Page 1149 - Spark Into Flames

29th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 2
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Spark Into Flames
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 29th Nov 2018, 5:00 AM edit delete
...I think I might be learning a little bit about gaslighting by writing this arc and this interpretation of this character. Kind of a scary thought.

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



ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 5:12 AM edit delete reply
So Twilight's true colors are being frustrated, angry and annoyed when she's being ignored and those around her are being either unhelpful or detrimental to the goal of playing a game that they all came over to play?

Pretty sure that's a normal human reaction.

However I applaud Spud for writing such an infuriating asshole well. In RL at this point Discord would have a chair in mid flight aimed at his head. That or my DM would have thrown him out a window an hour ago and told him if he ever came near his house again he'd kick the crap out of him.
Digo Dragon 29th Nov 2018, 5:32 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wait, only one pony left untouched? What about Rainbow Dash? Thought she wasn't cursed either, unless it was super subtle?

I consider much of Twilight's frustration to be IC, but I agree that it would be a normal reaction even OOC. As I've mentioned before, AJ's curse was the only one that would have prevented her from being helpful. Any helpfulness the others didn't provide was their choice to make.

The GM really should have stepped in more, but he/she let this train drive itself off the rails. I've been in a game where players started into an argument IC, it spills OOC, and the GM just sat there on their smartphone instead of putting the breaks to work things out. I as a player tried to calm the scene, but when the GM doesn't back me up, there wasn't much I could do on the argument. The game ended up dissolving and the group stopped meeting for a while.

A couple weeks later one of the players from the argument suffered a heart attack at work. He didn't survive the surgery. That group never came back together since then, and it was a tragedy that our last session ended so sour and since there was no way to make amends to one of the players. So yeah, don't be like that GM and just watch an argument unfold. Step in and calm the situation. Take charge and negotiate peace.
Smiles 29th Nov 2018, 5:39 AM edit delete reply
Bets that this is the GM's "Wait, what?"

IDK, Twilight didn't actually try and RP getting through the curse, she went straight to 'use elements, fix problem'. That seems like what Discord would've predicted her to do OOC, so it really feels like she's the one he's talking about. I guess the question is if he had to curse RD or if she really got off scott free due to not caring about Cloudsdale.
THE OTHER GUEST 29th Nov 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
What would she "RP through"? She wasn't "Cursed" like the rest of them, and as an outsider to their drama has a different perspective on their altered behavior. She didn't have anything instigating her as a player to act differently IC (other than her mounting understandable frustration over how uncooperative her friends are being), and her usual M.O. IC is to try and Solve the Problem in front of her, and she does "RP" through most of that when appropriate.

To this point, no-one in the party so far has anything along the lines of "Remove Curse", either as an ability or utility item, and the Elements were a known Purifying Force previously, so trying to find them was made a priority, made more-so since that seemed to be where they were being lead by their regular GM.

Comments she's made previously have given me the impression that she does have a different idea of how to get rid of her Friends' curses, but that she hasn't acted to pursue that course of action makes me think it's either Longer odds, or exponentially less expedient than if the Elements had Worked.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
A GM shouldn't be afraid to eject someone either. We were trying to get a superhero game off the ground one time and we were all introducing our characters. Mine was a very standard golden age style hero, colorful, peppy, upbeat, kinda like the animated Flash from the older justice league cartoon. Well a couple of the other players wanted to be violent, edgelord punisher type "heroes" and started ripping into how stupid they thought my character was and how childish and pathetic it was that I wanted to make someone, you know, heroic.

In no time the GM told them that we weren't playing the game and they needed to get out. When they tried to downplay it and convince him things were fine he -very- firmly told them to get out NOW. He also made it clear that they would never be welcome back at anything he was involved in and he blocked them on everything he could.
Scytale 29th Nov 2018, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
Perhaps an excessive reaction, but then again, I understand where he's coming from. Sometimes, you just want to nip the problem in the bud before drama, anger, and headaches unfold. Not taking any chances and all that.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Well it was also a factor that he had invited them into his home, to play a game that he had worked hard on, and one of the first things they did was not only start complaining about his setting but also insulting his friend and telling them that the character he knew they had worked on was trash (among other things).

It'd be like getting invited over to someone's house for dinner and one of the first things you say is how lousy you think their family cooked. You shouldn't be surprised when you get shoved out the door pretty fast.
Scytale 29th Nov 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Sure, no argument there!
Evilbob 29th Nov 2018, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Damn, Digo! That sounds like something straight out of a soap opera!
Digo Dragon 29th Nov 2018, 7:29 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Maybe it sound a bit soapy, but sometimes art imitates life. I still miss that player. One of the few local friends I had who was an enabler for my pony habit even though he never watched the show.
Boris Carlot 29th Nov 2018, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
@Digo Rainbow was "touched" in that she was directly challenged, but she didn't take the bait so she wasn't cursed. Twi never had a maze moment.
Matiekay_13 29th Nov 2018, 9:06 AM Discord messing with everypony edit delete reply
Re: "pony left untouched", Discord had one-on-one sessions with everypony except Twilight. Rainbow Dash *did* avoid getting cursed, but her solution to the trolley scenario Discord presented her with pissed off some of RD's party members.
Digo Dragon 29th Nov 2018, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Some? Pissed off AJ, but I think everyone else understood it was a lose-lose choice so Dash picked what kept the team together longer.
Tyrantviewer 29th Nov 2018, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
I think the true colors discord is talking about is how Twilight is approaching the problem- she isn't rping, she isn't trying to think up clever solutions, she just went for the "I win" button and keeps blowing up at the others ooc for things they do ic.

All of this is reasonable but also align with what Discord may see as a problematic player- Twilight broke the DM's first campaign and doesn't so much Roleplay as just act as herself. I can see Discord seeing a player that plays themselves, powergames, and throws things off the rails as needing a lesson in how to enjoy the game- in how to RP or come up with an in character solution- His whole approach in this session has been to use the player's irl weaknesses to force them to roleplay weaknesses in game, and have fun doing it, or at least commit to it, to the point that they continue to do so even when it would make them lose.

My point is that I can see two outcomes of this story, 1 the DM spurs twilight in the right direction she breaks the curses and they beat discord without learning his "lesson" or whatever he was trying to do, or 2 Twilight ends up rping a solution and they all beat discord and he gracefully bows out happy that they learned to enjoy that aspect of the game a bit more, enjoy what can happen when you embrace the fantasy while playing.
ThatGuest 30th Nov 2018, 2:41 AM edit delete reply
The thing is that they were pretty much explicitly told the only thing that would work on Discord is the elements. After all he already demonstrated his ability to just switch Twilight's magic off without needing to roll or anything and his chaos magic is immune to her dispels anyway. Dash already tried the combat option and Discord just teleported away. Their only solution left is the elements so having that totally shut down means Discord is invulnerable and can one shot them if he feels like it.
Guest 30th Nov 2018, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
I like how you pretend that Twilight didn't go for "clever solutions" in your effort to discredit her.

