Page 167 - Shy Ex Machina

28th Aug 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Shy Ex Machina
Average Rating: 4 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 28th Aug 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Persuasion isn't always about lovey-dovey generosity or straight-up logic to get people to like you and do what you want. Ultra-nice diplomacy mainly works on nobles and bureaucrats who aren't under much pressure. Purely logical arguments tend to work on targets who are currently unmotivated and directionless. As you practice, you'll discover new tactics to apply to different groups.

With a group that just doesn't trust you, being ultra-nice might just make them suspicious. If you're aggressive and pragmatic, explaining exactly what you want and what you have to gain from the deal, they won't necessarily like you... but they'll have fewer questions about your motives.

For individuals much stronger than you that have no reason to help you or consider you an ally, you might try an emotional appeal... like breaking down into tears, sobbing about how desperately you need help. No, I'm not speaking from a recent Pony Tales experience on this one...

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



Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
*knows exactly what Spud is referring to*


In Newbiespud's defense, it worked. :P

For those wondering what happened, there's actually a recording of all this; maybe you all can convince Newbie to link it in the author's note?
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
'It worked'? That's really how you describe that event? I'll say it worked!
LoganAura 28th Aug 2012, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
If it's what I think it is, "It worked" is the understatement of the bucking century.
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Just trying to bust Newbie's chops a bit. Nothing major, just a friendly ribbing.
Zarhon 28th Aug 2012, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Granted, that was a major team effort into boosting a single roll.

And the stakes were pretty much "do it or die".

Not to mention it was a natural 20 roll for a cutie mark critical success.

Actually, nevermind. It's *identical* to what Fluttershy did, except it was sappy words instead of death glares.
Umiyuri Papaeyra 28th Aug 2012, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra

...If I ever get in a game, can the result of any sadness on Fuzzy's part, real or faked, count as a stat boost for me so I can harm the inciter?
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Which game? Our campaign specifically, or one that just involves Newbiespud in general?
Umiyuri Papaeyra 28th Aug 2012, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra

This is now a mechanic in every game ever.

Even noughts and crosses.
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
That means I'm dead next session, aren't I?
Stairc 28th Aug 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
I'd allow it Umiyuri. =)

And yes, that WAS an epic moment in the campaign.

Btw, The Pony Tales Full Level Up System Is Live

Want to take your characters to level 10? The core rules are now complete!
CJT 28th Aug 2012, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Any chance of static PDF copies posted at some point, given the whole "my browsers hate Google Docs" thing from a few posts back?
Stairc 29th Aug 2012, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
In time, all things are possible. But it's probably going to be a while, I want the system as solid as possible before doing that. In the mean time, have you tried just downloading the google doc? Often that works.
CJT 29th Aug 2012, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
It doesn't even get that far into rendering the page before a string of dialog boxes come up to complain about not being entirely compatible with my browser. I wind up with an empty menu and an animated "in progress" swirl and nothing else.

Downloading worked for a few of the FiM sheet music pages, but not for your Pony Tales material.
Stairc 29th Aug 2012, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Ouch. I'll work on uploading an attachment when I get a chance (won't be for a little while, so busy). However, if you send my an email at - I'll send you the player's handbook by attachment.
CJT 29th Aug 2012, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
Done; thanks!
Stairc 30th Aug 2012, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
And... Email sent. =)
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Quick! Put on this leather harness and crack this whip! Oh, and yell some things about being a bad boy and needing punishment. That always works for me.
Cain 28th Aug 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
*jawdrop* Why did I not think of that?
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Where I come from, that falls under a friendly greeting, not intimidation.
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Sadly, I can attest to what Oblivious is saying.
What? Why are you all looking at me like that?
Cain 28th Aug 2012, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Sticks and stones may break my bones. But Whips and chains excite me.
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Oh, cool. I didn't know we had folks from Seattle!
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
Nope, I'm not from Seattle, but there are some strange people down here, regardless.
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Oh, we're talking RL locations? Sorry, thought Oblivious was talking about the Skype room.
Oblivious 28th Aug 2012, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Well, I was referring to both, really, Cliffy.
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
Oh sorry. I just assumed, you know, because Seattle is where people go when they're too weird for California.

