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4th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 4th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
One benefit of being an essentially one-man operation (except for guest comics and the awesome sequence ChrisTheS made) is that you know what your resources and limitations are. A slightly more obscure sub-benefit is that you can write yourself into a corner where you end up forcing yourself to improve your skills.

For instance: Reinserting Rainbow Dash back into the party during this part of the show? Guess I better brush up on my image manipulation wizardry and lean more on using sub-panels. Gee, thanks me.

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



ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
You know, technically RD has an idea there. None of the curses explicitly interfere with just beating the crap out of Discord directly. Which, would actually be kinda funny. Seeing Discord expect drama and heartbreak, then realize all his stupid mocking did was make the more pacifist of the group want his head on a platter.
Hankroyd 4th Sep 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
I'm not sure Discord can be defeated in physical fight.
He just have to say : "You lose your hooves" or "I'm immaterial" to prevent the fight.

While violence can solve 95% of RPG problems, I'm pretty sure it can't be the case here.
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
Well the violence is more of a protest in this scenario. You ignore the bad story and the narcissism and the obvious button pushing and throw yourself at the wall the GM says is unbreakable. You throw yourself at it over and over until either you somehow miraculously break through it or the bad GM quits and someone better can take the reins. In this case the main GM.

If it was me and my tabletop friends, by this point we'd be attacking Discord and outright blocking out a single word from his mouth until we rolled enough 20s to kill/banish him or he killed us. Either way, we win because he didn't get to have his jollies at our expense.

To quote another screen cap D&D comic "You're dying!" "Yeah! Of my own free will!"
DuoScratch 4th Sep 2018, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
True but, how is Discord being a bad DM?
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Setting aside all the obvious clues that he's just doing this to torment everyone and brag about how bad they are. This adventure, if done in RL and not in comic form would be -BORING-. Each of the players so far has gotten like, a 5-10 minute meeting with the DMs, then back to the table to sit and.....not really do anything until everyone is done. Other than the little filler with the guards this has probably been an hour and a half of thumb twiddling.

By this point not only would my table all be shouting at Discord to shut up and actually RUN A GAME, I would have probably gone of on a rant by now.

"Oh my god will you shut up already! Take your power trip and put it back into your obvious self insert poorly made OCs pants, Coldsteel the Hedgehog. Jesus christ we're not playing Metal Gear, we don't need two hours of cutscenes before the game starts!"
Needling Haystacks 4th Sep 2018, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
ThatGuest: This reminds me of a fanfic I read where Celestia laid a geas on someone. I was thinking the obvious solution is to make it your life's goal to remove it to the exclusion of all else. Since Celestia doesn't want ponies to be miserable she'd then remove it voluntarily.

Sometimes to win you gotta lose, I suppose would be a succinct way of putting this sort of strategy.
mystic seer 4th Sep 2018, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Except Rainbow attacked him before and that did zip. Personally, I think the Guest Gm made him invernible but weak to the Elements of harmony so the PC's have to get them and have them operational.
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
That wouldn't really help because with this setup it would mean that a very specific path with no deviation must be followed. *make train noises*
Hankroyd 4th Sep 2018, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
Or GMDiscord isn't a bad DM and just do as asked : Put the players away from their confort zone and not ruining the fun.

Raindow Dash doesn't seem to be cursed. While Discord was doing 1vs1 the other GM made an offscreen encounter giving information to the party. So they played.
As railroading goes, it seems pretty tame here.
While Pinkie and Flutter had no chance escaping the curse, AppleJack and Rarity would have been able to avoid their one if they really wanted too.

Pinkie and Rarity seems to really enjoy being cursed, RD seems to had fun fighting Discord.
The only negative thing for me is the way Fluttershy was treated and even then, the GM stepped to put his limit over what Discord was allowed to do.

So far for me, as a player, the experience would have been mostly positive.
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
The thing is you have to look at it as a whole. Yeah Pinkie and Rarity are enjoying being cursed buuuuut, no one else is really enjoying Pinkie and Rarity being cursed. It's clear Twi is just -done- with AJ and her lame opposite day talk IC and OOC. Fluttershy is done after seeing that Discord is obviously going to flat out cheat if he doesn't get his way like a child throwing a tantrum, and I'm going to guess that RD is going to have a very low tolerance for all of this once she gets up to speed.