Celestia, Discord and everyone else straight up said only the Elements of Harmony could defeat Discord. The group was tasked with finding the Elements. And Twilight was among the first to say the Elements weren't likely to work with the ponies in those states and that they needed to leave and regroup.

But by all mean, continue saying she just went for the "I win" button rather than trying to thing upclever solutions.
Ranakastrasz 30th Nov 2018, 9:32 AM edit delete reply

Yep. Thats a typical reaction to Discord.

I think I read about someone attempting the same to Celestia
Gamemaster80 29th Nov 2018, 5:14 AM edit delete reply
And here... We...go.
Greenhornet 29th Nov 2018, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
Pony 'splosion in five... four... three...
Tempestfury 29th Nov 2018, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Very apt quote there... one way or another, things are going to unfold, and we'll see just what these people are like... both in character, and out.

Really hope that DiscordM is not an asshole, just someone whose DMing style hasn't clicked well with ENTIRE the party. As its certainly worked with some.
GrayGriffin 29th Nov 2018, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Newbiespud literally just used the word "gaslighting" in the commentary while describing how he wrote Discord's character. As in, the abuse tactic. So no, he is not just "not meshing well."
Godzfirefly 29th Nov 2018, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
I could be wrong, but I don't think Spud said Discord is gaslighting anyone...
Tempestfury 29th Nov 2018, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
As Godzfirefly said, Spud didn't say that Discord was gaslighting ANYONE.

Especially as I don't see any attempts to make any of the characters question their own sanity at any point of the story.
Plerf 29th Nov 2018, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
I mean, anything can mean anything you want as long as you interpret it the way you want.
Dreok Crushedthroat 29th Nov 2018, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
Researching gaslighting for the purpose of ensuring the character you write doesn't cross that line is a just as valid conclusion
Malroth 29th Nov 2018, 6:01 PM edit delete reply
Or in researching fluttershy's assumption.
GrayGriffin 29th Nov 2018, 7:48 PM edit delete reply
Considering he also said "this arc" and "this interpretation of his character," I'm pretty sure it's not just for that one scene. Otherwise he'd probably have mentioned it back then during that actual scene.
Anony 29th Nov 2018, 5:29 AM edit delete reply
The "Twilight showed her true colors by being annoyed by a shitty situation" one? Yeah, that one's definitely bullshit.

The "I didn't force you tell Yell at each other" one? Spot on. None of the curses had any forced antagonistic behavior built into them. "Don't reveal the plan you know in detail", "Play an action movie star", "Be obsessive about this prop", and "Tell people what's really on your mind". All of those can be played without being a douche to other players. The worst one is Fluttershy's as he did apply it to her spitefully while personally offended IRL, but the GM gave her an out and she could still roleplay that in a less unfriendly way.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy's situation is when I lost a lot of respect for the main GM. Shouting at or insulting a player? No, you get out of my house right now before I call the police, and then kick your ass until they arrive. That's the moment that really in hindsight made it seem like the GM cares more about the pedistal they've placed Discord on than their own game and players.
Tempestfury 29th Nov 2018, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Jesus fucking christ people must walk on eggshells around you as if they make one fucking mistake you'll go fucking psycho on them!

I literally cannont take anything you say seriously anymore. If THAT'S your response to an misunderstanding and mistake from both parties response, then how the hell am I meant to expect anything you say to be reasonable?
you know that guy 29th Nov 2018, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Tempestfury, you seem to be saying that you strongly disagree with ThatGuest's interpretation of and reaction to DiscordGM's actions such that you don't think ThatGuest is reasonable at all.

But in another comment on this page, you express uncertainty as to DiscordGM's motivations.

I think ThatGuest's reaction would be extreme, but stemming from a reasonable interpretation of DiscordGM's actions, and I believe your outrage, although not outscaling the reaction, is much less reasonable than the reaction.
Tempestfury 29th Nov 2018, 12:34 PM edit delete reply
How the fuck does the fact that I expressed uncertianity as DiscordGM's motivation, mean that my shock at seeing someone showing psychopathic behivour mean my reaction is unreasonable?

One person is going 'Let's kick the shit out of this asshole because he made one mistake when compared to an emotional abuser!' The other is going 'Holy fucking shit dude what the fuck?!'
Mr Wednesday 29th Nov 2018, 2:18 PM edit delete reply

Getting angry like this doesn't help your credibility anymore than it does that of the person you're criticizing. I think ThatGuest is a little bit over the top talking about physically ejecting DiscorDM from the game, but two things: 1) ThatGuest has always had stronger feelings on this topic than I have, and written accordingly. 2) I can't judge ThatGuest's life. I don't have enough information.

In any case, ejecting DiscorDM at this point wouldn't fix any of the problems at the table, given how much the Main GM had a role in precipitating them.

Now about the gaslighting, all I can see is Fluttershy's observation that Discord is shifting the blame, just like she said he would. As far as I can tell, that's a barb at Twilight, not her player.

My feeling at this point is that Main GM may not have been in good control of this session. They went to DiscorDM with this specific idea, but nothing else, and seems surprised by how DiscorDM has chosen to handle their agreed-upon objective.
Guest 29th Nov 2018, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Took you long enough.

This arc is bringing out the worst in everyone, it seems.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
It's called comedic exaggeration. I'll take some fault for apparently not being obvious enough about it, but it's somewhat of a joke between me and my friends that despite being very quiet and subdued, when I get mad I turn into a pro wrestler or something. It stems from a scenario where some bad players were trying to throw me under the bus online by describing me chewing them out during a session over their bad behavior as me going completely mental and throwing chairs, tables and punching holes in walls even though the most extreme I got was calling them all "creepy assholes". Since then we've always enjoyed exaggerating about what we'd do in situations in over the top almost action movie ways.

Anything on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if you pictured me in RL doing or threatening people with obviously illegal things like assaulting them or flinging them out windows like it's a western bar fight. Would I actually assault Discord? As cathartic as it'd feel, no. Would I call him an asshole and tell him to get out of my house? Yes.
Mr Wednesday 29th Nov 2018, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
@ThatGuest, I completely understand. I hope I didn’t offend you. I certainly don’t have any moral high ground here. I’m that special combination of judgy and grudge-holdy. So if I met DiscorDM in real life I wouldn’t even speak to him again after a mess like this.

Incidentally, this talk of pro wrestlers reminds me of that Hulkamania joke from from Kimmy Schmidt!
Mr. Guy 29th Nov 2018, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, it'shard to tell what is and isn't hyperbole in your reactions given your response to Discord in this arc, so I'm on Tempest's side on this one.