Such nice people. This one time, I met this old lady who looked just like Bea Arthur, and worked as an Elvis impersonator. Man we had a wild time.

For reference, it turns out that when you're playing around with the white suede harness, when she says she needs her nitro, she means it.
Cain 28th Aug 2012, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
Oh this will be fun. Later on "YOU WILL EAT THIS!" directed at the animals followed by "If it's okay with you."
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
... This is too perfect. Wizards have their favorite spell they always try to solve problems with ("There's a river we need to cross? FIREBALL!"), Fluttershy's player is going to keep trying to use Intimidate out of context.

Comment challenge! Fluttershy using Intimidate in everyday life!
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
I recently saw the episode with Iron Will. I have waaay to many ideas. :D
Anvildude 28th Aug 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Children are misbehaving!


"How can we help you, Miss Fluttyershy?"
Zarhon 28th Aug 2012, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
"I'll need you to fill out these forms in triplicate, miss Fluttershy."




"It will be a shame to see you retire, miss Fluttershy. You were the best Navy SEAL instructor we ever had."

Digo 28th Aug 2012, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
*Traffic light turns yellow*


*Traffic light turns green*
Destrustor 28th Aug 2012, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
How Fluttershy learned to fly:
Stare downwards, ground becomes too scared to dare touch her.
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 2:07 PM edit delete reply
Ha! Isn't it great how the member of the Mane 6 who's supposed to be the most kind and gentle is depicted as the most terrifying and menacing?

Fluttershy doesn't fight, at least by conventional descriptions. To attempt to engage her in combat is to contest the might of an expert in Kind-fu and The Stare.
Lyntermas 28th Aug 2012, 9:26 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm. Alt-script time!

Setting: Lesson Zero!
DM: Fluttershy, your Insight tells you that the bear is in pain, but not wanting to harm you. Judging by his posture, it seems he's got a few back problems.
FS: Oh, poor dear. Alright, I rush between his legs.
DM: You manage to quickly go beneath him. The bear bends over to look between his legs.
FS: Perfect. I think fly toward him and give a quick kick near the base of his spine. As he flys forward, I grab his leg and pull upward to stretch his spine backwards a bit.
DM: You hear a few cracks as the kinks in his lower back begin to straighten. However, he's still howling.
FS: Alright, I fly up and stamp on his upper back.
DM: More of his back becomes aligned. However, your techniques has exasperated the kink in his shoulders. The bear is crying and biting his finger to deal with the pain.
FS: I say, "Shush, dear, it will all be over soon." Then I quickly turn the bear's head to the side.
DM: The bear goes wide-eyed, but then slumps to the ground in contentment.
TS: Sorry, guys. Had to use the bathroom. Anyway, has my character arrived at Fluttershy's place yet?
DM: You go to the backyard to find a bear roaring at Fluttershy. She rushes between the bear's legs, only to perform a flying kick and grab him in a leg hold. She then stamps on the bear's back, with the bear in clear pain. Finally, she grabs the bear's head, whispers something about "it'll all be over soon," then sharply twists his head. The bear falls to the ground and remains motionless.
Oblivious 29th Aug 2012, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
You forgot the last part where TS's player and character wanders out of the room, with an, "I don't even..." look on her face, right before FS and the DM get back to extreme chiropractics.
LoganAura 29th Aug 2012, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Anthonox 28th Aug 2012, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
DM sounds like a jerk. Seems more like they just want to beat the players, rather than facilitate a story.
Cony 28th Aug 2012, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Well...the DM MIGHT still be a little ticked off at his intricate storyline from the previous session being ended prematurely
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
It is worth noting that the DM set the party up to fail their initial mission hard. Nightmare Moon would destroy the Elements, beat them within an inch of their lives if they tried to attack her, and depart.

