Page 269 - Tools of the Trade

9th Apr 2013, 6:00 AM in Swarm of the Century
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Tools of the Trade
Average Rating: 5 (5 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 9th Apr 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
The extra-length comic comes a little earlier this time around! The next comic will be normal length.

And not too soon, either, because I've used just about every unique image I can possibly manage out of this scene. My demand for this dialogue nearly outpaced the supply of screencaps!

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



Digo 9th Apr 2013, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
This is where Photoshop would be handy. Though I presume you like to limit the manipulation count and keep it... um, real?

Gaining an identity as a reward? Wow, I've never had that happen in a game. That sounds pretty darn cool. :)
Innisa 9th Apr 2013, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Now that really is an interesting reward. Useful for the less combat/team orientated campaigns, I would imagine.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Shadowrun is a game about playing mercs for hire to do very unlawful things. Having multiple fake identities is an all too important detail in order to keep out of jail should the cops catch up with you. :3

So this is an interesting idea. Getting rewarded with a nice, clean identity you can use to "Get away" from your usual criminal work (or for the creative, to expand your options for mayhem).
CJT 9th Apr 2013, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
The downside, which Rarity may or may not end up discovering, is that accepting a sweet fake identity from someone gives your patron quite a lot of blackmail power over you.

Instead of the Guild being afraid of what Rarity could tell Celestia, "Dainty Dove" would forever have to fear the wrong papers turning up on Celestia's desk one day.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
True, but as long as Rarity is in good standing with the guild, I don't see them getting much of a desire to use that against her. If the TV show is ideal to follow, Rarity ends up gaining favor with more royalty than just Celestia so I'm sure the guild wants to be nice to get a piece of that pie.

sugar vs. vineger and all that. :)
JSchunx 9th Apr 2013, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
Heh, in my Shadowrun game, our troll gunman got busted while they were trying to turn in a bounty to Lone Star and the identity he was running under was rendered useless. Basically, they had to verify their (illegal) identities to a drone, and he had the misfortune of me rolling quite well for the drone's analysis test. Fortunately for him, he had a contact, a close friend even, who was a high up in Lone Star. Unfortunately, he still walked away with a Criminal SIN despite that.
Zuche 9th Apr 2013, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, that's a great one. Thank you for the suggestion, Newbiespud.
Stairc 11th Apr 2013, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
Identity as a reward... That's absolutely brilliant Newbiespud. I shall have to use that at some point.
Giggle Tail 9th Apr 2013, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
Fake identity stories, go!

Sadly, I don't have anything for this one :/
Mordenheim 9th Apr 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Great minds think alike! XD
The MunchKING 9th Apr 2013, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Unfortunately all my alternate identities tended to be more "temporary" and "held together by my lies" than a real alternate identity.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
In a short D&D campaign, I played a princess of a western kingdom. My character took up the fake identity of being a social Rogue/Cleric merc for hire (grew up in a monestary so had Cleric levels, but Rogue levels learned on the job).

I knew lots of etiquette skills being a princess, but with my front of being a social rogue, it still fit that I knew these skills. Worked out well and was never found out. Even after the campaign got cut short I never told the other players.
(Just in case, so I can use the concept again).
Walabio 9th Apr 2013, 8:34 AM Likewise. edit delete reply
Same here. I only even lied about who I am only if I must because it is easy to get caught in lies.
CJT 9th Apr 2013, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Back in the Pathfinder campaing's war arc, after we'd finally managed to kill the evil swordsman, the DM pointed out that very few people in the enemy forces would actually know what he looks like. They'd just be familiar with his very distinctive, evil-looking armour.

