Page 1114 - Baggage Blame

8th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Baggage Blame
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Sep 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's a break from the story of the in-game session, so you know what that means: Pulling sequences from episodes I'm almost definitely never going to use! Hooray!

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



ThatGuest 8th Sep 2018, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Ohhhhh dear. This could be bad. Coming from someone who started out RP with unhealthy people and took time to realize they were terrible people.
ChaoticBrain 8th Sep 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Or maybe just a terrible DM. I speculate that after this arc is wrapped up, in a parallel to in-show Discord being reformed, he decides that he's willing to sit in on future sessions and learn from the new master.
Lyntermas 8th Sep 2018, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Well, he may not necessarily be a bad DM in all cases. He took the time to create individual challenges for the players, and he seemed to take it personally when Fluttershy claimed he was railroading the personality wipe (he was willing to let RD pass while acting in-character, he felt that FS was sniping at him out-of-character). I think he genuinely is trying to provide a memorable, enjoyable experience for everybody.

What this is is a rather bad FIRST DM session. This whole "rewrite personality" scheme requires a level of trust between a DM and the players that Discord simply hasn't earned yet. It probably would have been better for him to sit in on one or two regular sessions rather than just relying on "Celestia's" Cliff Notes of their personalities and expecting them to be okay with his shenanigans. I think there's a way to reconcile this, but it will require some open communication (whether this will be done in-game or afterwards remains to be seen).
GrayGriffin 8th Sep 2018, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, no. "Taking the time to give everyone a personal challenge" means diddly squat. My last terrible DM did that he's still a terrible DM who constantly tried to railroad my character into being more "feminine" and tried to claim her insecurities were specifically due to being a girl.

Honestly, I'm shocked that this argument is still going on when DiscorDM literally attacked Pinkie's OOC issues.
Cryognosis 8th Sep 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
I feel like he never really grasped that Pinkie had the level of issues that she did. As soon as she said that 100% whackiness ended badly he backed off and went the other direction. I do get a theory that someone may ask for something extreme but unlikely, and then back down and ask for something lesser, but this seems to be a particularly big risk that would've put Pinkie against him...
albedoequals1 8th Sep 2018, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Ohhhh... I get it now. It is really hard to be objective about mentor figures, especially ones you can credit with getting you involved in something you love. Realizing that your friend is actually an @$$hole is a really tough pill to swallow. Now that you put this spin on it, I realize I have been in the very same situation, and it sucks. :P
DuoScratch 8th Sep 2018, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Wow, there are a lot of harsh judgements on very little info... So many of you are so quick to write off the new guy, just cuz he dun messed up a couple times.

This dude isn't a bad GM, most of you seem to be related one or two things to a bad GM YOU HAD, and just parsing the two together, unfairly, I might add. You don't know DiscorDM, you don't know he's a bad person, DM, anything. Rarity's right in one thing, groups are ecosystems, and it doesn't take much to rock their world. It doesn't even take something bad to do this. Sometimes, it just takes an odd person out. They don't have to do anything wrong or be bad at all, just not the right fit for the group.

TL:DR, don't judge so quickly, we have superfluous evidence at best to go on that this guy MAY or MAY NOT be bad.
ThatGuest 9th Sep 2018, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
ThatGuest 9th Sep 2018, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
Bah, accidentally posted early. But yes Albedo that's what I was getting at. As for me being harsh I just have run into many "Doscords" in my life, a lot of those situations have started out eerily like this, and trust me when I say that they tend to enter a death spiral hard and fast. I'll be surprised if Discord ends up being a decent fellow but my veteran gut is telling me that I need to brace myself for when he lets his true colors rip.
Lethologica 9th Sep 2018, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
Whatever else DMcord is, he is NOT simply a terrible DM. We just got testimony that he is capable of both being and inspiring a great DM, testimony I feel is being interpreted with prejudice.

Here's a more charitable interpretation: DMcord probably feels like he's under a ton of pressure to live up to how regular DM sees him and craft a campaign experience just as magnificent as the one that got regular DM into the game. And THAT is causing him to become too personally invested in the brilliance of his campaign, instead of approaching a new group with the necessary humility and openness.