It is also worth noting that he gave them more than one opportunity to keep that from happening. First, Twilight' skill challenge to master the Elements required a string of difficult successes, making it highly unlikely that she'd succeed, but success could have changed things. More to his credit, he quickly conceded to each case made for an element bearer and would not fudge the outcome when Twilight figured out the one he'd kept a secret.

After too many stories of flipped tables or "rocks fall" endings, it's nice to see a DM try, "Game Over: the players win."

I don't think the DM's trying to win. I think he's just too eager to provide players with a challenge that will hold up for the campaign's duration.
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
And having typed that, I might now better comprehend the appeal of Stairc's merchant antagonist.
Katarani 28th Aug 2012, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
It's a slippery slope, DMing. Players want to have fun, and very few players will have fun if things are too easy or too hard.

Sooner or later, in order to keep things compelling, you go to the dark side and become like Stairc, thinking of increasingly sadistic traps that are more reliant on your players' puzzle solving skills than dice rolls to get through.

And that's when everybody outside of your group starts to view you as the raving, bug-eyed psycho that your group knows you were from the beginning.
Stairc 29th Aug 2012, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
*evil grin*

deeman45 28th Aug 2012, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
This does seem a bit like revenge for messing up his campaign, but remember that Rarity's attempt to sway the dragon ALMOST worked. Everything was going quite dandy until she botched that Thievery check (and it's not like the DM made her try to snatch everything she could.)

The dragon only started going for a massive party assault when RD decided to straight-up attack it. So their initial failure was pretty much Rarity's doing, while giving the DM an excuse to unleash a pissed-off dragon was RD.
Greywander 28th Aug 2012, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
Well, it doesn't make for a very interesting or memorable story if the heroes just sail on through until they defeat the Big Bad. Even if they start as zeroes and go to heroes, they can't win every time, or it's just boring.

What might be a good way to start off an epic campaign would be start the party at level 20 or so, with powerful magic items, maybe a kingdom or two to their names. By the end of the first session, they've fought the Big Bad, had their butts severely handed to them, been depowered to level 1, lost all their equipment, and had their kingdoms utterly destroyed.

It let's the players know that the bad guy is serious, and gives them an ample source of motivation to take him down. Just make sure that, (a) they don't actually beat him on the preliminary encounter, and (b) when they finally do work back up to facing him again, he can't just do the same thing and reset them to level 1 again.

By throwing a challenge at the players and having them LOSE, it becomes that much more satisfying for them when they face the same challenge later and succeed.
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Funny Intimidation Moment:
I was in a D&D group (An elf cleric) and we were collecting fragments of a journal so we can figure out where the now-dead BBEG left his powerful relic. So we could go break it.

Opposing us was a young blue dragon with delusions of grandeur. He attacked us with his lizardfolk minions, threatening us with death if we don't surrender.

Me: "Surrender? Very well we gladly accept!"
Dragon: "Haha, stupid elf."

The dragon dives and lands on me, initiating a grapple. Combat begins. As the rest of the team was mopping the floor with the lizardfolk, I had a crazy idea.

Elf: "Ah, you may think you have the upper claw, but there is something you don't know that I do."
Blue Dragon: "And what is that?"
Elf: "I am not flame retardant!" "GM, I use my Balor Aura spell to set myself on fire."
GM: "Um... what?"
Elf: "I set myself on fire!"

And now I'm emoliating with hellfire, which also catches the blue dragon on fire. He tries to release the grapple, but I grab him by the wing and hold on tight.
Now I intimidate him to call me daddy. Seriously.

Elf: "Call me daddy!"
Dragon: "WHAT?! Are you crazy?!"
Elf: "Yes, but if you don't cry daddy you're going to go down as having died in the arms of a flaming elf! Explain THAT one to your god."
Dragon: "Daddy! Daddy! Oh Tiamant, this guy is freakin insane!!"