Once at least one player is checked out of the game things can fall apart fast, and right now we have two and a third possibly on the line. Which, honestly at this point I think even the GM is starting to check out.
HappyEevee 4th Sep 2018, 8:33 PM edit delete reply
ThatGuest, I'm sure there are a number of tables that wouldn't enjoy this type of session, but there are also a number of tables that would. Several of the tables I've played at have had similar curses / geas / plot McGuffins that we had to deal with, and we still found ways to have fun with it.

As a player, it's important not to let other people's personal quirks or playstyles irritate you to the point where you start ranting at the table and ruin everyone's evening just because something is annoying you. This especially applies if the one you're irritated with is the GM; if it's making you that frustrated, just politely excuse yourself for the evening. If you start fighting with the GM at the table, it can produce a number of unfortunate results (no loot, party wipe, items destroyed) that will make the rest of the table angry with you for ticking the GM off.

Tables are rarely as simple as "everyone vs the GM" and if some of the table is enjoying the session, they're not going to be happy with those who ruin it out of temper. If some of your friends are having fun, then let them. It's just a one or two session guest arc, it'll be over before you know it.

And simply having to defeat the final boss with a specific item / ritual / plot McGuffin isn't railroading... that's actually pretty common in pre-written campaigns.
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm actually pretty tolerant up to the point where something starts becoming a detriment to the party or just run into the ground. I'm enjoying this in the comic but in RL if I had to listen to AJ, Rarity and Pinkie acting like this for 2+ hours I'd be like "Okay....this got old an hour ago..."

As a RL example in a D&D game we played there was a fellow who played a cleric and wanted to be a pacifist. But an extreme one. He had no weapons, no armor and never used any kind of damaging magic and basically only buffed/healed himself and expected us to protect him. I was playing a sorcerer and -I- had higher HP and survivability than him. On top of that anytime we'd fight something he'd start to lecture us about our violent ways. After around 5 sessions of this when he started one of his lectures I just turned to him and said "Dude, shut up. We don't want to hear it." followed by the rest of the table nodding and grumbling in agreement. (including the GM btw)

Eventually he tried to hug a problem away, litterally he approached some giants and wanted to be friends and exposed the party's hiding place. The giants attacked him, downed him, we finished them off rather easily and then with absolutely no planning or colusion, everyone at the table independently decided to just walk off and let him die. We were that done with him.

I know it's personal preference and all that but just from my perspective, if I was in Twilight's shoes I'd be like "This wasn't really that fun or funny after 15 minutes of it and it sure as hell isn't after 2 hours of it..."
Moonlight Shadow 5th Sep 2018, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
Oh, we had a pacifist character something like that in a Ponyfinder game a while back (though he was a bard).

He'd try to hug it out with all the enemies, all that, he didn't really lecture us, but he got on my brawler's last nerve when he decided to defend an enemy against my attack.

After that fight I told him point blank if he ever did anything like that again, I would consider hi8m an enemy and act appropriately.
ThatGuest 5th Sep 2018, 3:54 AM edit delete reply
I've been fortunate/unfortunate enough to have run into so many simply horrible players and DM in such a short time that I can pick them out incredibly quick. That's why I'm so harsh on Dicord DM in the comic. He's set off every red flag I've run across and I'd be frankly amazed if it turns out he isn't a raging megalomanic jackass.
manicMagician 5th Sep 2018, 4:49 AM edit delete reply
Yeah same. The taunting. The God-OC self-insert. Curses based off the personalities of people he's never met. No clear options aside from going along with his plans (railroading). Like...they had to go in the maze. They had to get cursed, (except Rainbow somehow?). And now they can't fight him and have to go with whatever his next whim is.
Also, I personally hate mind-affecting things (unless planned out and agreed upon in advance) on my characters and no-win scenarios. Some bad cases of party members just using spells to make me go along with whatever they wanted to do, around when I started playing. scenarios just suck. Cases where you can't do anything and any attempts you make are pointless and it's just up to plot to resolve the situation.
ThatGuest 5th Sep 2018, 7:03 AM edit delete reply
I've only really run into one mind altering incident so far. It was the classic vampire with domination and I was the one who failed the save for it. However while everyone else was panicing over what to do in this moral quandry I just shouted. "Kick my ass, then kick her ass! It's not that complicated guys!" I was playing a healer at the time so I knew that I needed to be the first target otherwise I'd just be healing and buffing the vampire evey turn. I got the crap beaten out of me and then the vampire died nice and smoothly.
HappyEevee 5th Sep 2018, 8:38 AM edit delete reply
Well, we'll just have to wait for this arc to finish and see. I've also had to deal with a lot of bad players / GMs, but I don't find DiscorDM in the same league as the really provoking ones. Mostly because this is still the first session, the initial setup, where things are generally supposed to go badly so the players understand they really have to defeat the big bad right now and not wander off to do something else (as players will do).