Which is not to say he's normally a saint - the circumstances are probably exacerbating tendencies he already has. I still believe DMcord tempted the party based on flaws he struggles with himself - metagaming, wackiness, being controlling, playing the passive-aggressive know-it-all, and putting his own success ahead of the group's. But I strongly doubt the point here is to reduce DMcord to his flaws.
ThatGuest 9th Sep 2018, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
All opinions are subjective. I know someone who is loved by a lot of people but she's just about as evil and cruel as you can get. There's a phrase, 'Trust but verify', when this arc started Discord began looking okay but there have been little bumps here and there that indicate something a bit worse might be behind his smile and friendliness. It feels like foreshadowing, especially since the arc going smoothly and Discord turning out to be a perfectly fine fellow would feel a, kinda weak.

To end up injecting drama and excitement to this story I have to believe that at some point Discord will cause some kind of problem. His outburst with Fluttershy feels like something that no DM as good as the regular one thinks he is would do. Especially to a group that isn't his, that he's just visiting and a game someone else is running.
Lethologica 9th Sep 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply
I can't speak for everyone, but I am not arguing for DMcord to be a 'perfectly fine fellow', and I in fact listed several flaws I believe he has, the sum of which make a pretty severely flawed person. So the 'weak' narrative you reject is not the one being proposed. Similarly, when you speculate that there's "something a bit worse" behind DMcord's smile and friendliness, my claim also inhabits that space. And when you suggest that DMcord will cause "some kind of problem"--well, duh. He's already causing one.

As far as those points we are in agreement. However, you seem to be proposing disagreement. So why don't you establish the part you disagree with and your contrary opinion. Then we can have a proper discussion about it.
Digo Dragon 8th Sep 2018, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
DMs and players are not all compatible, even with some experience time together. Going by this page, our GM and DiscordDM worked well together in their old campaign, but some of the current players don't seem to get along with DiscordDM's style. What works for one group is terrible for another.

So ultimately DiscordDM is just terrible within the context of this group, and Rarity's player points out a very important note--the GM should have talked to the group about it before surprising them.
Luna 8th Sep 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
I agree. And I'd add that it's even more important when the addition turns out to be a "DMPC" that is aimed to mess with the players adn their characters. A new addition to any group can be awkward. A new addition with DM power and license to be the bad guy ? That can be frustrating on many level.

Calling for outside help isn't a bad thing on the DM part. She knows she lack something and takes steps to try and fix that, but the way she goes about it feels kinda wrong. Might have been better if she just asked for advice or consult her players about bringing discord's player in.

Then again, DMing is a complex and exhausting position. You have to invest more time in-between sessions than the players and most of the game's success rely on your ability to lead the game in a way that will please the players. It's interesting to see one being rather inexperienced and struggling like that in those rpg webcomics.
Kaze Koichi 8th Sep 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
We don't know DM's gender yet, do we? Pony players are all girls, and Discord DM is a guy, but I don't remember any instance that could determine DM. It's easy to assume that because this is an all-girl party, they should be a girl too, but this logic is not 100% accurate. There is nothing preventing them to be different from the rest of the group.
Luna 9th Sep 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
You're right, but I always figured the DM is a woman as well and will stick to it until proven otherwise. :p
ChaoticBrain 9th Sep 2018, 3:54 AM edit delete reply
I think the DM is Lauren Faust.
Guest 8th Sep 2018, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
Hmm. From the tone of this, it seems like what's going to happen is Twilight('s player) eventually gets burned out on the mindfuck and the feeling of making no progress whatsoever, and the DM realizes it's going badly and intervenes with Spike and the letters. It could be anywhere on the sliding scale of IC to OOC, depending on how it pans out, but I suspect DMcord is used to, and wants, a much bleaker campaign than this group is, and is going to get told off for that.

I have very little sympathy for DMcord, as I have little for canon Discord. Discord is an ass, and while some of that is because he simply has few to no social skills, there's a large portion of his obnoxiousness that is entirely his choice. DMcord, as well, strikes me as someone who heard "an adventure setting with cute magical ponies centered around friendship" and thought, "I know, what this really needs is a heavy dose of cynicism, because idealism is automatically dumb," completely missing the entire point.