The party puts us both out and shackles the blue dragon down. The poor dragon was pretty much mentally broken from that point.
Cain 28th Aug 2012, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
Oh my sides, that was perfect. Even funnier if you take the double meaning which if you can't figure out, get older and try again.
Taterade 28th Aug 2012, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
I was so thinking of the double meaning as soon as I saw flaming elf...
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Aw, that's nothing. There was the time that I--

No, on second thought, that was spectacular. Masterfully done.
Techno 28th Aug 2012, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
That...that is just amazing XD
masterofgames 28th Aug 2012, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
But... but, my flying dragon gong attack... Aww man, now I need to come up with something even more awesome...

Quick, someone name three random magical items! I'll come up with something using them!
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Okay, the gong attack deserves to be immortalized. It's in the same league as the Gazebo and Tucker's Kobolds, though I'd rate it higher than the former.
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Portable Hole, Eversmoking Bottle, Ring of the Ram.
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
"Do you know what this ring can do to you?"

"Promises, promises."
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
That's so romantic! It's such a wonderful story. I'm happy that you managed to overcome the species barrier, and all you needed was a little blackmail to do it.

And I admire your approach. Subs are so much better behaved when they've been properly broken.
Tigerlily 29th Aug 2012, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
always good to see another princess bride fan on the site. ^_^
sunbeam 28th Aug 2012, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
I once derailed a standard "bandits ambush the adventuring party in the woods and get creamed" scenario with an intimidate check and some flavor.
So the moment they jump out, I sling my axe off my back, and with the greatest shout I can muster, I cleave a small tree in half. "Now then. If I have your attention now..."
I ramble a little on how we've slayed dragons and seen gods and whatnot, then present them with two options: trade goods with us or meet the same fate as the sapling. They chose the latter.
Our DM isn't the best quick thinker, so she accidentally gave us some awesome junk from the bandit hoard in return for some of our old gear.
In other news, you people keep logs of Pony Tales games? Where? I'd love to read them!
123notit 28th Aug 2012, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
"This is right where I wanted you at the end of the last session: beaten, helpless, fearing for your lives..."

...That just feels...wrong for a 4E DM to say, especially out loud. You wouldn't want your players to feel helpless, because typically they're supposed to be heroes and...feel heroic, I guess.
ThousandYearSunrise 28th Aug 2012, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
Heroism means little if it's the only thing the characters experience. Going from helpless to heroic means changing your emotional state, which provides a much greater sense of emotional attachment to the world.
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
So, what? They should get eaten by Smaug and then pull a Kratos?
ThousandYearSunrise 28th Aug 2012, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
No, I'm saying that the emotions that the players experience should flow naturally through a whole emotional range as the story progresses. All emotions, from crushing despair to trumpeting triumph, have their place in roleplaying and in real life.

Incidentally, "Trumpeting Triumph" is my "Queen" cover band.
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 8:07 AM edit delete reply

My version of Trixie in the human world has had a lot of fear, sadness, and anxiety so far. After a particularly humiliating defeat (Got rescued by an NPC), she's been spending some down time thinking things over.

Now she's realized that trying to fit in the human world to stop a cult isn't going to work. It never would, because that's the human way of doing things. She's the GREAT & POWERFUL Trixie. She should be *CONQUORING* this cult the way the G&PT would.

So now comes anger, determination, and hoof full of new dirty magic spells. :D
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Better than pulling a Rick Marshall, if you're familiar with the Land of the Lost movie.

...Yeah, I may be the only human being on the planet to have enjoyed that.
Cain 28th Aug 2012, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
They shouldn't feel helpless? GORGON IS NUTS! NOTHING I CAN DO SEEMS TO FAZE HIM! To give an idea of how crazy he is, he pulled the Unicorn incident before I could see if Ranubis would start it off, He knew nothing of our plans and still outwitted us. I WANT HIM TO KNOW TRUE SORROW!!!
Chakat Firepaw 29th Aug 2012, 7:17 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes making your players feel helpless is just the right thing to do.