Keep in mind that while DiscorDM may be overpowered and annoying, he is supposed to be defeated. That's the whole reason he's here - to give the players a bigger challenge. He isn't here to take over the game, he isn't here to become the new GM, he's here to be a temporary villain and be defeated provided the players will put the work in, figure out how to do it, and get it done. Of course he's being annoying - he's the villain. He's supposed to be someone they want to defeat.

I have no problems with some railroading at the start of a mission ("Ok, so at the end of last mission you all decided to go to the tavern and have several rounds of drinks, correct? Well, you sleep REALLY well and this morning you wake up to find yourselves on a strange ship. Your weapons and armor are gone. You have been shanghaied by pirates!" or "You come into town and no sooner have you entered the gate, but someone shouts 'That's them! Get them quick!' You are overpowered by the guards and thrown in the town jail. The captain informs you that you match the descriptions of a group of bandits who have been raiding farms.") If the GM is never allowed to say "this just happens" the campaign can get boring really quick as the players just say "oh, that wouldn't happen, I do this instead." GM fiat shouldn't be abused, but especially for starting a scenario, it can be necessary to avoid endless "well, but my character would have..." arguments.
Kaze Koichi 5th Sep 2018, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
Pacifist character could be cool. Having no armor is stupid, but having no weapon for a class that most of the times throwing heals and buffs around can work. Remember, in D&D diplomacy and bluff are the powerful weapon. A pacifist cleric that convinces the enemy to not fight - won the encounter, and you got exp for that. I don't mind preaching, if they are preaching to the enemy. (Also I think pacifism isn't against turning undead). There could be a problem if they succeed with diplomacy every single time, leaving the rest of the party in the state when they want to finally kill something - anything.
Kaze Koichi 5th Sep 2018, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
I think RD not being cursed was partially thanks to FS. DDM was called out by FS and force-cursed her in frustration, but he probably fell a bit of guilt afterwards, so he thought repeating the same thing would be a little too much, and RD deserves a win if she pass his test. And his initial plan to curse everyone failed anyway.
That's my personal opinion, feel free to argue that.
ThatGuest 5th Sep 2018, 4:20 PM edit delete reply
Pacifist characters done well would be fine with me. When I said he would lecture us I mean in the same way someone in PETA would call you a monster and that you should burn in hell because you have a pet cat. He would even do it when we were attacked first by wild animals. Chastizing us while he hid behind my sorcerer and let the wolves maul me uncontested.

He also once revealed our location to a villainess and her troll army when we were hiding as they passed by. Then acted astonished that the woman who casually told us she'd kill us all the next time our paths crossed.....tried to kill us.
DuoScratch 5th Sep 2018, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
That's just it though, every character had an out to their scenario. Discord got all his info on how the characters interacted from their DM, and from listening to them play, and everything was a test based around that. I can garentee that everyone had a legit out to being cursed, and that he was never planning to curse them all, just get what he could to get to the next plotpoint. And before you bring up Flustershy again, NO GM COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT BEHAVIOR. Not even her normal GM could have predicted her just going a tiny bit Henderson, and fourth walling the Guest GM like that. Did they handle being called out very well? Not especially, but they could have done worse.

Also, sometimes stories can go a bit linear when the stakes get raised without it being railroadie. I mean, the players always have the option of saying, "Fudge this, I wanna go drink beer while the world burns." You always have options, and the players of this game had options too.