But I still have to marvel at how Discord has
continued to cause chaos and disharmony in the comments just as much as in the story.
Archone 1st Dec 2018, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
I'm in agreement with Tempestfury here. ThatGuest, you're reminding me of... well, this:
Greenhornet 29th Nov 2018, 5:32 AM edit delete reply
"He'll make a fatal mistake eventually."
Knowing Discord, he's already made that fatal mistake just for fun!
Smiles 29th Nov 2018, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Twilight... has been a little too into this. She's 100% focused on the win, on getting through and overcoming the challenge, and Discord is playing with that. I dunno, guess I'm in a minority: he's definetly mucking with her and this sorta challenge is one that needs clear boundaries. (it's ultimately messing with someone OOC.) but for an RP focused challenge...

ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
I think one possible thing that could make things get completely out of hand is if Discord reveals that the GM has been complaining about the party to him, to reveal how he knew exactly how to manipulate each player personally. With emotions already hot, hearing that their GM has been badmouthing them to strangers they don't know behind their backs will be like a bomb going off.
Mr Wednesday 29th Nov 2018, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
I don't know about that, ThatGuest. I've been assuming that MainGM briefed DiscorDM on the strengths and weaknesses of the group so he could tailor their curses.

Then again I don't feel like this situation was very premeditated. I think it began as a result of Main GM's attempt to bring a new big bad (a perfectly reasonable idea given they'd just won a major victory and rolled up their previous antagonist's whole operation) and from DiscorDM's enthusiasm (along with his way of making people play HIS way)

Every problem that's occurred in the session has come from mismanagement more than
malice. Both GM's have failed to manage expectations, or reassure players. The cursed
players have gotten distracted and failed to think creatively. Twilight has failed to keep her cool (however justified she is, she's been snapping at everyone for a long time now).

What's been broken here isn't the group dynamic, but the social contract. Nobody is
acting like it's a group experience anymore. Even the GM's who created this situation don't seem to want the same things out of it.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
Those are good points. I'm just pointing out one viable way this powder keg could go off. Discord could bring up how the GM thought they ruined her games in various ways, maybe called Twilight a munchkin behind her back at some point. That would probably break Twilight as well as get the rest of the party really pissed off. We'll see what ends up being the match in the gas.
obscurereader 29th Nov 2018, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
At this point, I'm just glad we're getting to the explosion rather than waiting even longer for it to happen. It's been excruciating getting to this point, and I feel like the metaphorical explosion has been imminent since this arc started.
Guest 29th Nov 2018, 5:44 AM edit delete reply
I'm 200% on twilight's side here, but the tough-guy flexing of how "I'd totally beat up Discord irl and call the cops and kick him out of my house" is a bit excessive. He's CelestiaDM's friend and there's no doubt that he's a perfectly fine person who is making a shitty first impression and failing to click with an established group dynamic. CelestiaDM's failures to mediate are a failure to handle the situation but I dont think anyone is showing any sort of unforgivable moral failings. We're far too eager to paint others as unredeemable caricatures.

I mean the worst thing Discord has done so far was when he blew up at fluttershy, which was SUPER not cool, but it was an emotional reaction to being compared to an emotional abuser, which he took personally. Not a cool thing to do but I dont think it's an inherent characteristic... it's just been a shitty situation all around.
MiqoRems 29th Nov 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
He's not 'failing to click' with an established group dynamic, he's deliberately attacking an established group dynamic with the explicit goal of breaking it.
Tempestfury 29th Nov 2018, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
There is absolutely no proof that Discord is explicitly trying to break the group dynamic out of character.
Winged Cat 29th Nov 2018, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Why would NS have mentioned "gaslighting" in this commentary, if Discord's behavior was not - in the mind of NS, who knows the characters better than anyone else - intentional gaslighting?

That's all the proof I need.
Tempestfury 30th Nov 2018, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
Oh I don't know, how about you read the many reasons people have already given as to why Spuds comment doesn't mean that Discord is malicious in his actions
obscurereader 30th Nov 2018, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
Question: at this point, does it really matter if Discord has been malicious or not in his actions? Whether or not it was meant, Discord's actions are kind of causing the group to implode in on itself (with Discord/DiscordDM, unintentionally or otherwise, speeding it along into a gigantic trainwreck through how he's approaching this as a whole), so I'm not sure if the lack of malice helps in this case.
ChaoticBrain 29th Nov 2018, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
Uhhhh, Rainbow Dash? You wanna step in and add your two bits here?
Scytale 29th Nov 2018, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
Oooh, I sure am looking forward to what will come next! Of course, I'm hoping that everyone will finally rip Discord a new one and that he'll finally fall from that pedestal the GM (and himself) has put him on, but we'll see.

What's more worrying, though, is what the aftermath of it all will be. Discord was clearly the source of the whole mess, but AJ, Pinkie, Rarity, and most of all the GM are also at fault for playing along and not raising their voices when things went to heck.

Hopefully, this'll be an opportunity for everyone to talk it out and clear the air. Some of the problems that unfolded were just symptoms of bigger issues (like the GM being frequently dissatisfied with how the players have reacted to the challenges presented), which should be addressed instead of letting them fester.
GrayGriffin 29th Nov 2018, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Okay, now that Spud has literally used the word "gaslighting" in his commentary, can we finally stop with all the "oh DiscorDM is a perfectly good guy with fine intentions who didn't mean to hurt anyone" apologism? He's a gaslighter. The comic writer said so, right in the commentary outside of the work.
Scytale 29th Nov 2018, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
And yet, some people are still defending him and acting offended when other commenters criticize him.
Kereminde 29th Nov 2018, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
. . . did he, though?

"...I think I might be learning a little bit about gaslighting by writing this arc and this interpretation of this character. Kind of a scary thought."

Does not translate directly to:

"Discord is totally gaslighting them like a douche."

Be careful not to reach too far for the pitchfork, neighbor.
THE OTHER GUEST 29th Nov 2018, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
The point still stands that, even if it's not deliberate on DiscorDM's part, that's exactly what he's doing. Good people don't do that sort of thing, even subconsciously. Accidentally, possibly, but once they realize what they've done they usually apologize to the person they've wronged and try to work thing out to everyone's benefit.

I find Discord's obsession with the player's "True Colors" to be somewhat telling in regards to his manipulations. Yes, the argument could be made that these are aspects of these people's personalities, but it's hardly ALL that the players are. What Discord has done is manipulate the situation so that those traits in the players would be exacerbated and their positives overshadowed, and like their Sprites in the Show/Comic, their Real "True Colors" have been faded and washed out by focusing so much on that one aspect.

Through that, deliberately or not, he's indirectly manipulating Twilight so that she would become frustrated and angry and potentially lash out at her friends in her "Need For Control". Discord's dialogue in pannels 3 & 4, and more importantly Twilight and the GM's reaction to his monologue, give me the impression that he's quite Smug and Proud of all of this infighting, which makes me think that it's all been deliberate.
MiqoRems 29th Nov 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
In general, I'd say that when somebody who has, if not explicitly at the very list HEAVILY implied to be the victim of serious gaslighting and abuse, is calling you out on gaslighting? It's probably gaslighting.
Winged Cat 29th Nov 2018, 2:52 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Kereminde: Yes, it does directly translate. Discord is a gaslighter. So says NS, who is writing him.
Kereminde 29th Nov 2018, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
No, once again, he didn't say it here.