(More or less the same kind of person, in fact, who looks at MLP and thinks that what would make it really cool is if Pinkie went on a murder spree (with bonus ableism because crazy people are scary!), or if a villain who couldn't be beaten by friendship showed up, or if changelings were aCtUaLlY rApIsTs omg how ~edgy~. Ugh.)

I have no doubt that Twilight is going to get to give a Sit Down and Shut Up speech to Discord right before he gets turned back into stone, and I am *highly* looking forward to it.
Kaze Koichi 8th Sep 2018, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
But you can have, for example, Fallout MLP roleplay. Even if I personally don't like such extreme example, being a game about ponies doesn't automatically make it a game for kids.
Lethologica 8th Sep 2018, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
That holds just as true for regular MLP roleplay as for Fallout MLP roleplay. The entire comic up to this point proves that regular MLP roleplay isn't automatically for kids. The idea that making the setting bleak is how we show it isn't for kids is the very idea Guest is writing against in the first place.

Whether that's actually DMcord's mindset is another story.
Freemage 10th Sep 2018, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
Or, it could be that DMCord heard "an adventure setting with cute magical ponies centered around friendship" and thought, "Hey, the way to really demonstrate friendship's importance in the setting is to test it to the limits, by removing some of the crutches that make friendship easy."

By removing the Elements of Harmony and their associated traits, he's putting the Mane Six into a situation where their friendship needs to stand on its own, sans the sometimes lazy fix that comes from assigning a friend of yours a particular role in your life.

The problems are coming in, in no small part, because so much of the players are also manifest in their characters--and thus, what's meant to be a test of their IC friendship-magic is also testing their OOC friendship--an outcome that we can't be sure DMCord intended.
Tempestfury 8th Sep 2018, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Man. A lot of people shitting on DiscordDM again. Talking about how this all makes sense now, that the DM idolizes DiscordDM, and because of that is absolutely blind how much of a complete and utter asshole he is!

... Yeah, no. Digo seems to get the best gist of it. DMs and Players are all about interactions, first and foremost, and sometimes the dynamic between the DMs and Players just... doesn't fit.

Especially as the DiscordDM is NOT an asshole, just imperfect. Just look at his interactions with Pinkie Pie, Rarity and RD. First, he actively works with the player, discussing what would be the most fun and enjoyable for them as a player to do, in order to change things up a bit, and he only implements an idea that he KNOWs Pinkie Pie would be happy with.

That, alone, marks him clearly on him NOT being some type of asshole DM who is there to beat the party or is trying to make a bleak/cynical campaign, he's simply trying to make it engaging and a challenge for them. But look at the others two: Rarity? She loves politics, intrigue, and tricker, which Discord plays to with a T... and after he reveals his trick, she honestly congratulates him on it, and goes along with her curse quite well. RD? He accepts her reasoning for her actions, and actively allows her to take physical action against his avatar. Sure, it doesn't actually WORK... but it still felt good to be able to punch that bastard's head so hard it exploded!

Sure, he's not been perfect. AJ's treatment is a bit... mean, but to be fair, AJ really needs to learn how to tone down her metagaming. (Remember when she drove the DM to the point of a TPK? I do!), and Fluttershy. Which is mainly due to miscommunication and misunderstanding of each other on both parts. Especially as Discord then goes on to show that no. Fluttershy is NOT trapped to take a curse: RD gets away with one completely, but not falling into the chaos at all.

Seriously, I don't see where people dislike him so much. He's just... different from the previous DM, that's all. And you need to remember, having a long-running, arc-villain was the DM's original idea from the very start. The MLP verse was big and expansive, and he had many different questlines and steps from the cast to slowly build themselves up to be ready to take on Nightmare Moon... only for that to be swept out underneath him, so much so that he didn't think he could continue the campaign because all of his careful planning went down the drain.

This is just the DM returning to his original plan: A long-running arc villain that they need to spend a long time building up to beat.

Least that's how I see it.
Tyrantviewer 8th Sep 2018, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
That might actually be the reason for DiscordDm's approach, he knows the normal Dm wanted a long running villian and the players derailed things, so he is trying to create or at least explore that with Discord.