Consider the recent Skull & Shackles AP: It starts with the players creating their characters, the DM borrowing the character sheets, giving them back sans equipment and saying: "You wake up with a splitting headache in a ships hold, before you can do anything a half dozen tough looking pirates lead by a whip brandishing officer come stomping in.

"On your feet ye filthy swabs!"

Yep, the AP starts out with the PCs being drugged and press-ganged[1]. It makes the climax of two of the later parts all the sweeter when they get to beat, kill and discredit[2] their former captain.

[1] The two pieces of good news is that the players are instructed to make characters who want to be pirates and the title of part 1 is "The Wormwood Mutiny".

[2] Vg gheaf bhg gung ur vf jbexvat sbe gur Rzcver bs Puryvnk va n cybg gb vainqr naq pbadhre gur cvengr uniraf bs gur Funpxyrf.
ThousandYearSunrise 28th Aug 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
I like how we're seeing the malicious side of the DM here.

I also really like the way you had Rainbow Dash be the one to figure out what Fluttershy should do. Although I think you could have phrased it a little differently for more dramatic punch.
Something like:
[panel 4]
RD: I-I don't know! Let me see your character sheet.
RD: Hee hee hee hee!!
DM: What are you...
[panel 5]
RD: Fluttershy? Use THIS one.
FS: Really? O-okay
[panel 6]
FS: Rolling for Intimidate!
All: WHAT?!

But then, that's just my opinion.
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
It's a workable alternative, but I think it misses the opportunity to have Fluttershy sell the check.

Her modifier isn't that bad for a level 6 character, but she'd need a pretty hefty situational modifier here. This dragon still appears to be in good shape with the rest of the group at its complete mercy.

Fluttershy's in a game of poker where you reveal your hand before being allowed to draw one last card. She's got the 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 of Spades to her opponent's full house. Her mission is to convince the dragon she's won even before she draws that last card.
KS_Claw 28th Aug 2012, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
man, the campaign with Discord is gonna be *fun!*
JacenCaedus 28th Aug 2012, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Oh good God XD
Tigerlily 29th Aug 2012, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
Zarhon 28th Aug 2012, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Judging from this comic, I'm fairly certain the Discord episode is going to be the DM being drunk out of her mind, or something similar (Sleep deprivation, cough medicine...), whilst retaining her DM stubborn nature and desire to see the players crumble.

That, or a one-shot, "non-canon" silly campaign they make in a different setting with their characters, whilst all drunk, that manages to be so good they decide to keep the transpired events.
Lyntermas 28th Aug 2012, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
Guys, guys.

Two words: Substitute. DM.

DM: *ring* Hello?
Carl: Hey, what's happening?
DM: Carl? Why are you calling? I told you, we don't have room for any more players. I've got one "crazy" already, I don't need "crazy with malice" as well.
Carl: Relax, dude. I know I can be a bit hard to handle, but I've got to keep you on your toes somehow. Rails are meant to be broken, as I always say.
DM: Well, you'd fit right in with my group, then.
Carl: Hey, don't be like that. I read your material, and it sounds pretty sweet, even if it is ponies. I know they messed up your "Nightmare Moon" gig, but the dragon is going to bring in his pals to terrorize the kingdom to "put those ponies in their place", right?
DM:...They headed that one off, too. Grr, I wish I could present them with something that actually presented a challenge.
Carl:...Really? I've got a few ideas after reading the scenario. Give me a week and I'll have it sorted out.
DM: I'm slightly scared now. My players are getting invested, I don't want you killing them off.
Carl: Relax, I'm just going to mess with them a bit. Besides, you can't really say they're the Elements of Harmony if they can't handle a little discord.
Ranubis 29th Aug 2012, 9:08 PM edit delete reply
grtgfbll 28th Aug 2012, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Most of these comments remind me of a story my dad would tell of his early gaming days. He and his party were jumped by a group of big bad gargoyles, including their bigger badder king (let's call him Jim), near a cliff. At some point during the fight, Jim decided to take my dad (Slim, for this story) on one-on-one for some reason or other. Soon, everyone else pretty much stopped to watch. Around that time, they both fell of the cliff, still fighting. By this point, Jim couldn't fly and quickly found himself between his opponent and the ground when that sudden stop at the bottom found them. By now, Slim was a mess, but he could at least still stand and fight. Jim, on the other hand, had been reduced to a pile of rubble with a crown. Slim looked up at the remaining gargoyles, raised his weapon, and shouted, "WHO'S NEXT?!?!" Cue a sudden lack of enemies. Slim collapsed as soon as they were all gone. Ever since, gargoyles had one of two reactions to him ever since: run in fear, or fearfully attack and hope for the best.