"...I think I might be learning a little bit about gaslighting by writing this arc and this interpretation of this character. Kind of a scary thought."

Reading into it that DiscorDM is doing that is exactly what makes the kind of manipulation being done here work. So far he's not wrong in what he's said, as literally he gave the players no direction and they pushed it to the high drama watermark point.

This isn't gaslighting. It's manipulative, but it's not gaslighting.
Borg 29th Nov 2018, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Really, Spud is saying that Spud is gaslighting the characters (through the proxy of DiscorDM). Whether DiscorDM is deliberately gaslighting is an independent issue.

Personally, I subscribe to the theory that DiscorDM has severely misjudged the line between messing with the players' heads in a fun way and messing with the players' heads in an awful way. After all, DiscorDM can't be all bad, or our main DM wouldn't hold such a high opinion of them.
MiqoRems 29th Nov 2018, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Rose-tinted glasses and hero worship can make people overlook/forget about wayyyyyyy more than you seem to realize.
GrayGriffin 29th Nov 2018, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
Gaslighting is something done to a person, by another person with specific intentions. The author of a story writing things going badly for a character is not gaslighting, unless you're writing a story that breaks the fourth wall. And he's not. Just say DiscorDM is being the gaslighting one instead of this bizarre "being a proxy for Spud" thing.
Putt 29th Nov 2018, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
If Newbiespud thinks he's writing a gaslighting character, he's just wrong. If he's trying to write a gaslighting character, he's failing. As presented, Discord is neither gaslighting nor abusive.
Troubleshooter 29th Nov 2018, 8:56 PM edit delete reply
He's toed the line up until now, but I'd be surprised if he didn't cross it in the next few pages. This story was always going to end in a meltdown, and while his treatment of certain characters is... I'm going to say excusable and hope it doesn't start a fight, it's also more than a little weird if it's treated as completely okay. In real life, some people can just come across as a jerk and we move on afterward, but in stories, people are jerks for some purpose in the story.

Of course, that's not a rule and I could just be straight up wrong.
MiqoRems 29th Nov 2018, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Dude's got a weird effin' definition of "mild".
Guest 29th Nov 2018, 11:29 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure that was on purpose, specifically to irritate her more.
Kyu 29th Nov 2018, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
I don’t think anyone here is 100% on the right or wrong, but it’s weird to see how much the comments will utterly vilify a character into being the worst kind of person, be it DiscordGM or Twilight’s player.
ThatGuest 29th Nov 2018, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
One of my reasons for thinking Discord is doing this on purpose is, ironically how experienced the GM said he is. The main GM may be oblivious to what's going on, but if Discord really is as much of a vet as they say he is, it'd be crazy to think that he doesn't realize that the tension from all this is getting out of hand. The fact that he would keep trying to escalate things and poke the party more makes it seem like he's doing it on purpose.

I know nothing is going to happen like this in the comic but if I was ever in a game where things were getting this tense I'd start being concerned that someone was going to start throwing fists at someone if the wrong thing was said.
Mr Wednesday 29th Nov 2018, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
I’m inclined to agree with ThatGuest. If DiscorDM is so experienced, he should definitely know better. He should have a sense that people are starting to have anit-fun. Then again, he is avowedly pretty arrogant, so he might just not be worried because he thinks he’s got this handled with his Mad Skillz.
Guest 29th Nov 2018, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
This is the second time the 'Discord' player has used the "showing their true colours" line OC. At this point, he almost seems to be maliciously attacking group members and trying to cause drama. Like when he blew up at Fluttershy's player, who's established to have anxiety issues.
Kereminde 29th Nov 2018, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I think it's a standard tool in his games for character-driven things. "Let's see who they are in the dark" is something which can work, provided the players don't take it personally and the GM is very careful to keep separate themselves and the game-state.

I get the feeling DiscorDM heard this wound up being character-centric and decided to pull this angle because he wanted to challenge the players and the characters together. And now he's in full "professional" mode where he won't abort or "break character" even if it's going too far too fast.
GrayGriffin 29th Nov 2018, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
That's not "professional" at all. A professional should be able to diagnose problems and realize that they may need to change their perspective or way of doing things to solve them instead of charging ahead anyways. DiscorDM should have hashed things out OOC with everyone instead of just Fluttershy ages ago.
Kereminde 30th Nov 2018, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
Really? It does depend on the person, but what I mean is - "professionals" doing a job/role are going to stick to it. DiscorDM is going to stick to the role he's picked out and staked himself as, for better or worse, to be consistent except for a time when the game isn't going on.
MiqoRems 1st Dec 2018, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
He's a DM. His job/role is to *make sure the players have fun*, which he's failing miserably at.
HappyEevee 29th Nov 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Ooooh, the tension! Can't wait to see what happens next! Keep up the good work, Newbiespud!
Cyborg7221 29th Nov 2018, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
I'm not saying that Twilight is necessarily "right" or "wrong" here, but her behavior throughout the Discord arc is nothing new for her character. And actually, I think the same can be said of the rest of the group.

The entire Nightmare Moon arc consists of new-player Twilight awkwardly downplaying or avoiding the roleplay aspects of the game, in favor of actively seeking solutions to the tangible problem at hand. The lesson was supposed to be that she needs to think less, and trust her friends more... but I'm not entirely sure if that lesson was ever really properly learned.

In the Dragon episode, Twilight takes an even more active lead in the group, because she had more information from the DM going into the session. She also approached the problem with her trademark head for strategy, but never stopped to consider the other players around the table- most notably, Fluttershy. She was so caught up in her brilliant plan that she failed to notice that Flutters was going through an emotional meltdown! Contrast with Applejack, who started to notice the issue early on, and actively worked with Fluttershy's player to work through it.
Another interesting aspect of this ark is the way the party sort of went at it one-at-a-time in the absence of clear direction. This lack of focus reoccurs during the Discord arc, albeit at a much more exaggerated level; but it's still definitely foreshadowed early on.

In "Feeling Pinky Keen," we saw another instance in which Twilight was infuriated by the sessions apparent lack of logic or clarity, ultimately leading to her taking it out on her friends.

Twi takes a back seat during the Gala arc, but in retrospect she seemed to hit her stride alongside the rest of the group, being presented with a number of complex problems that need to be solved with unconventional solutions. She, Rarity, and Applejack worked really well together, analyzing available information, acting on it, and balancing all of that with in-character justifications. Meanwhile, Pinkie, Dash, and even Fluttershy were each given some amazing opportunities to roleplay and just have fun. In my opinion, the Gala Arc was this table at its healthiest.

BUT! As you may recall, there was actually a bit of an adjustment period before they actually started to make the social roleplaying work: Zecorra, then the Parasprites/Diamond Dogs (a mostly improvised session resulting from Twilight solving the original plot within one round of combat), before they finally realized- AND learned how to provide- what the players wanted out of this game.