We were all genre-savvy enough to scoff at the idea of trying to impersonate him. Walking into a besieging army many times our army's size and throwing orders around might work _briefly_, but only briefly.
Leo 9th Apr 2013, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
I have a story for this, and its a story that I both enjoy and despise. So I was playing in a revenge of the giants campaign with friends (in pathfinder, the dm ported it over from 4e) and one of the party members was a cleric of the god of magic (Nethys) and had an odd cohort who was a rogue formerly of the god of beauty (Sarenrae). Anyway part way into the game, our summoners tome of charisma was stolen and when we had free time, we went to find it. We tracked it down to a library and we were waiting for the book when we were attacked by the people inside. It turned out they were clerics and assassins of the god of murder (Norgorbur). After clearing out most of the dungeon, we got to the throne room and it was empty, then I got turned to ash, a wall split the party in half and something else went off. Turns out Mr. Cleric partymember was actually a cleric of Norgorbur himself, and this was his place. He was going to help us, but we got too close and had to die. The whole party almost got wiped but our monk just happened to be a perfect counter for the cleric and his cohort (an assassin of the god of torture, Zon Kuthon). After that session people didn't want to play too much anymore.
Sjosten 9th Apr 2013, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I actually have one this time. Recently, my players had to assassinate a high-ranking but traitorous member of the government. The problem was, one of them was seen getting away. Their employer took the logical approach and stabbed him, then dragged him to the hospital for a few hours. Then she and the other player got a dead guy and swapped him for the stabbed player. That player had to change his name and dye his hair and tell his family he was dead. Their employer may or may not still owe them for that one.
sjosten 9th Apr 2013, 12:15 PM edit delete reply
Darn it! Double posted.
Ribus 9th Apr 2013, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Sojsten, I think you mean player Character ... right?
Chakat Firepaw 9th Apr 2013, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
Don't be too sure. I have a rulebook[1] that literally says: "Players who insist on giving their characters 'cutesie' names should be ritually killed as a warning to the others."

[1] Albedo, 2ed
Sjosten 9th Apr 2013, 12:14 PM edit delete reply
I actually have one this time. Recently, my players had to assassinate a high-ranking but traitorous member of the government. The problem was, one of them was seen getting away. Their employer took the logical approach and stabbed him, then dragged him to the hospital for a few hours. Then she and the other player got a dead guy and swapped him for the stabbed player. That player had to change his name and dye his hair and tell his family he was dead. Their employer may or may not still owe them for that one.
Norgarth 9th Apr 2013, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
I've got 2 stories that fit.

1) For a Rifts game I decided to play a sentient robot, but I had fun designing him. I built him to be cuntaur-like (only feline based rather than equine), and went to town on the 'details' Fake skin and fur, fake blood circulatory system, a realistic eye (the other eye and an arm were 'obvious cybernetics'), scars, ect. I even named him Torque. The eye explained many of his advanced senses, and the 'cyberarm' had a large energy weapon mounted in it. The other PCs thought he was just an alien cyborg until I made a 'kamikaze' attack that shredded his skin.

2) Played in a SuperHero RPG, the party each had 2 costumed identities. One hero, one villain (that usually robbed other villains/criminals)
Malroth 9th Apr 2013, 4:44 PM edit delete reply
My current Pathfinder druid is pretending to be the princesses cat.
CJT 10th Apr 2013, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
Any extended story behind the cat episode?
Malroth 10th Apr 2013, 7:28 PM edit delete reply
Yeah The NPC princess has a lot of enemies since her Father was assassinated before he could have the laws changed to allow his daughters to assume the throne. Her uncle the new king is sickly, incompetent and childless so the old kings second wife and stepson are starting a rebellion to try to conquer the kingdom and have quite a few assasians on the payroll. She needed some inconspicuous guards to protect her while she negotiates for foreign support amid the rising civil war so hence why I volunteered to escort her as Fluffy.
aylatrigger 10th Apr 2013, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
I've had quite a few times where players had illusions or lied to get what they want. I think the most successful was when I, as a GM, realized how easy it was to have my NPC infiltrate the party in Big Eyes Small Mouth (anime based point buy system). I used the same number of points as the other party members, but had the character devote herself to being a Magical Girl/Shapeshifter/Telepath/Mind Controller (we were reasonably high leveled and I shaved away abilities I did not need). I shapeshifted into a bird and read the mind of our angsty half-dragon mercenary. The setting was Cold War Cleveland in an alternate world where instead of nukes we had magical girls, instead of tanks we had mecha, and so on. I had my NPC shapeshift to a quarter-dragon form and convince the mercenary that she was his daughter from a relationship he had had that had turned out bad (the woman had turned out to be a Russian shapeshifting spy, so it worked out well for the NPC to pretend to be that character's daughter). The half-dragon was suspicious, but with mind reading and the character acting like a little girl who was excited to have a new daddy (which due to the character's background, was completely true), she passed. He did later get a DNA test from the computer of our third party member, a time-travelling mercenary from the future who had force field powers. Unfortunately for him, the computer had a good AI. And with high enough points spent in mind control, you can mind control AIs. So the computer was hacked with her mind, she gave a false positive for being his daughter, and she edited the data using her hacking skills. Unfortunately we did not get to finish the game and ended around there, as Mind Control leaves the controlled sentience with a blank spot, which would have been interesting to role play. So I successfully infiltrated the party and we never even got to the point where they found me out.
aylatrigger 10th Apr 2013, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
One other story, but this is with the entire party infiltrating.