I blame the names used here on the song "You Don't Mess Around With Jim"
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
I look at that final panel, and it leaves me wondering exactly how Thursday and Saturday will go. Everything said by both DM and Fluttershy's expression suggests there's no way this can work, even though we know it does. The player just doesn't seem to have it in her yet. She might lack the same motivation that Fluttershy had.

I'm just eager to see how Newbiespud executes this.
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Electric Chair.
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Gallows humour, Digo?

Wow. That reminds me of something that disturbed me from the series. Remember when the group had to capture Discord Dash to reunite the group. Did you notice that to hold her in place while Twilight cast the spell, Dash's limbs were being pulled in four separate directions by the other ponies?

The scene was a toned down recreation of drawing and quartering. It still gives me the chills. Fortunately, the reference sails over my niece's head.

In ten years, I think I'll point it out to her.
Digo 28th Aug 2012, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
Now that you mention it, yeah that is a bit of fridge horror there. :)
Zarhon 28th Aug 2012, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
Actually, they just tied her down at the waist. And considering how she was bucking around, I'm pretty sure it was meant to imitate catching a wild horse: multiple people would lasso a horse and keep it restrained with ropes from a distance (to keep it from bucking them in the face) until it tires itself out enough to be tamed properly (or in Rainbow's case, un-discorded).
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Well, sure, you are correct about where the ropes were and the method used to hold a wild horse.

It still gives an entirely different impression when exactly four equines, pulling from the ends of two perpendicular lines, are employed to do the job.
No!uknow 28th Aug 2012, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
While i love the comic I still wonder why the bard did not attempt the intimidate, afterall she has 13 and better charisma?
Zuche 28th Aug 2012, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
"Give her time..."

At present, that's just not her style. She opted to play to what she views as her character's strength (even purpose) and never got a chance to try a second option before combat was unleashed upon her.

Also, higher Charisma matters less than total modifier. Did Fluttershy take Skill Focus here to pull ahead, or does Angel give her a bonus?
No!uknow 29th Aug 2012, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
The druid also does not seem like some1 who would use Intimidate ... though more player then character wise but still the point stands.
darkwulf23 28th Aug 2012, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
I like that it was Rainbow Dash who came up with the plan. Just proves that she isn't dumb muscle.
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
She's telling a druid to intimidate a dragon.

She is dumb muscle, but she's dumb muscle that gets lucky.
darkwulf23 28th Aug 2012, 2:16 PM edit delete reply
Hey, 15 in intimation is still 15 in intimation, no matter who has it. And it may not be a great plan, but when your flank is hanging on the line you don't work with the resources you need, you work with the resources you got.
Bronymous 28th Aug 2012, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
Intimidation, aka Diplomacy for Men.
Kaze Koichi 28th Aug 2012, 3:18 PM edit delete reply
Diplomaty with your hand on the sword is actually very valid tactic. Even president Roosevelt used to say: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
You mean "Laser sword diplomacy"
Ranubis 28th Aug 2012, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
Pfft, "laser sword diplomacy"? That's for weaklings. "Summon Bigger Fish diplomacy" is the way to go!
Anon 28th Aug 2012, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Now now, it is possible to use Intimidate and still keep some amount of subtlety. Or is it discretion?