But just like any campaign, the MLP game has always had a delicate balance between combat and RP. The only difference is that the ponies tend to swing more toward the RP side of things. But combat still needed to happen from time to time, in order to satisfy players like Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle in the long run.

Which brings us to... Discord. Dissatisfied with the types of stories s/he ended up telling in this campaign, the DM wanted to go back to a more diabolical villain, end-of-the-world setup, as originally planned; in terms of plotting, that seems to be their actual comfort zone.

The main conflict arises from a fundamental conflict of who wants what out of the game. The DM wants to introduce the group to an old friend, and do something bold and ambitious like they've never done before; the Gala was quite a feat, and they want to try and top it. And all of the players just want a fun game... but that's where the trouble starts.

Pinkie Pie and Rarity are most at home roleplaying their characters, and love the new roleplaying opportunities afforded by this adventure.
Fluttershy's curse is interesting, because all evening she's been comparing Discord to what I assume to be a previous emotional abuser that she's still trying to come to terms with. However, at this session she's had the chance to let loose a little; unleash her wild side for once. Based on the fact that she played into her curse instead of reducing or dropping it, she seems to be having fun, and maybe even a bit of catharsis.
Rainbow Dash prefers combat and ass-kicking, but Discord opened by literally clipping her wings so she couldn't cheat as the super-flyer she is. So, like a lot of sessions, she's taken a back seat, but this time even more so due to the fact that she has been deprived of her agency. In the meantime, though, she's just decided to have fun watching the other players bounce off each other.
Applejack has always been a fascinating balance between roleplayer and metagamer, and her approach to the Discord curse has reflected this. She knows the Evil Plan, but can't tell anyone. Out of character, she feels bad, but at the same time she doesnt want to mess things up further by messing something up IN character. So she stays silent. And when push comes to shove, she actually tries to HELP the group get over their curses- she's the one player who found a way to keep her curse interesting while negating its effects- in the form of wrestling with Tom. She's really great at reading the room, and has been nothing but mature through this session.
And of course it comes back to Twilight. A gifted munchkin, rules lawyer, and problemsolver, but always a weak spot in the RP department. But her entire character is a student and a problem-solver, so she's never actually had much of an issue separating in-character from out-of-character knowledge. Things only get bad when logic leaves the room. She's so rigid in some respects that her brain simply can't cope with the concept of unpredictability. [The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that her player is on the Autism spectrum, roleplaying as a magic purple unicorn version of herself.] And she's always had a problem with roleplaying that wouldn't further the plot- we see this as early as episode 1. Discord is an absolute nightmare for this player, on every conceivable level.

What I'm trying to say is, the sudden shift in styles may have caused certain players to regress back into old habits, and re-ignite old character flaws that we all assumed were left in the past. Even as other members of the group are having the time of their lives.

Forgive the babble, it's late, I'm not sure if everything I wrote here is entirely related to the point I was trying to make.

TL;DR- Kudos to Newbiespud for such commitment to continuity of character!
GrayGriffin 30th Nov 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
How do you define "roleplay" in comparison to "actively seeking solutions"? Seeking solutions when an evil ruler has imprisoned your mentor and plunged the land into eternal night sounds like a perfectly IC thing to do. What makes her choice to Bluff Nightmare Moon by charging her not "roleplaying"?
obscurereader 30th Nov 2018, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
@Cyborg7221, This analysis seems... interesting. Like, some parts I can sorta agree with (for example, the bit on the Gala being the healthiest gamestate for everyone), but other parts I'm a little confused by.

Not going to touch the bits on previous arcs apart from the bit agreeing with the Gala arc too much, since they seem mostly correct as far as I can tell - I'd have to go reread the previous arcs to be absolutely sure, though, but some of the conclusions in the latter part of this comment seem a bit... weird?

For instance, I'm not sure why Twilight would need combat to satisfy her, since from what I could tell she's more of a general problem solver -someone who's more in the game to find creative solutions to problems presented by the dm- than a focused combatant. (I do think Rainbow Dash needs a bit of combat, but she also is at home when competitions and displays of her skill are a thing or when she can motivate others to do better, such as with the Sonic Rainboom arc or the Hurricane Fluttershy arc).

On your bit regarding Fluttershy this arc, I've said before that I'm not sure if Fluttershy is enjoying everything (since a lot of her comments seem rather fatalistic with regards to what's going on, and I can't help but draw from previous experiences where I've been railroaded super hard and been incredibly unenthusiastic and lacking in enjoyment, using general snark and fatalistic comments to express said lack of enthusiasm in the process). And regardless of whether or not she's "having fun" in that sense (since it's a bit ambiguous due to the lack of OoC talk and has been interpreted both ways), I want to say that it doesn't seem to be very healthy for Fluttershy to keep doing due to how much of a negative self-image she's internalizing. (Also, catharsis is kind of a nonsense concept from what I understand of psychology, but that's something else entirely).

Finally, your bit on Twilight kinda goes back to what a lot of people keep saying - that Twilight has a weak spot as as a roleplayer - which I'm can't really agree with on the grounds that, well, as far as I can tell she's been properly roleplaying up until this point, taking into account information and perspectives of the other players as well as npcs (specific example I'm thinking of is Princess Celestia, who Twilight rps a lot of respect for as Celestia's student). I agree with your point about Twilight playing a student and problem-solver, but I can't agree that she's a bad roleplayer due to my previous reasoning (and I can't really tell what is meant by "bad" rp, if such a thing even exists in the first place).

I'm also confused by why you're coming to the conclusion that Twilight is autistic, since, as far as I can tell, there is a lack of solid evidence pointing in that direction - same as with Fluttershy having previous experience with abuse - and there are much simpler explanations for their actions such as Twilight just being someone who values logic and hates when it's thrown out the window and Fluttershy just being good at reading people and understanding what they're trying to do. I do agree that Discord is a nightmare for Twilight as a player, but moreso for reasons related to Discord as a concept (i.e. God of Chaos that warps reality to get his way without any real rhyme or reason) rather than what you are saying. (Also not sure about Twilight having issues with roleplay that doesn't further the plot, but even assuming that's true, I'm not sure why that's a bad thing exactly - it helps to have someone to keep everyone focused on the task at hand after all, and even the most patient of people would want to make progress eventually if the game just stalls too long).

I might be willing to concede to some of these points you're making, but I would definitely need to be pointed towards some previous pages/posts that could help explain your viewpoint and why you're coming to some of these conclusions, since right now I'm just confused where some of this is coming from and what events from the story are prompting you to come to these conclusions. I would love to see your explanations/response!
Mr Wednesday 30th Nov 2018, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
@obscurereader, thanks for responding to that behemoth of a post in such detail!

I still can’t understand where this idea is coming from that Twilight is a bad roleplayer. Along with the question of DiscorDM’s behavior, her ostensible dislike of the “role” part of roleplaying has been a real sticking point in this debate for a long time. Which is odd because it seems like a super weak point.