This is from a 4.0 game in which I was a player. Now I've heard people say 4.0 isn't good for skills. In this game we showed how fun skills can be. I was an Avenger for Elysian, a god one of my friends played in another game...and the god of insanity and chaos. His tenants are: Through Chaos ALL things, even order, exist. Be unpredictable, even in unpredictability. The world is not interesting enough, fix this. I mainly focused on the last. I don't know why the party didn't trust me. They were even more suspicious of me than the party member who's first action in the game was to stab the barkeeper in the face.

So anyway, there was a Baron who had an illegitimate child. The Baron's son was a half-elf, and now old enough to take office. The Baron had died and his sickly widow was now In charge of the barony while a magistrate was controlling it. Now this society was very racist, and the good members of the party wanted to instate the half-elf to help fight racism. I don't know why the evil members agreed (maybe as Even Evil has its Standards), but I agreed as I thought it would make the world a more interesting place. If racism went away, all different kinds of people would make it more interesting, and if not, at least it might promote a civil war or something. I didn't really care, I was heavily Chaotic and kind of Neutral. So the party figured we needed to get the Baroness to sign on a letter we had gotten asking the illegitimate son to be the heir to the barony...without letting the Baroness find out about his race or the Magistrate, who knew of the illegitimate son, find out about our getting the letter signed. So we decided we needed to distract the magistrate. One person suggested seduction, and I had the only female character in the party. I said Elysian would approve of how interesting the situation would be if I had my character seduce the Magistrate, so Akeldama was fine with it. But my Diplomacy and Bluff were both 4...but my acrobatics was 14! >:D Then our alchemist/german doctor chimed in that he, “had zis pheromone.” He got a 20 on making a pheromone to seduce, which the DM ruled added +10. We then went to the Keep and introduced ourselves as a dance troupe. We got in, and after a while Akeldama did some pole dancing...and I got a 20 on the roll. So she had a whopping 44 total for it, with us at only level 8. The Magistrate was seduced and we went off separately The rest of the party knocked the guards off and went to find the Baroness. The Baroness did not take the news of her late husband's illegitimate child well. After signing the papers to make him the heir, she said she was coming to get the Baron, a bunch of curse words, and died. We succeeded the mission and got out safely, with the Magistrate sputtering over his loss once he found out.
Moonrush 10th Apr 2013, 12:56 PM edit delete reply
Well, there was this one time me and a friend took the flaw of "homosexual in biggoted medival Europe" and, his character being a prince, got some nifty papers claiming my wimpy bard was his bodyguard, everyone kept expecting me to actually get those rolls that required a strenght higher than 6, I convinced the DM to roll for me so they figured I had really bad rolls rather than good rolls but the worst stats ever for the job I wasn't trained to do. I ended up outed by the prince's NPC sister (who I insisted was the main antagonist for the rest of the campaign, screw that necromancer with the power gems she was a Gilda level jerk) rather than because I sucked at bodyguarding, oddly enough. Then again our rogue had like 1 charisma because she was playing with a self-inflicted handicap for the lulz, so...
Tatsurou 10th Apr 2013, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
One time in a campaign I played, I created two completely seperate character sheets.

