Since this is all based on screen captures, we know Rainbow is going to leave for one reason or another, and then be absent from the action for a while. The above is my best guess on how it will go down.

Edit: Also, Discord is a guest GM, so he does not have the trust and leeway the home GM does. If anything goes wrong during his session, it's his fault by virtue of being the new variable.
Capn_Boxers 10th Aug 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Lol wut?

The only person Discord flat out gave a curse to thus far was Pinkie and that's because he double talked her into wanting one. Everyone seems to be assuming that Discord is going to hand out curses regardless of what the players do, whereas I see a lot of my own DMing style in him, where I tailor traps and curses to the players/characters flaws and if they successfully avoid them they get bonus EXP or other rewards. For example, I currently have a sorcerer who is a real ladies man. Once in a bar one lady responded very readily to his advances and suggested they go up to her room. The player looked me dead in the eye and said 'that was too easy. this is a trap', I replied 'then don't follow her up'. He rolls insight which she easily beats with her high bluff, and he chose to go up to her room where it turned out that she was a vampire assassin.

There's no indication that Discord would force the players to take a curse if they successfully outplayed him. And Fluttershy's refusal to engage certainly isn't outplaying him; you can't win a game you refuse to play.
Bezerker21 10th Aug 2018, 7:25 AM edit delete reply
Honestly I like seeing discorDM get called out. He reminds way too much of an old dm I used to have, guy was a manipulative asshole.
holycannoli 10th Aug 2018, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Ello! I'm new here. (Technically, I discovered this three days ago, but I had to read everything because that's how I roll)

so uh yeah that was awkward
Sapphire 10th Aug 2018, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
To all the people calling out Fluttershy for her move here: Isn't the point to defeat Discord? If Discord's objective is to have fun by messing with everyone's heads via psychological analysis and manipulation, then a valid counter to that is to just not play his game.

Basically: She *is* playing the game. She recognized the type of person Discord is, and countered him the only way she could. Because Discord is the big bad of the story. Ruining his plans and ideas is the whole point.

Also, running from something while in the territory of a reality warper? A smart idea. The butterflys could turn into dragons at a moment's notice for all she knew.
Volteri 11th Aug 2018, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
This could be a point, but the problem is that she goes after the guest DM by saying all of this, not Discord the character. If she used her observation to do something smart in character, then I would have no problem with this, in fact I would congratulate her on her smart playing, but what she does her seems more like an attack against the DM. Even if you think this was not a bad thing to do, it could have been worded in a better way.
Robin Bobcat 10th Aug 2018, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
This is significant. This is important.

Fluttershy has played this game before. She's had her words turned on her. It didn't matter what she said.

But not at the table.

Fluttershy is a victim of emotional abuse and manipulation. She knows the song and dance.

BUT she's broken free. Learned it wasn't her fault.


You go yellow pony.
Archone 13th Aug 2018, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Except that
A: Discord-GM isn't the one who emotionally abused and manipulated her (if she was, the others would have pitched a fit at the head-GM bringing in Fluttershy's abusive ex).
B: Discord-GM is a friend of the head-GM who was asked to make a particularly special adventure for her friends, and he showed up with props and everything in order to impress them. He's making a huge effort to make things FUN for them, not to be unpleasant or hurtful. Head-GM trusts him enough to have brought him into the game in the first place.
C: If Fluttershy is using her OOC emotional baggage against Discord-GM, then that's massively metagaming against someone who is trying to provide an interesting adventure based around ROLEPLAYED restrictions. Instead of negatives to dice rolls, he's demanding that they restrict themselves. It requires their cooperation and collaboration, which is putting a lot of trust in them.

Frankly, saying that Fluttershy's treatment of Discord-GM is worthy of a "you go yellow pony" is like watching a battered ex-wife take a baseball bat to the mechanic who just fixed her car and saying "you go girl." It's wrong on multiple levels.