Nor would I call her a rules lawyer, or at least not the regular kind. Munchkining, rules lawyering, these things require a certain step back from the game. From what I see Twilight is usually very immersed.

What she doesn’t do is act out her characters voice very often, but that’s not as bad a thing as it sounds. Not everybody plays like that. She doesn’t narrate Twi’s actions in the third person, though. I think the problem solving, more than combat itself, is what interests her. This game offers her a mental workout, and has in the past rewarded her intellect. Part of her frustration here is being denied any chance at these things.

Not everybody has to be like Pinkie or Rarity and feed off the dramatic aspect, anymore than everybody has to enjoy a combat-heavy approach like Dash. The mix of fun is part of the joy of roleplaying, and people come to games to get what they want out of them.

As for catharsis, from what I know of Aristotle, it’s less of a massively-changing event and more of a temporary emotional undburdening—kind of a transient set of feelings in response to the situation. Importantly it’s intended as part of the viewing of art. I don’t see anything cathartic here. Fluttershy isn’t really getting to confront these emotions, she’s having them inflicted.
Cyborg7221 1st Dec 2018, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
@Obscure Reader: Sorry, this post was written at like 11-Midnight in my timezone, and I apologize for my lack of clear communication. You make a lot of excellent points.

The reason I lumped Twilight in with RD regarding Combat is because she shows some significant power-gamer tendencies (albeit not to the degree of, say, Gilda, or the gang from Grand Line 3.5), with a perfectly optimized spell list. Yeah, you're right, she may not "need" combat the same way RD does- sorry for the miscommunication- but in general she seems a LOT more at home with the strategic elements of the game. And it doesn't get much more strategic than combat. But I think you're right in that she's not actually a bad roleplayer, either- just leaning more to the practical side of things than Rarity or Pinkie Pie. I think that her style is mostly just playing a purple unicorn version of herself, and that's fine. She still contributes to the story, and has interesting interactions with the other characters, so it works.

There are a few different reasons I headcanon Twilight on the Autism spectrum. First, I'm on the spectrum myself, and as it stands our media representations SUCK, so I take what I can get. More on that below. Second, a LOT of autistics- diagnosed or not- are drawn to tabletop roleplaying as a hobby, and it's weird that the only one of these comics to acknowledge this (to my knowledge) is Steven and the Crystal GMs- and even then it's only one player, when in my experience it's usually at least half the group if not the entire table. And thirdly, leaving aside her impressive knowledge of the rules (which could hypothetically be due to Autistic fixation/hyperfocus), she's always seemed to have that trademark mix of social awkwardness and anxiety, which only seems to mitigate itself when she's waist-deep in solving a problem. She's not very good at reading what other people are feeling- Dragonshy; it's like she's always just a little off the beat. And the Pinkie Sense arc was a perfect example of the clash between Autistic and Allistic brains. I know, the evidence isn't PERFECT, but... is there really anything inherently wrong with interpreting the character this way?

For context, I also headcanon Deku from "My Hero Academia" as disability representation because of the way the series presents both the Social and Medical models regarding the state of not having a quirk (that's a different essay, though); Tanaka from "Tanaka-kun is Always Listless" obviously has undiagnosed narcolepsy; and Henry Cavil's Superman obviously struggled with sensory overload and had to learn coping mechanisms in order to function. Point being, the state of autism/disability representation in media is such that virtually everything with an explicit diagnosis (other than A Silent Voice, most stories with a badass amputee like Edward Elric, and maybe one or two others that I don't know about) is offensive garbage, so we gotta take what we can get.

And for the record I think Fluttershy as abuse survivor has a LOT more concrete evidence than Twilight as Autistic.
Fluttershy: "You're just dealing with a... particular kind of person."
CelestiaGM: Well, maybe it was a little much, but I get the feeling it wasn't really HIM you were trying to "beat" there."
Not gonna argue the point about Catharsis, that was mostly speculation, anyway.

Breaking up my responses, because there's a LOT to cover. -_-
Cyborg7221 1st Dec 2018, 8:09 AM edit delete reply

Good points on Fluttershy in general. In hindsight I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote what I did. I was sleep-deprived, but still...

Never said Twilight's focus on advancing the plot was a bad thing. Or at least, never meant to imply that. Mostly an observation.

We can agree that literally everything Discord IS, is nightmarish. He LITERALLY attacks all the players' flaws, for crying out loud! However, I think that our opposing views on this point ultimately boil down to different words for the same basic concepts. Or maybe I'm just conceding the point. I dunno.

@Mr Wednesday

Now that I think about it, you might be right about the munchkin/rules lawyer thing. Twilight's player definitely has the skills for it- or at least the potential- but she never took it as far as, say, Gilda, or the folks from Grand Line 3.5. Her playstyle actually seems pretty well balanced between combat and RP challenges, though in the later she's definitely more geared toward puzzle-solving (with a loose definition of "puzzle") than in-character drama. A Thinker, through and through.

You both made some excellent points! Thanks for responding to the ramblings of my sleep-deprived brain. Sorry for not writing at a more lucid time. -_-
Cyborg7221 1st Dec 2018, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
This conversation made me want to do a Thought Experiment: Breaking down the core player types of the Mane Six (as presented in the 4e DMG), I guess I'd go with...

Twilight Sparkle as Thinker (obvious in hindsight).

Applejack as... also Thinker, little bit of Power Gamer when it comes to her build (and the fact that she worldbuilt her way into a neverending income stream).

Rarity as Actress/Storyteller; maybe a bit of Explorer, not sure.

Rainbow Dash as Slayer/Power Gamer (the later because she seems generally okay with anything that makes her look awesome; for her it's more about the power trip than the actual act of killing stuff).

Pinkie Pie as Instigator, with the healthy motive of making the game fun(ny) for everyone.

Fluttershy as Watcher.

For context:
obscurereader 1st Dec 2018, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
@Cyborg7221, Thank you so much for responding, and especially for providing pages that help inform how you came to your conclusions as evidence! (I definitely can respect your headcanons and reasons for having them, though I might have interpreted the pages you linked and quoted related to Fluttershy differently). Also, fair enough on the observation point, and interesting thought experiment with the core player types...
Troubleshooter 29th Nov 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
I'm going to be honest: The main GM's surprise when Discord starts going after Twilight is raising more alarm bells than anything else that's happened in this comic.
Mr Wednesday 29th Nov 2018, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Yes, @Troubleshooter. How could the Main GM not know any of this was going to happen?
GrayGriffin 30th Nov 2018, 2:58 AM edit delete reply
He's already shown surprise about multiple things DiscorDM's been doing throughout the arc, both minor and major. Of course that's constantly been dismissed anyways.
Mr Wednesday 30th Nov 2018, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
You're right, and it's a massive problem. I'm wondering why the Main GM is here at all. Why isn't this a pure guest-GM situation where the usual GM is either gone, or for variety, playing?
DuoScratch 30th Nov 2018, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Rut Roh, the word "gaslighting" was used, and now everyone's losing their minds. ;p

Though I it the person everyone's convinced of that REALLY is the gaslighter, or is there even any gaslighting going on at all? It could be a clever misdirection by our wonderful yarn weaver.