Point blank, D&D is an interactive story telling engine, wherein, most of the time, the adventurers are gonna be king of the plot, as they should. They'll go where they wanna go, take what hooks they wanna take, and generally have a fun time. But every now and then, a bit of urgency limiting the leniency isn't a bad thing, cuz sometimes, shit happens, someone has to deal with it, and who ya gonna call?
ThatGuest 5th Sep 2018, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
My main concern isn't the adventure Discord is running, it's that Discord is running it and he does not seem like the kind of person who's trying to run something for others enjoyment, just his own and their agony.

I was once in a Star Wars game where we did nothing but fight wild animals on a jungle planet and after a few sessions a couple of us approached the GM and tald him "Hey, um this is getting kinda boring. When we signed up for a Star Wars game we were kinda looking forward to fighting people in big blaster shootouts and flying ships around in space dogfighting.

The next session he finally let us leave the planet and then we got ambushed by a few TiE fighters. We shot them down and then a Star Destroyer showed up and insta-shot us down so we'd be trapped on the jungle planet again. At that point he threw a tantrum like Discord did with Fluttershy. "There! You got to shoot some TiE fighters, now can you be quiet and play the game -I- want to run?!"

We all quit after that.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Dang. You've had some pretty crappy GMs, I can see why DiscorDM is upsetting you so much. I guess if you've never had an experienced GM who could screw with the party while still being a good GM and the players' friend, it's hard to understand how fun a Discord-y session can be.

One of our regular GMs has an ongoing war with two of our players (they are min-max powergamers by nature) where they come up with unstoppable death builds and he comes up with monsters to find their weaknesses. The rest of us kind of hang back because us non-min-maxed characters can't survive those fights, but while discussions sometimes get heated, we're still all friends and once the combat is over, the GM and the powergamers discuss how well their monsters and builds did and how they can tweak them for the next time. (Also, those three are siblings...) That GM also tries to put a lot of skill challenges and stuff in for the rest of our characters so we can all have fun and there's stuff every session for all of us to do, but in that campaign fights are pretty much the GM vs. the two powergamers. The rest of us sit back with popcorn and bet gold and magic items on the outcome.

But yeah... if you've never had a session like this at a good table with a GM who wants to push the players but still make sure they have fun, it's kind of hard to explain why it can be so awesome.
Digo Dragon 4th Sep 2018, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm reminded of a spot-on comic someone did where Twi, Rarity, Flutters, and Dash are all joyfully praising that they're no longer useless now that they got their missing appendages back. Meanwhile, Pinkie and AJ are in the background giving them un-amused glares.

Interesting to see how this story moves along with Dash still in the party.
Anvildude 4th Sep 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Wasn't that Canon, though?
Draxynnic 4th Sep 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
From what I recall of the setting, earth ponies DO have their own abilities, even if they're more subtle than those of pegasi and unicorns. In most cases, it's in the form of greater physical strength and affinity for plants and animals, meaning that Applejack is essentially an archetypical earth pony (and Fluttershy might have some earth pony in her ancestry, or might just be off-type). In Pinkie's case, the craziness she pulls off probably indicates some magical ability, even if in the show it's usually done for laughs.
Digo Dragon 4th Sep 2018, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
While earth ponies are said to have abilities of their own, the show's writers over the years have never been able to properly bring it out as a measurable power. AJ and Pinkie stand out a bit, but they're main protagonists of the series. Outside them, we don't really get to see earth ponies all do something regularly that we can point at as "that's their power", where as it's easy to point at wings and horns for the other types. The occasional time we see an earth pony super strength, it's usually played for a gag, like with Big Mac under the influence of the love poison. This is why the aforementioned comic was something I always found funny, yet hitting the bulls-eye on the subject.
CharginChuck 4th Sep 2018, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Also, don't forget that earth ponies were explicitly stated to have their own magic in the season 4 finale, though it wasn't actually explained how it worked.
Digo Dragon 4th Sep 2018, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I feel that it was a throw-away line just because Tirek was draining all magic and they needed to say something about what magic earth ponies were losing. The show never seemed to make mention of it since then.
Bed Head 4th Sep 2018, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
Celestia said the Earth Ponies "no longer had the strength to work the Earth"

Series creator Lauren Faust stated that the Earth Ponies drew strength and vitality from the earth and fed it back in to revitalize it.