My first Feng Shui game (one-shot at a con): we'd just finished surviving an ambush by Jammer, and one human female was the last one still breathing. Since we'd been hired to bring her cell's ringleader in, we needed a location from her, but she was making it very plain she wasn't gonna talk.

While the other two player were trying to figure out how to wheedle it out of her (I get the impression neither was keen on torturing a girl), I simply had my token Big Guy help her off the floor. With one hand. By the top of her head.

Once she was at eye-level and realized that I wasn't even straining yet, she proceeded to tell us everything up to the target's size in boxers. It's amazing how much better people react to a calm smile...
Raxon 28th Aug 2012, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
And if she doesn't talk then, you just smile and say, "I've been lookin fer a nice girl to settle down with. Say, did you know you remind me of mama?"
Hemi-PoweredDrone 29th Aug 2012, 4:27 AM edit delete reply
You are probably one of the best I've seen under a Deadpool avatar.
Raxon 29th Aug 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Thank you, Hemi. I'm also a writer in my spare time. I've learned that the crazy dude always gets the best lines.

Pinkie Pie, Nappa(DBZA),Deadpool, Ambush Bug, Goku(DBZA and arguably the original continuity as well), they're all crazy, and they're all fan favorites. They get the best lines. In my stories the main character usually tends to be a little cracked, at the very least. This allows me to really turn up the fun with them.

Some of the funniest moments can be when a normally crazy character does something logical and reasonable, and is confused as to why everyone would expect him to do any differently.
Hennith95 28th Aug 2012, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
I tried the "calm smile" tactic a few weeks ago, and while I had nowhere near as much success, it was a lot of fun. My character picked up an attacking soldier with what was basically a Doctor Octopus arm, and kept asking to see the guy's gun, smiling sweetly the whole time. He didn't give me the gun or any information, but he did stop attacking, and I got to carry him around like a teddy bear for a good few minutes. ^_^
Digo 29th Aug 2012, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Oh yes! Nothing intimidating like threatening someone with a six-foot long mackerel. :D
Mudcrab King 28th Aug 2012, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
This is going to be badass.
Anon 28th Aug 2012, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
You don't even have to have seen the ep to know the GM's done dug himself into a hole here. "... right where I wanted you [...]: beaten, helpless, fearing for your lives..."

He's -monologuing-. When has this -ever- ended well?
Dr. Klaus 28th Aug 2012, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
I hate to break this to you all, but in Monster Manuals, Magazines and even the Dragons Supplement, Intimidate checks in a Skill Encounter against a dragon result in automatic failure.
Jarrakul 28th Aug 2012, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
Dear heavens, what gives you the idea that they're playing by the normal rules? Besides, automatic failure is boring. Intimidating dragons should be damn hard, but that's what makes it so awesome when someone does it.
Guest 8th Nov 2012, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
What Jarrakul said...and it strikes me that I also seem to recall Intimidate getting hit by the auto-fail hammer quite a bit more often than any of the other social skills in the various sample skill challenges. Almost as though somebody at WotC was trying to send a not particularly subtle message here; one like "real heroes don't try to scare others into cooperating", say...

Which would of course be so much rubbish if true. There's no rule I'm aware of that says a character can't be both scary and still a "good guy"...and quite frankly, if I get to roll dice to at least try to chop that dragon to bits without getting that ruled an automatic failure right out of the door, then the same should apply to any attempts on my side to put the holy fear of ME into its reptilian heart (so I don't have to move on to the whole chopping part in the first place) as well. Especially if my character is actually trained in Intimidate to begin with, in which case such things would in fact be part of his or her entire shtick...
Derpmind 28th Aug 2012, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
I'm not gonna get any points for this, but I'm calling a natural 20.
Ponyfodder 28th Aug 2012, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
I personally like solving my problems with waaaay tooo much bluff. Have an idea on how to weaponize bluff-checks in 4th ed, need to wait a couple weeks to see if it pans out.