The first was for a talking clouded leopard with class levels in rogue, who was the equivalent of Shrek 2's Puss in Boots. Weapon skills, stealth, various other abilities, plus some good stats...but terrible equip availabilities. Alignment Lawful Good.

The second was for a sorcerer with secondary class levels in druid. High magic skills, good fighting stats. Alignment Chaotic Evil.

The two of them were never seen together, and their goals were in heavy conflict with each other.

They were the same person. The sorcerer's class levels in druid let him change into the clouded leopard, but a sorcerous accident rendered the leopard form with the capacity for speech, the ability to wield weapons, the rogue skill levels...and its own distinct personality.

Despite all the clues I left, no one ever put it together.
andreas002 10th Apr 2013, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
In our current Schwarze Auge (sort of like German D&D, more RP focused) game, I'm playing a homunculus wizard who is the son of an archmage living in the limbus.
Not that any of the other characters know that (IC anyway). My alternate identity is just that of a local wizard.
Mordenheim 9th Apr 2013, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
Story time!

Share your tales of characters with secret identities!

Smooth success and spectacular failures! Let's hear 'em! :)

Awesome comic, BTW. :) Interesting reward, also. :)
Chaotic_Entropy 9th Apr 2013, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
I'm actually working on a doppelganger mage right now... needless to say, even I am terrified of this... thing...
Shrek 9th Apr 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
The tension of this comic is very ogrewhelming.
DoubleCross 9th Apr 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Shrek 9th Apr 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
What? There's no need to ogreact so quickly.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
Well for some, bad puns can take a troll on one's sanity.
Zuche 9th Apr 2013, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
And DoubleCross offers an enthusiastic rebrutal...
DoubleCross 9th Apr 2013, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
I ship this version.
Ekevoo 9th Apr 2013, 7:04 AM edit delete reply
But she'd split from the party! /o\
FanOfMostEverything 9th Apr 2013, 7:13 AM edit delete reply
Nonsense! Every noble needs a collection of servants, hoofmaidens, and assorted hangers-on.
The Hittite 9th Apr 2013, 1:29 PM edit delete reply
Three words: Sweet and Elite.
Think about it.
evilauthor 9th Apr 2013, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
From: The Hittite 9th Apr 2013, 1:29 PM
> Three words: Sweet and Elite.
> Think about it.

I have thought about it. And what do I see?

Rarity sitting in a Canterlot cafe trying out her "Dainty Dish" persona. She meets a couple of well connected aristocrats. The deal she's negotiating or whatever is going flawlessly when...

The terminally clueless Turnip Truck drops in and joins of the conversation.
Azureink 10th Apr 2013, 5:30 AM edit delete reply
Clearly Turnip Truck is a member of the Guild.
Guest 9th Apr 2013, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
I don't see how she plans to get awith with this.

First off, Rarity is too well known. Between saving the queendom a couple of times and Gabby Gums, her picture has been in all the papers.

Secondly, how DO you change your identity when your real name is emblazoned on your flank?
The MunchKING 9th Apr 2013, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
How many people HAVE the Triple Diamond? I mean hourglasses and arrows are common as dirt, I'm pretty sure some overlap is normal.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
The only other pony to have the Triple Diamond cutie mark ended up starting an auto company.
Moonrush 10th Apr 2013, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, and if you go by fanon (and canon) they're as vague as zodiacs- smiling flowers can end up teachers instead of botanists, hourglasses can end up as dentists instead of clockmakers, surely diamonds can end up as a variation on Diamond Tiara instead of being a professional bedazzler. Or, y'know, a mare that rich can also be a professional bedazzler.
JiiKoo 9th Apr 2013, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
In this universe they've actually only saved it once, and the whole Gabby Gums thing has not happened yet, and it might not happen in the future at all. Also, it might be that she isn't actually that well-known after the Nightmare Moon incident. Thieves' Guild obviously knows, but then again, I'd kinda be disappointed if they didn't. Normal ponies or nobles, probably not. Celestia might be an issue, of course.

