Page 1113 - Second to Breathe

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

Newbiespud 6th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Now I'm just imagining a story set on a timescale of eons, telling the tale of the endless games between the God of Chaos and the Elements of Harmony, with the stakes being the entire world.

Of course, Discord's a bit too lazy to drag it out that long. Kind of his downfall, really. The full extent of the show reveals that his character is laid-back and prone to mood swings, framing the energetic schemes in his intro as more a rush of freshly awoken energy mixed with long-awaited revenge. Once he feels comfortable, he's really content to sit on his throne until the next time he gets bored.

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Digo Dragon 6th Sep 2018, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Eons of games between chaos and harmony? I'm kinda reminded of a recent OotS comic page. But yeah, I can see discord getting bored of it all. He's a bit childish with an attention span that isn't all that long.

So! I can't wait to see what kind of pizza toppings we get in part two of this arc.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 1:45 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, Discord likes stuff to be happening but gets bored quick when he's in charge, so he encourages people to try to unseat him. He seems to enjoy himself a lot more when he's making chaos for the person in charge, so I think he actually likes for someone else to do the daily work of running things while he makes chaos, plays pranks, gets on everyone's nerves, and generally does his own thing. He's definitely more mischievous than malevolent (we never see him maiming, killing, or torturing anyone) and his pranks are usually not physically harmful. So yeah... Discord can be an ass, but he's an ass with some standards and principles (mostly that he should be having fun, and what's fun for him is fun for everyone) so while he can be annoying, I find him fun to watch.
albedoequals1 6th Sep 2018, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
My headcanon is that back when it was Discord vs. Celestia and Luna, he thought switching who was in power was going to be a daily thing. He'd take over, they'd bust him down, he'd undermine them, they'd lock him up, he'd break out, etc. I got the impression he always wanted to be a Batman villain. So when the sisters' opening shot was to turn him to stone for a millennium, he honestly thought they were mean-spirited and not playing the game.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
Haha, yes! Discord is totally a Silver Age Batman villain. XD
Needling Haystacks 7th Sep 2018, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
I could see him making a Discord Copter.
Kyu 6th Sep 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Well, if we see some OOC moments between everyone, maybe it’ll finally put to rest the whole “is DiscordDM actually a manipulative asshole or not? argument.
ThatGuest 6th Sep 2018, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
We can finally end this pointless conflict and bring order to the galaxy!

Though I'm just as interested in seeing how this plays out. After seeing the party 'switch off' so fast I'm kind of hoping now that they subvert Discord's possible expectations of actually going at each other.

Now that they're no longer stuck in Discord's 'world' there's really nothing stopping them from telling each other what's going on and what happened. And if Discord objects, that'll kinda be another red flag if he starts trying to regulate what they do in real life.
Mystic seer 6th Sep 2018, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Personally, I think DiscorDm is less actively malevolent as he is self absorbed. He wants to prove how amazing he is, and is so set out to do so that he is oblivious to the potential real life damage he might cause. If confronted with said damage DiscorDm will probably feel bad and apologize.
Kereea 6th Sep 2018, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
Yep, plus this is a natural area to start really going off the rails from the original episode. Having Twi and Dash both be fine is a good start, but we have a ton of Discord eps to choose stuff from if we want to really get crazy.Discord's a really interesting boss, too, one where there's only one in-universe way to beat him, otherwise it's going to be all roleplaying.

I do think it might be interesting if Fluttershy's player confronts DiscordDM and tries to make it clear she was talking to his character, not to him, since there seemed to be some drama there.

I still think AJ's curse is the worst as there's almost no way to work around it to the point of making talking with her at all useless which could lead to her getting left out.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 1:51 PM edit delete reply
Eh, when you're on a pizza break in the middle of a session and there is info that certain characters don't have access to yet, I can see a GM asking players not to share that info just to make it easier on everyone to separate in-character and out-of-character knowledge.

Now some tables don't have trouble keeping the two separate, but some players (often newer players, but sometimes powergamers) have a great deal of difficulty not having their characters act on player info, so I think that should really be up to the GM as they know more of their tables' strengths and weaknesses.