That being said, I did have a recent intimidate story. I was playing a 5th ed playtesting character, a halfling thug rogue bounty-hunter that I was playing with an Australian accent for some reason.
Our party was on a train, trying to locate and stop some bandits disguised as passengers, and our sorcerer had his weapons confiscated and put in a safe at the front of the train. While the conductors were not looking, I tried to sneak over to the safe and lock-pick it. While I was able to avoid detection, there was one passenger, next to the safe, that there was no way I could avoid. As i begin to pick the safe, the passenger notices me.

Intimidate check- You didn't see anything *glare*
He nervously returns to his seat. I succeed my lockpick and grab the weapons, and begin to inch back to my seat when the conductors notice that the safe has been looted.

"Did anyone see who opened this?"

Passenger: "Actually, I..."

Intimidate- I sit in the seat across from him and unsheathe my knife a little bit.
"No conductor, I didn't see anything!"

It's right then that the the other's in the party figure out who the hidden bandits are. Because we had figured out who they were, and were ready for them, we got a surprise round when they stood up and pulled out weapons. I throw the knife at the first bandit to stand up, hit, sneak attack, falls over dead in his seat. Our other rogue opens up with a slit throat to the second bandit, and the third one has our wizard pull a crossbow on him and tells him to drop his weapons. I then glare back at the same passenger who watch me steal from the safe.

A wide grin appears on my hafling's face as I say- "Intimidate check"
Star Sage 28th Aug 2012, 9:26 PM Hmm edit delete reply
Doesn't intimidation receive a negative modifier based off size? Or will this work despite that? I know it would never have flown with my old DM, but then, she did laugh at the other party members sobbing when that dragon did them in(I wisely chose to run like heck before the fight even started)
Heat Wave 28th Aug 2012, 11:58 PM edit delete reply
Heat Wave
Reminds me of what one of my old DMs did shortly after 4E came out. We rolled up all our characters and started in a dungeon. We were doing fine, it just just a bunch of kobolds, easy to dispatch.

Except for something dangling from the ceiling with a glow at the end of its tail doing us in with explosive projectiles with a good redius.

It ended up wiping us. So we restarted it. It wiped us again. Turns out the DM snuck a centipede about three levels higher than our level 1's into the dungeon.

From thence forward, my paladin had a phobia of centipedes.
Fjorab 29th Aug 2012, 12:00 AM Excuse me, Mr. Dragon...? edit delete reply
I had a chaotic neutral character who bordered on good but had no qualms interacting with evil characters she admired. One such was a black dragon. She admired his scales, offered him a tethered cow, and asked nicely for a scale for a pendant. *roll* *DM gawks* "The dragon accepts your bribe and plucks off a scale, which serves as a large shiny black pendant. Congrats." My character? Pleased and unaware how difficult that was to pass.
Oblivious 29th Aug 2012, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
"Did I hear that right? It sounded like you were asking the Element of Kindness to be intimidating."

If I recall, I think Dan said someone like that concerning Soaring in one of the Pony Tales sessions for a plan of ours that we didn't follow through with.
Raxon 30th Aug 2012, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
There's always that one guy who posts right before the update. Don't you just hate it when people do that?
Greywander 1st Sep 2012, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
This is why I always check the previous page for interesting comments whenever a new update comes out.
Kirby 8th Oct 2012, 1:24 AM edit delete reply
I decided to settle in on this one for my first comment of the series:

I play encounters a bit, which doesn't particularly smile on intimidate very much. However, in my first session I played a Tiefling warlock, who was a former interrogator. She very calmly and carefully explained to our Dwarf prisoner just how she was going to rip every single hair out of his beard until he told them exactly what she wanted to know, or she would hand him over to the Paladin, who was very much a 'Judge Dredd' type Judge, Jury, Executioner character.
MagicMixture 13th Jul 2019, 7:29 PM edit delete reply
I've read this comic several times, and I still don't understand this bit. Why is Fluttershy's Intimidation skill so high when she prefers more peaceful solutions? I know it's because this is following the show, but I can't understand why Fluttershy's player would a lot of points in that skill instead of another one.