As for the cutie mark, that could be an issue. However, since nopony knows what Dainty Dove looks like and Rarity is pretty much a nobody, I doubt it would be a big one. And even if the cutie mark was an issue, you might have noticed Sapphire doesn't have one~
Brickman 10th Apr 2013, 4:18 AM edit delete reply
I think all she has to do for the mark is find an alternate, but plausible (and fakable), explanation for what her talent is. Long as she never encounters the same person in both identities nobody will draw the connection, and if she does who cares because they'd already recognize her face if they were paying that much attention. (A memorable face is the disadvantage of having too many points in charisma like Rares does...)
KitKatarine 9th Apr 2013, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
I was in a campaign as a dwarf barbarian, and i had a human rogue and a half orc that knew each other very well (and the PC's were more than happy to give me a hard time). My dwarf wasn't of the homosexual orientation, but with all of their teasing and "bullying" of my character, I decided WHY NOT. I WILL HAVE A GAY 4 FOOT DWARF. It was the most fun I've ever had with a character.
TrueWolves 9th Apr 2013, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
In a World Of Darkness game, namely, Vampires the Masquerade, the story teller knew me well enough to trust me with a rather unusual Vampire.. one that wasn't a Vampire, but a Genius from the fan-made book Genius The Transgression(using some simple rules to port to the oWoD setting, sense it was primarily roleplay, it was rarely a problem.) The game was cut short after just 4 sessions... but with a simple cloak(that actually made /him/ think he was a vampire, it was so convincing) and a moped, he came off as just a rambling Makavian that was actually a little scary, if insightful and useful. The party never did find out, and I was hoping to get away with him 'drinking' one of the other's blood and gloating about not being in a blood bond with them(this was meant to tip them off the character's real identity sooner or later). It was never figured out though, considering he had merits that let him suck mania out of things, and he had a set of fangs that had him drain blood as he was doing so just for better cover... I really wanted to know how the party would have taken it down the line. XD Gotta get your funding from somewhere.
Malroth 10th Apr 2013, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
and across the street you have a Malkavian who thinks he's not a vampire just a mad scientist who accidentally injected himself with photosensitive nanomachines that chronically deplete his hemoglobin in order to fuel hyper-metobolic powers.
TrueWolves 11th Apr 2013, 3:17 AM edit delete reply
That... that has to be done now, that is an amazing.:D
Kinrah 9th Apr 2013, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Of course, this is where she gets the identity and spends the entirety of Sweet and Elite as "Dainty Dove", only for the rest of the PCs to accidentally blow her cover.

That said, knowing Pinkie, the party at the end might be an attempt to deliberately blow her cover just to see how Rarity would react.

And then Fancy Pants turns out to be the head of the Guild.
Derpmind 9th Apr 2013, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
Garghlfragle, Fancy Pants would fit the role perfectly!
Lyntermas 9th Apr 2013, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Oh, wow, that's just too perfect.
Crisis 9th Apr 2013, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Heh. I said that two pages ago to DefinitelyNotRaxon.
Kinrah 9th Apr 2013, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
Especially now with this newly established context.

It could work like Baroque Works does in One Piece - Fancy Pants (Mr. 0/Crocodile) is the head of the Guild, but nopony knows that because all his communication is done anonymously and via Fleur de Lis (Miss Allsunday/Nico Robin). This allows him to keep in good public standing while making sure none of his exploits can be linked back to him.
Digo 9th Apr 2013, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I wonder what ever happened to DefinitelyNotRaxon?
Zuche 9th Apr 2013, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Speaking of DNR, it's been awhile since he commented. Do you suppose he made the mistake of wearing a nametag with only his initials on it before getting into a terrible accident, leading to a dreadful misunderstanding by the attending EMTs? Oh, I hope not!
kriss1989 9th Apr 2013, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Now don't panic ponies, let's not forget that DNR is only posting stuff Raxxon wrote about. If he wasn't given anything about this sort of thing, DNR can't write what Raxxon would have.
Digo 10th Apr 2013, 4:29 AM edit delete reply
So DNR isn't good at improv? I'm going to have to take a point off his/her score.
Alba Vulpes 9th Apr 2013, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Or does it blow Dainty Dove's cover as Rarity? A small town like ponyville is the last place nobles would look, making it the perfect place to get away from it all.