I'm really starting to wonder if we're all being set up for the biggest bait and switch ever.

*pulls out the superior peanut butter stuffed pretzel bites and waits.* This...should be good.
Godzfirefly 30th Nov 2018, 9:21 AM edit delete reply are suggesting the ones being gaslit are us? By Spud?
NachoFriend 30th Nov 2018, 10:35 AM In Queso Emergency I Pray To the Grate Lord Cheesus edit delete reply
Just to stir the pot a bit:

Gaslighting is a social manipulation tatic used to make the victim question their sanity.

But Discord is the literal God of choas. That's like his whole schtick.

So I wouldn't put to much stock into the Gaslighting comment.

As for what will go down in the next few strips. I'm eager to see.

I don't believe discord is the monster some of you believe him to be. (Besides if the show is any indication Fluttershy and Discord will be Bros, maybe she'll get to use the Stare (tm) on him.
Mr Wednesday 30th Nov 2018, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
This pot didn't need to be stirred--it does that on its own. Even after things calmed down it roiled up again.

My beef here isn't even with DiscorDM anymore. I'm more interested in the actions of the Main GM who set all this in motion (and seems to have become completely disjointed from the game, to the point of not knowing what's going on at all)

The gaslighting topic seems beside the point. As you said, Discord is the god of gaslighting, and nothing tells me he was talking to Twilight OOC instead of IC.

When it comes down to it, DiscorDM has no emotional reasons for messing with the players, but the Main GM DOES, and I think at least had it in mind.
THE OTHER GUEST 1st Dec 2018, 1:02 AM edit delete reply
Monster? No.

But there is some distance between being an arrogant jerk, and descending into being a Monster who enjoys nothing more than the suffering of their victims.

:Theory Time:

Discord, I think, is a jerk with a plan, which is almost worse than either. That he's intentionally doing all of this manipulation and instigation of inter-party conflict holds no doubt in my mind, but I also think he believes that he's in control of the situation and is working towards moving the players towards whatever goal he's set for them for the sake of the game.

I think it comes back to his comments on the players "Showing their True Colors", that seems to be his focus for this arc. He's trying to instigate the players into some sort of personal realization or in-game epiphany that he thinks is waiting in the wings for them. Unfortunately, I think where he has "Made his Fatal mistake" as Fluttershy would put it, is that he's misread All of the players in some manner, and in particular Twilight's actions, motivations and methods of Role Playing.

I think he has "Plans" like this for all of the players in some form or another, but for Twilight in particular he's pushing and pushing and pushing, using her Friends as leverage and proxies for his objective, trying to get her to "realize" something he thinks she needs to about herself as both a player and a Role-Player, and possibly in turn this "epiphany" on Twilight's part would feed back across the rest of the group and spur their own realizations. Unfortunately, I think he, like some people here in the comments, has misread her method of Role-Play, but more importantly failed to properly evaluate exactly where her breaking point is, and in doing so has crossed a few lines he shouldn't have for the sake of seeing this goal through, and instead of that pivotal realization that will move the game forward towards its ultimate goal, he's set the match to a powder-keg that could destroy the entire group if it isn't either headed off, or the after-action damage control isn't properly managed...
GrayGriffin 1st Dec 2018, 3:22 AM edit delete reply
...Discord is a god of chaos. DiscorDM is a human person interacting with other humans. They...are not the same person. I can't believe people are now using this as a reason to excuse his behavior.
NexusDragon 30th Nov 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
It is here that we see the true paragon of the party. The one that no matter what trials they faced they always put the party first. Willing to battle anything and everything, even a god for the greater good. Was it the Lawful Good Wizard, not a chance. The Lawful Good Ranger, even she was not pure enough. Who? You may ask, was of such pure alignment that nothing could phase them?

The Chaotic Evil Pegasus Barbarian.

obscurereader 30th Nov 2018, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
As sarcastic as this post kind of is, I can't help but unironically agree with this. Rainbow Dash has been the party MVP this entire arc imo, keeping her head in the game, not getting distracted or frustrated (mostly) and avoiding getting cursed through a lack of conflicting loyalties, and focused on playing nice with the group as a whole. Her only issue was getting her actions turned against her leading to the argument with AJ (which, to be fair, is kinda just what Discord the in-universe character does to the party in general rather than something that was actually Rainbow's fault), so... Yeah. Somehow the Chaotic Evil one wound up looking really good compared to the other players ic - which is kind of a sign that something went horrifically wrong at some point.
Balrighty 30th Nov 2018, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
Mmm, I agree in general that her actions and choices while Discord was trying to curse her were above reproach. She did the same thing the Mane Six had to do back at the beginning: leave Ponyville to answer the summons to go to Canterlot, go after the bigger fish, even if it meant not solving Ponyville's problems.

What she didn't need to do was bury the lead. She should have let everypony else know that she chose to stay in the game and remain uncursed at the possible expense of Cloudsdale, just so they would know what all they ultimately needed to clean up later.

Essentially, the same thing that happened in the S7 episode with Daring Do. Daring Do does a lot of good behind the scenes foiling Ahuizotl and other threats to Equestria and only occasionally wrecks a merchant's tent or crashes a ball in the process. But her negligence in making up for those unfortunate consequences allowed Caballeron to influence Southern Equestria into hating her.
THE OTHER GUEST 1st Dec 2018, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
I'd say Dash less "Buried the Lead", and more left it dangling. Not really an intentional action on her part, but more that, instead of focusing on what Discord's choice for her was, which she didn't care about anyway, she was hyped about how "Cool" it was to explode Discord's head into custard, and related that instead.

No one in the party confronted her about what her choice was and how she made it until Discord struck the match and let the argument ignite, and rather than try to hide her choice she instantly recounts the "test" Discord gave her, and laid out in no uncertain terms why she made the choice she did, preemptively calling out AJ on going "Lawful Stupid" on her before she even gets into her tirade about why Dash's choice was the "Wrong" one.
Archone 1st Dec 2018, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
I keep coming back to one particular subject:


What's the motive? DiscordGM's detractors keep emphasizing that he's a horrible abusive manipulative jerk and now that Newbie mentioned that he's been learning about gaslighting we now have PROOF that he's a horrible guy and a monster and they should all beat him up!

...But what's the motive? Why would Main GM be friends with a guy who destroys established games for the lulz? Why would he regard someone who takes pleasure in causing unhappiness for others as a mentor?

Remember, there's a difference between Discord the NPC and Discord the GM. And you look at page 1038:

Main GM specifically comes to Discord GM looking for... exactly what we're seeing here. "A challenge worthy of an entire campaign's effort... I want a VILLAIN again."