Whether he is trying to help his friend by setting up a long running plot, or trying to stop the players from derailing thing again, or just trying things out knowing how things happened the first time is all up in the air.

But I feel a lot of this makes sense- especialy in the context of a friendship lesson, if DiscordDm is trying to help or impress his friend and possibly going over the top a bit.

I think it is all still a great game, I would be having fun, but I can see how things could go wrong, ad the two dms both trying to impress each other or otherwise having different ideas of where to go, would explain a bit
Kaze Koichi 8th Sep 2018, 8:41 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, Rarity, completely loved his work. That's why she is the first to complain about it. One should remember that R is the most experienced player in the group. She knows that you shouldn't start an argument in the middle of the game: then the game simply stops, and could go on halt for ours. After the game is a safe bet: this is where you discuss any problem that appeared during the game and try to prevent any more conflicts from happening. R clearly doesn't think this should continue.

I find it hillarious that when G tried to do similar thing (only not backed up by DM's power), not a single voice was raised in her defense. But when we talk about Discord (and DDM by proxy), a lot of people spend extra effort to excuse him.
Tempestfury 9th Sep 2018, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
@Kaze: Yeah. No. Gilda was an asshole who wanted to turn the game into an optimized, number-crunching battle game. When the game was much more about the unique settings and its roleplaying. DiscordDM is playing exactly to the characters, the setting, and the game they want to play. Specifically tailoring the individual challenges they've faced against the players and characters.

The reason we spend extra time defending DiscordDM is that he's not just a straight-up bad person, trying to change the game against the whims of the other players. Gilda did, though in her defence, when called out, she admitted she was wrong and changed for it.

As for Rarity? I didn't say she LOVED the work, at all. I simply said that she reacted positively to it. And no, she is NOT saying that the game is bad, that DiscordDM is bad, and the game shouldn't continue. Stop putting words in her mouth. She's simply uncertain about whenever or not introducing DiscordDM is a good idea based on the dynamic of the group.

@GrayGriffin: Okay. Firstly. WTF are you talking about? He didn't attack Pinkie's irl insecurities at all. Neither is he getting oversenesitive about every insult aimed at his character. He's taken quite a lot of verbal abuse directed at Discord, and rolled with it easily. Heck, are you sure we're reading the same webcomic?

Because what I'm seeing is a DM who got frustrated ONE time when he thought a player was calling him out on Railroading when that wasn't the case at all. Apart from that, he's taken the information he's been given about the world and its characters, and specifically worked to try and challenge them in creative and personal ways in which they can enjoy. He's not actively trying to turn the party against each other, he's challenging their dynamic, there's a difference.
Kereea 9th Sep 2018, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
Same. I also think he hasn't confronted Twilight because she's so good at accidentally sending things off the rails and so he's confident at her ability to deal with whatever he does given what he's been told from the usual DM. I genuinely believe that other than AJ's curse, which I think is to punish her tendency to metagame, really none of the curses are as extreme as in the show and given both RD not being cursed and Fluttershy easily roping Twilight in on what's up, they have a LOT of opportunities to undo this. But he may have overestimated Twilight's ability to break the narrative, especially when under this kind of stress.

Going by what we have so far, D-DM seems to simply be trying to take the Elements of Harmony out of play given their OP properties since they're an obvious thing to use against him and so there needs to be a reason why. Flipping some of the elements is a good way to do that, but since the main power is Friendship if the ponies overcome the issue he can still be beaten.

Plus he's trying to make it roleplaying heavy, this other than RD everyone in this group tends to prefer the rp side of things. And with roleplaying, the biggest rule is that you can get away with almost anything if you can justify it so, again, he's left them a HUGE way to find ways to beat him.

Short version: Discord is honestly trying to provide a good and fun experience. Outside of the little outburst with Fluttershy he's been very accommodating and even makes sure people are okay with what he's doing. But he may have made a few wrong calculations as to how the group will handle this exact kind of stress.
GrayGriffin 9th Sep 2018, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
@tempestfury: Um, her insecurities about not fitting in and her friends not liking her RP? Which we had a whole arc about? Also "refuse to engage" is a perfectly good reaction to a trickster, and as a matter of fact often the best way to engage with trickster figures in myth. And then Discord got pissy when Fluttershy tried to explain her OOC motivations for her IC actions and refused to listen to any further explanation.
Tempestfury 9th Sep 2018, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
@Gray Right. The insecurities he knows absolutely nothing about, and when she said she did not want to RP too crazily, he respected instantly and moved on.

