Page 1767 - Naturally Unnatural

10th Nov 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Naturally Unnatural
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Nov 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Do I lean too hard on the Natural 20 / Natural 1 jokes in this comic? I worry sometimes.

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16 Comments:

TyrantViewer 10th Nov 2022, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Your adapting a cartoon to represent a D&D session, natural 1's and 20's are perfect for explaining some of the things that happen. If it feels like you do it too much, its just because the source material you are drawing from has so many ups and downs.
CyanWhisp 10th Nov 2022, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
I mean, statistically, there’s a 10% chance of one or the other happening on any given roll. Not too unlikely.
Boris Carlot 10th Nov 2022, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
I think it would be strange if there weren't any. They're too useful for explaining weird behaviour and "plot armour" moments.
NobleCuriosity 10th Nov 2022, 7:33 AM Nat20/Nat1s edit delete reply
NobleCuriosity
It does feel to me like you use them too often (and maybe you could make some of them 2-4s or 17-19s. This page is a good example of a place to say she got a 5 or something, IMO, as I feel this result is FAR from the worst thing that could have happened here, even for a mage as experienced as Twilight). However, I’m not sure that feeling is because it’s actually statistically too frequent—I think it might be more that you often don’t call out the results unless it’s a nat 20/nat 1. If you said the roll results every time (often you just say “roll”) they would feel less common.

That’s kind of what Darths and Droids does (I think they also sometimes use roll results as “sound effects” accompanying the action, usually accompanying an attack, to make them not clutter dialogue), and they actually track the rolls they show to try and get a plausible distribution (https://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0027.html).
Warlock 11th Nov 2022, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
Naturally, people forget that a natural 1 or natural 20 doesn't mean anything other than just a number when it comes to skill checks too. I.E. A barbarian, with a strength buff, high strength, and proficiency with expertise in athletics could have a +15 modifier; even a natural one means the check comes out as a 16, which against a DC 10, still passes, and quite easily. However, it's one of the most houseruled oddities that causes more tables than not to just make it 'super splendid' or 'fail horribly' regardless of outcome.

In a case like this, spud honestly uses the 1 a bit true to form: A failed arcana check would just have had nothing happen; however, Twilight's natural bonuses meant that she passed the skill to set it off (aka, a success), but the 1 means success with conditions. Much like how Fantasy Flight's Genesis system does, one can succeed with complications, or fail with advantages, to help spice up results (a method which I whole-heartedly approve of, as it adds narrative flair beyond the 'pass/fail' mechanic that the written rules cover).

But that's just the penny for my thoughts - given todays inflation, would it be dime for my time?
Digo 12th Nov 2022, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
Unfortunately my Saturday GM doesn't believe in that. He demands 1s and 20s have critical effects. I find it annoying, but I have also turned his beliefs against him when I use abilities that force 1s on his BBEG's saving throws.
StrandedGeek 10th Nov 2022, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
StrandedGeek
I'm rather sad we didn't get to see more of Little Strong Heart the buffalo. She had a cute design.
A Quiet Reader 10th Nov 2022, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, it would have been nice to see her, or more of the buffaloes in general, in the later seasons. I've wondered for a while now why we never saw any at the School of Friendship.
Hariman 10th Nov 2022, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
If the die roll fits...
Guest 10th Nov 2022, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Don’t tempt the dice gods. They will give you a natural 1 when you absolutely don’t need it.
Natural '1' 10th Nov 2022, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
I know Twilight is a little beginner, but even she should know that '1' is a Epic Fail, right?
Faen The Monk 10th Nov 2022, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
She Does? It seems like her laughter is that sarcastic "Of course this happened" sorta laughter. Asking about the teleport seems like player asking DM to throw them a bone.
Draxynnic 12th Nov 2022, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
Imagine that 'great' in the same tone as someone feeling something squelch underfoot in an area frequented by dogs.
Sarcasm? 13th Nov 2022, 1:56 PM edit delete reply
She seemed to smile, so I can't be sure if it's because she is a novice
Roguim 10th Nov 2022, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Natural 1 and 20 jokes are always welcome as it's a pillar form gaming.
Anonymous 11th Nov 2022, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
I like how Discord's player temporarily perks up at being reminded of the wild west stuff in the campaign setting. Just the thought of his sulking being interrupted for a moment because he's a fan of westerns and such.