Either way, the discussions over pizza should reveal a lot about how the next part of the session is going to go. Can't wait for the next installment!
Guest 6th Sep 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
So here is a question that this whole arc has made me think of. How long on average do people’s game sessions last?
For me it’s about 3 to 4 hours, and this “first stage” of play were the players get to be one on one with discord and get curses seems to have taken about half of that.
Ether Space 6th Sep 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
My group gets carried away with time... often, our sessions can last between 6-7 hours.
Cyborg7221 6th Sep 2018, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Mine tend to last around 3-4 hours on average, but lately we've tended to run even later than that. Same start time, unreliable end time. Not that I've actually played in the past month or so...
Digo Dragon 6th Sep 2018, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My group goes on 6-7 hours on an average session, taking into account the dinner break halfway through.
Wulfraed 6th Sep 2018, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
I've not played in ages... But we did have some nights that ran close to 12 hours (we were insane; good thing we met on Friday night).

Most sessions... 8PM to maybe 2AM.
Winged Cat 6th Sep 2018, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
When I am GMing, I aim for 3ish hours.

When I am playing, it used to be 3-4 hours but these days it's more often 2-3, sometimes a bit less than that. Maybe someday it will bounce back up.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
Depends on the game, the night of the week, and the players' schedules. Some of our game nights run about two hours (weekly, on nights when people work the next day), some 4-6 hours (weekend nights every other week). Occasionally we do all-day Saturday sessions for 8-10 hours.
Discord 6th Sep 2018, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
It feels like I'm forgetting something.
Got to end a certain shocking joke.
CCC 6th Sep 2018, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
I'm more than half convinced that Discord is self-sabotaging. Being permanently in charge is <em>boring</em>, so if he is in charge, he deliberately encourages - and, if necessary, creates - plots to unseat himself from power, just in order to give himself something to do foiling them...
Guest 6th Sep 2018, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Ah, yes. It's one of THOSE games.

Where the only winning move is to not play. Or, at least, to not play by the rules.
ThatGuest 6th Sep 2018, 8:55 AM edit delete reply
Or use some kind of weapon, weapons win lots of games. You'd be amazed how easy it is to win at monopoly when you pull a knife when someone is about to steal boardwalk from you.
Rainbow Dash 6th Sep 2018, 6:51 AM edit delete reply
I'll just sneak up behind him, and "watch out for falling signs"?
Digo Dragon 6th Sep 2018, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I'm curious if Dash's combat left her with a curse or not. Seems like it didn't, unless it's the curse to never know what's going on...

(Addendum): Oh, speaking of Dash, I just noticed the little edit on panel 4.
Tel 6th Sep 2018, 10:17 AM Pizza edit delete reply
I think here's how it will shake out.

Twilight: Neapolitan.
Rarity: Anchovies, Kale, and a swizzle of olive oil.
Fluttershy: Cheese and spinach.
Applejack: Pepperoni and Cheese.
Rainbow Dash: Meat Lovers.
Pinkie Pie: The Works, with extra chocolate sprinkles.
Discord/DM: Hawaiian.
Spike/DM: Got the wrong order.
Winged Cat 6th Sep 2018, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Where did hawaiian get its rep from? That's my favorite type. (And I like to think I'm closer to a Spike-type DM than a Discord-type.)
Guest 6th Sep 2018, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Apparently, wikipedia has a page on it.

"Greek-Canadian Sam Panopoulos claimed that he created the first Hawaiian pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1962. Inspired in part by his experience preparing Chinese dishes which commonly mix sweet and savoury flavours, Panopoulos experimented with adding pineapple, ham, bacon and other toppings which were not initially very popular.[4][5][6][7][8] The addition of pineapple to the traditional mix of tomato sauce and cheese, sometimes with ham or sometimes with bacon, soon became popular locally and eventually became a staple offering of pizzerias around the world.[9]

In Germany, Hawaiian pizza is thought to be a variation of the ham, pineapple and cheese topped Toast Hawaii, originally introduced by Germany's first TV cook Clemens Wilmenrod in 1955.[10][11][12] "
Tel 6th Sep 2018, 12:59 PM edit delete reply
Mine too. Totally a Discord thing, though, since "Does pineapple belong on pizza?" tends to cause division and arguments whenever it comes up.
Digo Dragon 7th Sep 2018, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I too am a big fan of Hawaiian pizza. When people tell me they hate that, I just shrug and hog all the slices for myself.