The Elements of Harmony require exactly that - harmony. Discord GM is creating something for them to unify against, in the form of Discord NPC.

At least, that's the most likely explanation. The other is that Main GM is a horrible judge of character and Discord GM is a sociopath who waited for years just to do this to a protege.
Guest 1st Dec 2018, 3:21 AM edit delete reply
The motivation is simple: to have fun.

His fun just happen to be, consciously, at the expense of Twilight's fun.

As for why the main DM would be friend with someone like that: you don't always know how people you call friends will act with new situations and people.

I've had a GM who invited an old friend to join his various gaming groups (some he GMed for, some he was a player in). After a few months, the "friend" had been so insufferable and insulting the two had a huge fight which ended with the "friend" trying to sue the GM for imaginary injuries.

Sure, MainDM asked DiscordDM to help handle the group as a proper villain. But as it's been shown several times now, MainDM had no idea about DiscordDM's plans (and only the outline for the plans of Discord-as-character).

To me it seems pretty obvious MainDM never saw how DiscordDM handled players like Twilight... mostly because MainDM is regularly surprised by what she does, which probably wouldn't be the case if they used to play with people like that in DiscordDM's campaigns.
GrayGriffin 1st Dec 2018, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
Um...I think Main GM being a horrible judge of character has a lot more support than your idea. Considering the discussion between him and Rarity where Rarity literally warns him against putting someone on a pedestal, and Main GM's constant surprise at DiscorDM's GMing choices and behavior in this arc. At the very least, it's quite obvious this is a side of his friend he hasn't seen/recognized before.
Guest 1st Dec 2018, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
Also, the moment you target a player rather than a character, it stops being about the game.

I've no doubt DiscordDM believes he's doing MainDM a favor here by acting like he does.
ThatGuest 1st Dec 2018, 4:45 AM edit delete reply
Personally I'm a little concerned for the people who think that it's incomprehensible Discord might be an asshole. Apparently they've never met a single horrible person in their life and I'm legitimately worried what would happen if they ever do

"Why would Discord do all this just to ruin the game?!" Uh....because some people out there are terrible people? When I was in school I saw someone get KOed by another kid from getting a basketball thrown at his head as hard as possible. The one who threw it found it hilarious seeing the other kid out cold face down on the ground and even made fun of him for getting KOed when he started regaining conciousness.

Do I think Discord is that level of cruel? No, but there are many varieties and levels of asshole out there who get varying dgrees of enjoyment from making others suffer in different ways. To act like it's completely incomprehensible that anyone could be a bad person is just wrong.
Archone 1st Dec 2018, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
I've met plenty of assholes who derived pleasure from ruining the fun for others. I had to deal with my share of bullies in school (including teachers, because yes some people get into the profession because they like having positions of power over children. There are plenty of Severus Snapes out there). I even have to deal with them today. Literally today - there's a couple of neighbors who are feuding and I was just accosted this morning by one of them while I was walking my dogs. She was making passive-aggressive threats if I sided against her because, "y'know... anybody can go to jail..."

...But the people I like don't like those kinds of jerks. My friends would not invite such a jerk to have fun at my expense. And most importantly, those kinds of people have certain behaviors and attitudes in common. Discord GM does not share any of those behaviors or attitudes. He came there to show off and impress his friend's players with his mastery of... Game Mastery.
Guest 1st Dec 2018, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
Really? DiscordDM never acted against in disagreable way toward people who didn't do what he wanted, like your neighbor does?
Wordy Guest 1st Dec 2018, 4:01 AM edit delete reply
I think one of the biggest problems on this page that nobody has mentioned is discord’s declaration of victory. While having your villain declare that he has won and nothing can stop him now is somewhat standard, usually the players can be trusted not to believe him, on acount of ether them having a plan the villain doesn’t know about, or being able to make some rolls to do something clever to save the day, or having some allies that can come to their rescue in a pinch. But with discord being run by a DM and the two of them having almost no separation in how they have presented themselves his statement of game over takes a bit of a different spin to it. We had a discussion in the comments I read (forgive me for not going back for a quote but some of the arguments there got unpleasantly personal and I don’t want to wade through them for one) where one commenter was pointing out that as DM someone can have rocks fall everyone die whenever the wish or otherwise that victory can only be obtained by their permission. And here if discord’s statement is backed by that power, which by all given information it is, then the players are perfectly justified in saying “okay then congratulations on your victory, goodbye and see you again never.” This is clearly not what Larry wanted when he brought DiscorDM in, but at this point one of them needs to step in and explain what they are trying to do here, or the game cannot continue.

Sorry for the somewhat shorter post but this arc has left me sort of tired. The story has been very good, but it’s also been a bit draining seeing all these characters I like fighting and being mad at each other for months without exception. So here is a thought I had for the next page that made me happy. It isn’t likely and I don’t think it’s how the story will go, but bear with me.

One of twilights friends, most likely Fluttershy tell discord to shove it. Twilights true colors? My friend has stood by me and the rest of her friends when they were cursed and actively pushing her away, ceaselessly worked to help them deal with those curses and never stoped believing they could overcome them if they worked together. Sure she has been annoyed by her friends, and lost her temper, but that doesn’t make her bad, and it doesn’t meen she isn’t our friend. And if the worst in her is her refusal to back down and abandon her friends or the world in the face of literal impossible opposition, I can’t think of a better friend.

I know it isn’t likely, but something I see here is that everyone who’s cursed besides rarity has spoken up in the last two pages to express they are still onboard with working with twilight to defeat discord. They aren’t willing to let their annoyance with each other get in the way of stoping him. As such, if that was discord’s goal, he has failed, and the players need to tell him that.
Wordy Guest 1st Dec 2018, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
Also mostly unrelated, are most of you posting as guests and picking a name? It’s just I’m seeing a lot of links as

Instead of

Link to comic

And I know that was why I did links that way before I made an account.
Archone 1st Dec 2018, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
Wordy Guest, please explain how to link directly to the comic pages like that, for future reference?
Wordy Guest 1st Dec 2018, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
If you have a ComicFurry account there should be a button for "Add link". if you press it a popup should ask for the http:// of the webpage you want to link to and then the words you want to be the link.

the link will in you comment and look like this

(url= to page(/url)

for this link
link to page

but with brackets instead of parentheses.

if you do not have a ComicFury account you can click on the link at the bottom of the page and sign up for one. the only thing of note they ask is an email, and worst come to worst you can make a new gmail if you need to .

I hope that answers your question.
ThatGuest 1st Dec 2018, 4:52 AM edit delete reply
Very true, my opinion of Discord aside and everything aside, if I was playing in this game I'd be like "Well......what the **** are we supposed to do now? He's immune from physical damage, immune to magic, can just flip our powers on and off like a switch and the only thing that isn't controllable by him you just said doesn't work anymore. We're completely (redacted)"

You never want to get to the point where the party just kinda throws their hands up and their only option is to sit there and ask you to dictate a solution to them and make the win for them.
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