Seriously, he did nothing wrong. You're making him out as an asshole when the only main blunder was due to miscommunication.
GrayGriffin 9th Sep 2018, 7:07 PM edit delete reply
@Tempest: A miscommunication that he refused to clear up.
Anaja 8th Sep 2018, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
This. This just about sums up my thoughts.
GrayGriffin 8th Sep 2018, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, there are ways to run an arc-long villain without turning the whole party against each other and getting oversensitive about every insult aimed at your character. (Which, by the way, is yet another aspect of my old terrible DM.) The party has how many NPC friends and family? Discord could just as easily curse them to show off his abilities. Rainbow's presence shows that show canon is no obstacle to what "should" happen. Plus you seem to forget how his "nice" treatment of Pinkie involved attacking her OOC insecurities.
Jennifer 8th Sep 2018, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
Speaking as someone who hasn't really seen anything from season 6 on, what eps are these from? I like the look of the costumes.
GrayGriffin 9th Sep 2018, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Discord and Celestia outfits are from Make New Friends But Keep Discord. Don't know the Rarity one off the top of my head.
Capn_Boxers 9th Sep 2018, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
Man, I don't know why everyone automatically associates DiscorDM with bad DMs they've had previously. I've played for years, had plenty of bad DMs of one type or another and DiscorDM seems like he'd be a blast to play with. He gave players an obstacle that's tailored to them and challenging, but fair. Dash wasn't cursed so we know they weren't unavoidable.

I just don't get why some people take any excuse to associate someone with something negative and hate them.
ThatGuest 9th Sep 2018, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
For me something has just about Discord DM, insert squinty Fry picture here. Add to that now the regular DM having an.....almost unsettling appreciation of him and if you've ever watched any amount of TV this tends to be a bad sign.

How many shows and movies have there been where someone sings someone's praises so hard then that person turns out to be at best a prick, at worst a total sociopath. (Not that I think Discord is the latter, just the former.) This also feels like a setup for the DM to get a handle on some of their own self doubt and insecurity problems. Likely if/when things go crashing down they'll blame themselves and not Discord and even Discord might blame them just to make things worse because I feel like at this point Discord is not the kind of guy who ever thinks he's the problem, it's always someone else's fault. Discord's ego feels like it's around the level of Gaston's.
GrayGriffin 9th Sep 2018, 8:11 AM edit delete reply
I put up with my bad DM for years too, and it took a long time for me to realize just how bad he was. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt but his behavior clearly goes over the line more than once.
Tempestfury 9th Sep 2018, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
Except he's doing nothing that crosses any line even once?
Kereminde 9th Sep 2018, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
@GrayGriffin: I think you might be projecting a little, based on your personal experience. Most of your complaints to this point seem to devolve into holding up your old, bad GM as the example of who this is.

It's not them. It's someone else. This is on level with Keyleth hate, for making me uncomfortable reading comments.
GrayGriffin 9th Sep 2018, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
1. Used Pinkie's OOC issues to get her to agree to being cursed IC (thanks to RD, we know that the curse can be avoided.)
2. Stormed out after one miscommunication and refused to clear it up
3. Gave the rest of the players nothing to do after reuniting and only thought of it after the normal DM pointed it out

@Kereminde: When I see direct parallels, I point them out. And quite frankly I'm sick and tired of all the DiscorDM apologism going around in the comments.
Kereminde 10th Sep 2018, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
Well, two things. First, it's your problem then, not ours. Secondly, you could always do what I'm about to and stop reading the comments.

Just pretend it's YouTube.
Story Time 9th Sep 2018, 4:21 AM edit delete reply
Mentors... never forget them, as they had and will be a great part of your hobby or life...

Any good story that want to share about your mentor?
Winged Cat 10th Sep 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
This seems to potentially be a very good comparison.

And is this a cue for what episodes guest writers should base guest comics on in the next intermission? ;)