Not even sure where the rep comes from, other than it's the internet, it complains about everything. I know when I order pizza at work for office meetings there is NEVER leftover Hawaiian.
reynard61 9th Sep 2018, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
I recently made a Hawaiian pizza according to an online recipe, but it was rather bland so I'm going to stick to my usual olives/onions/mushrooms/meats-under-cheese concoction.
Needling Haystacks 7th Sep 2018, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
...there's Neapolitan pizza? I thought that was an ice cream thing.
Reality 6th Sep 2018, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Discord revealed who he is in reality, he is Mary Poppins, it's obvious with the umbrella.
HappyEevee 6th Sep 2018, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
I always thought Mary Poppins would be a natural for D&D. She already has a Bag of Holding.
ChaoticBrain 6th Sep 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Borg 6th Sep 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
I wouldn't describe Discord as "lazy." I would describe him as having only a small set of motivations. He likes having freedom, he likes getting revenge on those who he feels wrong him, and he likes having fun. The third one does not in and of itself require any great effort thanks to his godly powers, and he won't forgo having fun to any greater extent than is required to achieve his goals in the first two areas.

I'm sure if he faced another existential threat or had somepony again who had earned a big revenge he would enact grand schemes again. But he just hasn't had a reason for that since he's been Fluttershy's friend (plus she probably wouldn't approve).
Freelance 6th Sep 2018, 6:35 PM edit delete reply
My biggest disappointment was that plan i wasn't even more italicized. Or reverse-italicized.

All you fellow math wizards will get it.
Platonix 6th Sep 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
Get what? I'm pretty sure you're describing something imaginary.

Needling Haystacks 7th Sep 2018, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, get real! Or at least more complex! :P
The Doctor 6th Sep 2018, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
Eons of games between chaos and harrrmony?

sounds a thursday to me. never go to Sundays though. they're boring. Saturdays are best. full of fun and excitement. and ponies.
Needling Haystacks 7th Sep 2018, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Have you seen the new schedule? 13 is working Sundays... at least west of The Pond.
The Doctor 7th Sep 2018, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
West of Amy or Rory?
Needling Haystacks 9th Sep 2018, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
Most of it is, assuming no one's dug them up.

Oooh, continuity burn! :P
ShinyFlareon 7th Sep 2018, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, this whole conclusion leaves an awful taste in my mouth. So RD can call DiscorDM out on his BS, refuse to take the bait, make him frustrated, & get out without a curse - but Fluttershy does the same thing & gets a curse forced on her because DiscorDM threw a tantrum? Ew.

I'm not even in the camp that's (imo) reading too deep into this & has concluded that Flutters' player has OOC trauma/triggers, I just think DiscorDM is being an inconsistent jerk & find it kinda shitty that he forced the curse on Flutters but let RD get away without one.
Archone 7th Sep 2018, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Nobody said anything about RD not getting a curse... even RD herself is surprised that they were talking about curses. Hell, maybe her NOT getting a curse is itself the curse - nobody will believe her when she says she isn't cursed, they'll remind each other that RD is a chaotic evil barbarian, etc.

DiscorDM has put a LOOOOT of work into this adventure. He got information about them from the main GM in order to customize the game for them, he brought props, and - most important of all - he brought an express invitation from the main GM, who knows him and trusts him to provide an awesome game for her friends.

All DiscorDM has REALLY done is provide a challenge that is specifically constructed in ways to prevent them from steamrolling over everything, the way they did in the first adventure when they took down Nightmare Moon.