It's very subtle, but I can think of one major indication of Earth Pony magic at work: APPLELOOSA. Braeburn and the rest of the Apple Clan out there made a functioning apple orchard in the middle of a desert in a matter of what was probably only a few months (at most) given that the buffalo tribes had only recently become a problem.
Digo Dragon 5th Sep 2018, 5:01 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
It was mentioned that the land they used was farmable, and that they couldn't just move the orchard anywhere else, so it seems they at least need to start with viable ground.
Guest 4th Sep 2018, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
Earth pony magic was never explicitly said, but it was shown a number of times. All the farmers are earth ponies. All ponies in any plant-growing competition are earth (or crystal) ponies. If it involves growing plants, it's earth ponies, full stop.

Incidentally, Twilight was never shown practicing alchemy until after becoming an alicorn, and when she was teaching it to Applebloom. Applebloom herself uses it a few times to achieve effects comparable to magic, like instantly growing a tree with a gigantic apple.

I'd imagine anything Zecora can do, an earth pony can do. Except, possibly with an added option for super strength. It's worth noting that Applejack's farm does indeed grow magical plants, those being the zap apples.

Kinda gives me an idea, where a sufficiently stocked earth pony farm might double as a fortified base, if they're growing weapons-grade magical plants or alchemical reagents. Get that tree that reproduces by turning things into trees, make arrow dip out of it? Could be a thing.
Guest 5th Sep 2018, 9:20 PM Uhhh.... edit delete reply
"Incidentally, Twilight was never shown practicing alchemy until after becoming an alicorn"

Twilight was doing alchemy all the way back in Griffon the Brush Off.
Evilbob 4th Sep 2018, 3:40 PM edit delete reply

I agree with you that unicorns and pegasi definitely have more showy powers and appear to be more measurably powerful.

But I have to say, I disagree that that appearance is the reality.

Other than that old adage that "appearances can be deceiving", I'd like to posit that there was a REASON that Tirek needed to go in his particular order of absorbing magic Unicorn->Pegasi->Earth Pony.

It's not like unicorns don't have a way to encourage plant growth (Sweetie Belle learning growing magic), but I think it stands to reason that it's not more commonplace considering the age of that spell.
Digo Dragon 5th Sep 2018, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
So... what is the reason you wish to posit?
Guest 5th Sep 2018, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
I'm guessing the implication is that unicorn magic requires time and mastery before it reaches the point where it can do basically everything like that, whereas for earth ponies and pegasi, their abilities are inherent.

Which I'd call shenanigans on, because muscle isn't something that just exists on its own without effort or maintenance, and personally I can't see controlling the weather as being as easy as basic arithmetic.

It's just that magic is super flashy even when it amounts to nothing more than turning the lights on, and it makes a convenient plot excuse. "Oh no, a thing happened!" "Gasp! How?" "A *unicorn* did it!"

Maybe the other two tribes are actually more clearly defined, not less.
Guest 5th Sep 2018, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
Earth Ponies' strength and affinities witj plants has been shown on many occasion. AJ has literally made plants grow from seed to flower on-screen.
Guest 5th Sep 2018, 7:55 AM edit delete reply
Earth Ponies' strength and affinities witj plants has been shown on many occasion. AJ has literally made plants grow from seed to flower on-screen.
evilauthor 4th Sep 2018, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Ever since the introduction of Cheese Sandwich, it's been my headcanon that Pinkie's (and Cheese Sandwich's) abilities are the result of being highly attuned to the Element of Laughter. They are unknowingly using Laughter magic without realizing it.