And I finally comment after stalking this whole time!
Destrustor 9th Apr 2013, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
Welcome, sneaky new friend!
The Batman 9th Apr 2013, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
The clean slate! The ultimate tool for a master thief with a record.
Kiranis 9th Apr 2013, 12:28 PM Still no Raxon edit delete reply
Do you think Not Raxon killed him?

Anyway story time (not that anyone reads my stories)

I played a Princess trying to take back her family's kingdom her mother imprisoned by another kingdom and my father long dead. it fell to me and my loyal subjects to retake the kingdom but that's getting a little ahead of the story.

I wake to find two guards breaking down my door exclaiming the kingdom is under attack and that the court mage told them to drag me to him. they proceed to do so despite my Protests.

The mage upon arrival explains everything distilling time long enough to exposition the setting. he explins my heritage (sorceror) and my innate power that he has been training me to use for some time now (and failing) was never active to begin with and he knows how to unseal it. being commanded by my mother to never do so until I was "old enough" after info dumping that my mother is a hostage somewhere and transferring the remains of his power to me he activates a translocation circle sending me off to a safe place leaving me alone with no friends nearly powerless (he used up his higher level spell slots transferring his powers you see I was now a 3rd level sorcerer)

to cut it short I was alone little power not a penny to my name with only a Signet Ring An old shield and a gilded staff (Thou cannot sell these Heirlooms and stuff) and some low level spells that ill barely get any use out of. in the middle of the forest.

Ok heres where my identity change comes in I take on the name Sylvanis Highguard. though the whole adventure. I slowly meet up with the party ass assuming the role of traveling magician of course the story quickly falls apart my charisma betrayed me in my bluff checks. but they accept me and enforce my backround. making it look plausible. this was a wonderful group and I really miss them they really helped my character out and even helped me storm the castle when the time came to retake my throne.
DanielLC 9th Apr 2013, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Why is Rarity smuggling the gems? Do they not own the diamond mine? Are they just trying to avoid taxation? Is Sapphire Shores buying them with money that she isn't supposed to have and she finds this easier than money laundering?
Malroth 9th Apr 2013, 4:51 PM edit delete reply
They probably don't own the mines and a public figure giving large amounts of jewels to a shady foreigner is somewhat obvious.
kriss1989 9th Apr 2013, 9:03 PM edit delete reply
How do you think money laundering works? She "spent the money on dresses" which were LEGALLY purchased. Large and/or luxury purchases at organization run businesses are one of the top ways to launder money. The other big way is casinos. You purchase the chips with the money, lose it to the casino, and leave, just another victim of the odds.

The scary thing is that even though it's rather well known that these ar the two main ways to launder money it is still very hard to detect, let alone prove.
CJT 10th Apr 2013, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
One of the other ways involves food businesses. There's a pizza place near a friend's house that he says he's pretty sure is a mob front, given the very small amount of actual business that happens there.

When most transactions are cash and undeclared tips are the norm, laundering isn't difficult.
ShadowDragon8685 10th Apr 2013, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
I know someone who's of the opinion that if you're reasonably sure someplace is a laundering front, they're a great place to do business, because:

1: They want to get you in and out as fast as possible, and that means being fast, polite, and nondescript. Nothing that would give you cause to make a complaint to the Chamber of Commerce or the police (or, for a restaurant, the health inspector.)

2: Since they're probably not actually running the business to make a profit off its day-to-day operations, they'll often have exceptionally good prices, sometimes to the tune of selling things at or even below cost. This probably doesn't mean much for a pizza joint, but my contact knew such a place way back in the day that was nominally a photography place, and he got VERY expensive camera equipment at very, very good rates there.
Malroth 10th Apr 2013, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
Down the street there's a Vietnamese Restaurant like that. Cash only, nobody admits to speaking English, lots of Middle aged men in business suits sitting in their own little table in the corner. But they've got the best Pho` in the city and at less than 5$ a bowl too.
Guest 9th Apr 2013, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
Wouldn't assuming a new identity be difficult in Equestria? One look at your cities mark, and they'll know who you really are.
The MunchKING 10th Apr 2013, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
That only works if Cutie Marks were Unique. As lots of background ponies have the same cutie mark, the same mane/coat color, and the same race as other ponies, it's not nearly so flawless as all that.
Guest 10th Apr 2013, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
Both women would have entire careers centered around valuble and shiny things (buying and selling of dresses, of course, Dainty Dove could easilly have gotten har mark as a bejeweled dress model), so she's fine. Applejack or Pinkie Pie would need a bit more work.
Tatsurou 10th Apr 2013, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
In the case of Applejack, her alternate identity's Cutie Mark represents her talent for seperating the skilled from the unskilled in those who work for her, aka finding the 'bad apples'.