I mean come on, the Elements should have some magical properties other than just powering up the Rainbow Death Ray, right?
Discord 4th Sep 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Congratulations for completing the first round.
Round two is about to start.
Rastaba 4th Sep 2018, 6:48 AM edit delete reply
A wizard did it!...somebody had to say it.
Guest 4th Sep 2018, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
I wonder how long you can keep up Rainbow being off-screen and still in the game.
Platonix 4th Sep 2018, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
Bear in mind that there was a panel in the previous page where RD was edited into the shot. It's easier in some screens than in others.
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
Every edit should just be sunglasses RD copy pasted into the shot as poorly as possible. Overlapping other characters, upside down, etc.
Story Time 4th Sep 2018, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
So... Does anyone have a story about a boss that the heroes have in front of them, and yet they can't kill or destroy for X reason?
ThatGuest 4th Sep 2018, 10:26 AM edit delete reply
"The boss has a shield that only allows it to be damaged by clerics." "The cleric is dead though." "Well guess you're screwed then~"
Kaze Koichi 4th Sep 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
I didn't play this campaign, so I could get some details wrong, but there was one meatgrinder module about exploring the pyramid. You'll probably die on your way here, but if you get to the final boss, he is incorporeal and can't be harmed by physical attacks. Trying to attack him in any way, however, results in him disintegrating one party member, starting with magic users. Once all magic users are gone, you are screwed. The only way to defeat him would be to correctly guess the way to harm and then one-shot him.
Hankroyd 4th Sep 2018, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
PC need to recover a powerful artifact in a pyramid to deal with an ancient evil.
When they arrive, the artifact is taken away by someone.
Rogue manage to arrive behind it with a gun, but the gun just behind the guy's head and shoot.

Guy avoids the bullet and began to congratulate the PC "It's been centuries since someone managed to get so close to me without me noticing."

The party realised that the guy was the ancient evil. So the rest of the party stayed hidden cowering in fear while the poor rogue had a very humiliating fight surviving just because he was a boring opponent that just get lucky and not a threat at all.
(Of course the party managed to find other way to deal with it, first by stealing other artifact under his nose then with a big epic fight at the end of the campaign.)
Aeshdan 5th Sep 2018, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
There's a story I read elsewhere about a cult of "Doomsday Mages". Basically, each of them had a powerful spell bound into them, which would create a nuke-scale fireball the moment they died. So they could be the perfect recurring villains, able to be a dick to everyone they met, secure in the knowledge that anyone who killed them would be digging their own grave.

The first time the PCs met one of these doomsday mages, they beat him *almost* to death, stabilized him (unconscious, but alive), and then dropped him from the back of a summoned flyer into the middle of the enemy encampment.

Rakaydos 5th Sep 2018, 8:53 AM edit delete reply
So Star Wars EoE, rotating GM, I decide it's time to pick up a bunch of plot threads different player/gms had left lying around.

I started with a call from one of my own retired PCs (not the one I was using at the time) who left because he was a bounty hunter who realized one of his teammates was a jedi, in a "you get one free pass" moment.

He had a job offer for the group, and invited them to a meeting with his employer. My players are genera savvy, but are willing to take a dive for the sake of story even when out of the GM chair, so they tug the plot hook.

They dock at a run down station, are met by their "old friend" (the jedi sits the session out, he had work anyway) who escorts them to the meeting, a room with a conference table, high backed chair facing away from the entrance, (One of the PCs asked for a perception check to make out a reflection on the bulkhead, I told him to just wait.) and once all the PCs were inside, the chair turns revealing the -first- arc villian of the campaign, Trex, (who we made a point that we never saw the body when we last killed him and stole not 1 but 2 ships from him) who smiles and offers them a seat... while the "old friend" (who was a PC at the time Trex was a villian) omminusly closes the door. Commercial break!

Some tense negotiation that doesnt go anywhere- he wants the PCs help for a shipjacking from Kuat, PCs dont trust him as far as they can throw him, and eventually the scene breaks up and the leave the room... wherein they discover the room was shielded from hearing the NPCs cries for help as Trex's OTHER leutenant, a Kubaaz, is singlehandedly hijaacking THEIR ship. They chose to save their ship rather than get immediate revenge, so I didnt have to plot-escape the villian, and there was a dramatic scene where their ship almost gets stolen, but gets crippled instead, and the villians fly off to Kuat, with the players lusting for revenge.

This was the end of the session, but the next session had the PCs led by the nose and be framed for the theft of an inquisitor's new cruiser.
HappyEevee 5th Sep 2018, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
One word: Strahd.
Needling Haystacks 4th Sep 2018, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
I don't see ironic quotes around "sub-benefit" but it feels like they are there. :P
ZhonLord 4th Sep 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Okay, so I was wrong about Rainbow getting cursed too. I'm still expecting it to happen sooner or later, but we shall see I suppose.
Rakaydos 5th Sep 2018, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
And it's a convient excuse for Rainbow to be standing apart in any scene she's inserted into- the other players cant trust that Rainbow ISNT cursed.