In the case of Pinkie Pie:
PP: *giggle* If you really want to know my special talent, give me a call another time and I'll show you.

Or, she's the noble with a wild side who is somewhat an embarrasment to other nobles but is too important and well connected to be shunned.
*Not* changeling 9th Apr 2013, 6:58 PM *Not* green eyed edit delete reply
this can go either one of two ways:
or she bluffs and the party only assumes slavery.
or third option.
Tabby 10th Apr 2013, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
Dude. Is that an intentional G2 reference in Dainty Dove's name? If so, you have impressed me greatly.
Azureink 10th Apr 2013, 5:32 AM edit delete reply
I'd like to know what piece of land Dainty Dove owns.
The MunchKING 10th Apr 2013, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Given her Noble heritage, I'm guessing a modest, but still sizable, chunk of land up in Canterlot with the ancestral home on it.
CJT 10th Apr 2013, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
It can't be too close to Canterlot. Anything too close to a social hub would have people long-since noticing that the nominal owner of the property had never, ever been seen.

I'd put money on something in settled but out-of-the-way territory, used as a Guild safe-house (all of the staff managing the property would be Guild, as they'd need to cover for the non-existent owner; and if they _have_ the property, they'll be using it).

If Rarity has any brains at all she'll stay far, far away from this deal.
The MunchKING 10th Apr 2013, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
Why? She's a Guild member, soon to be back in good standing. What would they benefit from handing her a toxic ID?
CJT 10th Apr 2013, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
It's not "toxic"; it's just unlikely to last for her lifetime. The Guild doesn't need it to last that long - but if Rarity is planning to continue her social climb, she can't afford to _ever_ have a false identity upon which she's basing her reputation exposed.

And because the Guild _will_ have been using their fake noble identity to legitimize illicit transactions, and _will_ continue to do so once they have an actual fake noble (Rarity), the ball will drop eventually.
Guest 10th Apr 2013, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
Actually, it makes more sense to be in the crazy bustling city. There, you just assume everyone but you knows what she looks like. Add a couple of guild members (or random people lying to sound cool) mentioning a dinner date they had last week with her, and you're set. Which is also good; if she doesn't exist, having tea at her place is a GREAT alibi.
CJT 10th Apr 2013, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
The bustling city is great for anonymity among commoners - but not among nobles. They'll all know each other, and a large part of maintaining status is attending each others' events.

Nobody wonders why they haven't seen a fellow noble who's way out in the sticks at their latest social function, but they'll sure as heck notice that there's someone _in_ town whom they never, ever see.

And I'm pretty sure that Celestia would make a point of keeping tabs on each and every one of them, if she's canny enough to keep the throne.

The DM may or may not have thought that far ahead yet in-game, but from a metagame standpoint Rarity's player is setting herself up for blackmail and subterfuge plot hooks all around.

Bonus points if Celestia really _is_ pulling the strings, and asks to see both Rarity and Dainty Dove at the same social function just to watch Rarity squirm :).
Theo 10th Apr 2013, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
Say by Inviting 'Dainty Dove' to Canterlot then ask Twilight to have her birthday party there, along with *all* of her friends.
Aerion 10th Apr 2013, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud... Dude...
Come on Newbie-dude, you could squeeze a few more pages by using the old comic-artist trick of re-using images.
I mean come on, they DRAW their comics, and they STILL use the same image, surely you with your limited supply can do it too?
Newbiespud 10th Apr 2013, 9:22 PM edit delete reply
Wow. You just NOW made me realize that I've had a rule about re-using images.

Nah, I think I like that rule.